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Factors that affect the chemical composition of wood ash, and the potential implications of recycling wood ash have been extensively reviewed:
Use of ash in forestry (PDF-526K)
This review concludes that:
This study confirmed the complexity of wood ash application to forest soils and the need for further research and long-term experimentation.
The use of wood ash as a soil additive and the effects of wood ash application to a range of soils and tree species will be studied.
The application of wood ash following whole tree harvesting or brash removal and also for nutrient replacement into poor forest soils is considered as an important potential research area.
In addition, there has been little interest to date in using sewage sludge and compost or green waste as fertilisers in forests. However, the ban on sea dumping and the restrictions on application to agricultural land and landfill may increase the interest and demand from water supply and waste companies.
Pitman, R. 2003.
An Environmental Impact Assessment of the use of Wood ash in Forestry.
Internal Report to Forestry Commission.
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