Free Wood Chips!
Local arborist companies often provide free wood chips from trees they trim to anyone in the area who requests them.
Chips may include tiny sticks, leaves, etc., but they work well as mulch on pathways and as a ground cover in heavily used/shady/muddy areas where grass won’t grow. Chips can also be used around perennials and in vegetable beds to deter weed growth, keep the soil moist, and conserve water. Some experts note the risk of fresh chips depleting nitrogen in vegetable beds. On the other hand, NLI’s childcare hands-on gardening collaborator says, “Maybe, but chips are free and in my experience work just fine. They decompose and can be dug in at the end of the season.” The size of a load of chips is usually close to 20 yards – a large pile! Good to plan ahead of time where to dump so circulation is not blocked. Also, line up volunteers with barrows to spread it. Logs can also be requested that may be “sittable” or could be used to define settings, etc. Chips are an organic, renewable resource. By giving them away, tree-trimming companies avoid landfill costs. It’s a win-win. Where NLI is located at NC State, Wake County, two companies are Chip Drop and Leaf & Limb. Check where you are for similar offers.