How To Get Free Wood Chips

Using free wood chips to make compost is one of the many ways that we are trying to save money, when getting The Land ready for our move. This morning we were excited to see that our community compost area had been filled up with wood chips - free wood chips from two local pine trees that one of our neighbors had removed by a local tree company a few days ago.

community compost pile
Our Community Compost Pile

Since we have almost half an acre to raise, we will be in need of lots of soil, which can be very expensive. We use our Troy-Bilt wood chipper to shred and chip any dead branches and all of our palmetto palms, but we also have a community compost pile out by the road, where we encourage our neighbors to drop off their leaves, grass clippings and wood chips.

wood chip compost pile
wood chip and palmetto compost pile

However, the easiest way to get free wood chips, is to contact your local tree trimming company to ask, if they have any excess would chips they would like to get rid of.

free wood chips

How To Get Free Wood Chips:
  1. Make your own wood chips with a wood chipper
  2. Contact your local tree trimmers and tree removal companies to request free wood chips, make sure to have an area easily accessible for a truck ready for a truck load of free wood chips.
  3. Check out the free section at your local Craigslist, quite often you will see tree removal companies advertise free wood chips there.
  4. Make sure the wood chips only come from disease-free trees.
  5. Sign up for to get free wood chips. 
  6. Check with your local county extension to see if your city gives out free mulch.

What To Do With Your Free Wood Chips:
  • Compost them to use in your garden
  • Use them around mature trees and plants for weed suppression
  • Use them for walkways instead of gravel
  • Use them in your play area
  • Use them for landfill

How To Compost Wood Chips:
  1. Make sure the wood chips come from disease-free trees
  2. Do not use wood chips from Walnut trees, as these contain a chemical which may harm other plants.
  3. Mix them with greens (Such as grass clippings) and coffee ground
  4. Turn the pile every month or so.
  5. Do not apply fresh wood chips to the your garden, as these draw out nitrogen from the ground. Instead let them sit for a few months to break down into a more mulch-like consistency. 

How Long Does It Take For Wood Chips To Decompose:

The decomposition rate of wood chips depends on a lot of factors, including the size of the wood chips, the type, whether or not you turn your pile and/or if you add other organic matter to your wood chip pile.

We have found that adding green layers to our wood chips make them decompose faster, and the smaller we chip the faster the wood chips decompose.

If you enjoyed our blog post about how to get free wood chips, please consider sharing it with your friends and family as well as on your favorite online social networks.

Have you had any experience with using free wood chips in your garden?


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