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All the Great Things about Wood Chips

 
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Whenever I chip wood, I also make sure to collect decaying branches from around my farm or my forest floor to add to the branch pile, then when I'm chipping away I make sure to put these decaying branches through the chipper with fresh ones here and there.

I have been doing this since October, and now I'm distributing the chips around the farm and almost all of the woodchip interior is matted with mycelium, it smells fantastic, it's actually slightly more work to spread it out haha.

Nonetheless I think this a great way to innoculate your woodchip (if your chipping yourself) as you go, little tip from Norway
 
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Ooh, good tip! Thanks Shaun. I suppose it works better if the rotting branches are from the same tree species that you chip? So you get the right species of fungi, I mean...
 
pollinator
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What are yall's thoughts on applying grass clipping on top of wood chip beds? I would like to start applying on the edges to smother the grass that inevitably creeps in.

But I'm worried that adding a lot of grass clippings will start composting the wood chips from the top down instead of the bottom up. And that would end up giving grass and weeds more purchase instead of less in the long run. Grass all summer and more wood chips layered on top in the spring?
 
pollinator
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Matt Todd wrote:What are yall's thoughts on applying grass clipping on top of wood chip beds? I would like to start applying on the edges to smother the grass that inevitably creeps in.

But I'm worried that adding a lot of grass clippings will start composting the wood chips from the top down instead of the bottom up. And that would end up giving grass and weeds more purchase instead of less in the long run. Grass all summer and more wood chips layered on top in the spring?



I guess it depends on the quality of the grass clippings. If they are full of weeds, maybe not. I would not be too worried about composting from the top: composting is composting and it is a plus. I got a lot of bags of grass clippings last year. These lawns were under maples. I now have quite a few maples growing in my garden. [I'm putting them to good use, transplanting them in my forest]
"Grass all summer and more wood chips layered on top in the spring?". Did you mean in the Fall? [In the spring, the grass may grow through the chips? whereas in the Fall, they would compost under the chips maybe?
 
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I have been recently planting new spring items in my garden, raised beds and flower beds. Most I have been covering with wood chips for 2 years. Today I see some great changes in the soil.
I have earth worms in just about every shovel of dirt below the chips. That can only be good. I even dug a small hole in my heavily walked path covered with apple chips, lots of very small earth worms.

For me wood chips appear to be making for better soil.
 
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Matt Todd wrote:What are yall's thoughts on applying grass clipping on top of wood chip beds? I would like to start applying on the edges to smother the grass that inevitably creeps in.

But I'm worried that adding a lot of grass clippings will start composting the wood chips from the top down instead of the bottom up. And that would end up giving grass and weeds more purchase instead of less in the long run. Grass all summer and more wood chips layered on top in the spring?




The key is depth of the chip bed, grass clippings should not be a problem but seed content might be an issue. Drying the clippings would help reduce any issues. Keep as constant a depth of wood chips as you can (6 inches is the minimum for weed and grass supression).

Redhawk
 
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Consider doing heavy chip moving on rainy days to
minimize airborne spores/dust. I know they wet asbestos
during remediation to minimize dry particles going airborne.
I’ll be getting a large amount of rotted log mulch and I never put any thought into mold inhalation. Great forum guys!
 
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  ~I have a mesquite forest filled with old, dead wood, and theres also a lot of old dry mustard plant~Is it possible that the mustard would create an alkaline soil when used as mulch, that would balance out the acidic effect of the wood chips, if used together for vegetable gardens?~
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Kathy, dead, dried wood chiped most likely would not have any effect on soil ph. Generally it is fresh wood that might cause a slight ph change, even that would be short term.

Redhawk
 
Kathy Woods
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  Thank you!~By chance, do you have any suggestions as to how i could go about getting all of this wood to be used?~Ive seen that a lot of folks try to get chips from tree trimmers, etc., Id love to have a way to get my woods cleared of a lot of it?~I have 45 acres of it~
 
Ron Haberman
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Kathy Woods wrote:   Thank you!~By chance, do you have any suggestions as to how i could go about getting all of this wood to be used?~Ive seen that a lot of folks try to get chips from tree trimmers, etc., Id love to have a way to get my woods cleared of a lot of it?~I have 45 acres of it~



And where would this be?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Around my area the tree service companies will do the job and leave you the chips, ask if they reduce their charge if they don't have to remove the chipped up wood.

Redhawk
 
Kathy Woods
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  ~Southern Arizona, where there is a lot of desert~
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Kathy Woods wrote:   ~Southern Arizona, where there is a lot of desert~



And so your woodchips should be really precious. If you really have too many, I'm sure some folks would love to buy them from you and pay good money to boot!
Here, I get my woodchips from the county: When we get weather events, they will chip the trees that are on County land [That is not often]. More often, when folks get rid of a tree, if they choose to keep the wood and get it chipped, that is a *service*, so they pay for it. If they want to get rid of it, the arborists may take it to the County dump, where it gets chipped.
So either way, the County folks are the ones to talk to. I have my name on their list as someone who will take chips, so once in a while, they will contact me to check that I want them and where to pile them. It is free because by taking them from the dump, I free room at the dump. But now, I'm getting competition as I'm not the only one or even the first on the list.

The quality of the chips vary: sometimes, they are chipped rather coarsely, sometimes they are finer. I'll take them all: trash trees, hardwoods. If  I want them chipped finer, I have a little electric chipper that can do the job. My main concern would be if some trees are sick. I have them piled at least a year before I put them in the garden, but yeah, it is a concern. I trust that the County will not give me diseased trees.
 
Kathy Woods
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 ~Thanks, yes, it seems wood chips are mainly gotten from tree trimmers, by being on their list, etc.~Ive read about a recent discovery that the fungal element in wood chips is what allows the minerals & nutrients to be better absorbed in the veggies, when used in a veggie garden~Id love to help that happen for folks!~
 
Kathy Woods
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  ~I just heard that mesquite wood has a chemical in it that prevents things from growing?!?~Is that true???~There have only been a few different plants that have grown under them, mainly Greythorn & Mustard?~
gift
 
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