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Just got my first chip drop - happy happy happy

 
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I signed up a week ago.

Get Chip Drop

Didn’t know if it would work . . . It did!

It might not be for you - check this funny video first.



First tiny step to a fruit forest . . . And now back to the basement project.
 
pollinator
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It's like Xmas, right?!  I've been plugging away at getting mine moved and spread!   ALL my gardens are getting expanded and topped up, and I got rid of a THIRD of my front yard "lawn" too!   I've had really great deliveries with using chipdrop!  My neighbors were a little scared though,  it filled my driveway ROFLOL.   But now that it's half gone they are relaxing a bit, haha.
IMG_9653.JPG
Recently applied wood chips
Recently applied wood chips
 
master gardener
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I'm glad ChipDrop works for some people, but here's my experience:
chipdrop.png
28 months of nothing
28 months of nothing
 
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My experience was the same as Christopher's. I think it depends greatly on where you are.
 
pollinator
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No luck with chipdrop after years.  I still have to listen for the siren song of a woodchipper, then hop in the car and try to find it!
 
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Gray Henon wrote:No luck with chipdrop after years.  I still have to listen for the siren song of a woodchipper, then hop in the car and try to find it!



Haha! I know the feeling! The only luck I've had with wood chips is actually calling around to the local boys... eventually I had a guy give me a contact and the next day I had a tree truck come by and drop their load in my front yard. The pile is almost down to nothing after several months. Even my neighbors came and got a pull. I wish I had a mountain of wood chips almost as bad as I wish I had a mountain of charcoal.

I've known maybe 5 or 6 people who've used chip drop with no success. None of the local people I've tried to get to use it have ever worked (multiple times in a town of 50k). Seems like the only people that have luck are the ones in cities. I'm jealous of these towns that have local wood chip piles everyone can pull from.
 
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glad some of you get deliveries through them! i’ve been renewing my request for 3+ years. i once had a someone say they had a load coming but then contacted me and said it wasn’t happening.  so chipdrop thinks i’ve gotten a load, but you can put me down in the ‘it’s never happened’ category.

i have managed to arrange free deliveries of chips to one of our orchards a few times, but those folks won’t come to my place. too boonies, i guess.
 
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Still waiting 2+ years now, I’ll keep it active though
 
Edward Norton
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Cheers. Definitely felt like Christmas, except today is like the day after Christmas and there’s lots of ‘tidying’ up to do. I think I managed to use a cubic meter yesterday which took an hour. I kept all my packing boxes from my recent move, so after stripping of the tape, laid them out on the back lawn. This will be my main veg bed, so a layer of cardboard and a foot of woodchip should mean its ready in the spring. Now I need to find gravel boards for the base of my fence. There seems to be less of a ‘do it yourself’ culture for fencing in this part of the world. All the fencing supply companies I’ve contacted so far are only interested in giving me a quote for doing the work themselves rather than being able to buy the lumber.

Sorry to hear about folks who’ve not had much luck so far. I did wait a week before put down $40, as I figured it’s definitely worth $2 a cubic yard. Chip arrived next day - nothing to say it wasn’t just a coincidence . . . I think living in an area where there are lots of houses on big plots of land and near cities and towns help. My neighbourhood has a lot of tradesmen serving the wealthier communities including gardeners and tree surgeons / arborists. There’s more arborists on the map locally than people wanting chip.
 
Christopher Weeks
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I waited nine months and then added a $40 bounty. I live in the woods and about ten miles from a pulp mill that I think might make for an easier place to sell loads of chips, except when they're doing the work in a fairly narrow area. I have gotten one load just by calling arborists, but they're mostly not interested in my $50. I'd take ten loads if I could.
 
Heather Staas
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I definitely have better luck now that I"m more urban.  

I also added the donation/fee to my request as incentive.

I also put in clear description of access (70 foot driveway with power lines, but backing in should clear the lines and leave room for dumping, smaller trucks preferred).  

I put in a request on Weds. afternoon and got a drop Friday morning.. that is the fastest I've ever gotten a drop.   I also think it's gotten more popular/ known to arborists in my area now.   A few years ago it took a lot longer to get a drop, even with a big parking lot access available.  

I think I've done about 200 wheelbarrows so far LOL.  I figure I"ll be done moving/spreading it by late October!
 
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For those of you who get chips, I'll offer a little tip:
I use the Rubbermaid garbage cans to move them. I put the can on it's side to start and use a garden fork to push chips from the edge of the pile into the can, tipping it up periodically to get more room at the opening. As it's too full for that, I lean it against the pile and fork from the top, still with mostly a pushing action. Then I use my dolly to move the can where I want the chips and just tip it up to empty it.

I've moved a *lot* of chips in my time, and found shoveling it much harder and slower than the fork/garbagecan/push system.
 
gardener
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So please tell us, what are your plans with all those wood chips?

Eric
 
Edward Norton
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Jay Angler wrote:For those of you who get chips, I'll offer a little tip:
I use the Rubbermaid garbage cans to move them.



Awesome tip - I’ve been using child labour, snow shovels and yard cart . . .

Eric Hanson wrote:So please tell us, what are your plans with all those wood chips?



For now, I’m burying half my back lawn a foot deep. I’m going to mix in some wine cap spore. In the spring, I’ll start growing veg. Here’s my initial rough and ready plan and a little progress. It’s pretty much a blank canvas.
DE25AFCB-14F4-47DF-9D8D-388C4686EB05.jpeg
Plans for wood chips
Plans for wood chips
283510F8-39F5-497C-84AD-5ABC8F229AE8.jpeg
Laying down wood chips
Laying down wood chips
 
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That's so great you've got a good supply of cardboard to hand in one go. It's amazing how little area it covers once it's spread out in my experience. Hopefully you've got nothing too pernicious in the lawn, but the wood chip should loosen the soil nicely if there are any creeping roots to pull out.
I found, surprisingly, that a smallish garden fork was much better than a shovel for digging my woodchip. I guess the chips lock together, which makes putting in a blade much more difficult than a spike, but hold together remarkably well in the gap in between the tines of the fork.

I can see you've been having fun playing fantasy gardens! Just think four dimensionally...
 
Eric Hanson
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Excellent!  Go for those Wine Caps!
 
Heather Staas
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I said that to someone recently too when they brought me a "huge" pile of cardboard.   You'd be surprised how much cardboard a project like that eats!  
 
Edward Norton
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Nancy Reading wrote:
I can see you've been having fun playing fantasy gardens! Just think four dimensionally...



Great reminder. Had fun over the weekend creating the base layer, so I’m now out digging drains!
 
Edward Norton
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Jay’s method works a treat. I emptied our recycling wheelie bin and used it with a fork.



I’m guessing it holds six to eight cubic feet, easy enough to wheel about and tip over using the grab bars.



I spent about three hours laying down card and moving chip this morning,



Lawn is disappearing and so is the massive pile of chips. I think I’ve moved about half. The magic is already happening, the pile was hot and steamy.
 
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I was on chip drop lists for years and never had so much as a communication, let alone a single chip, from anywhere. I have contacted multiple tree companies with no success either. If anyone has any suggestions to get results, please forward them.
 
Matt McSpadden
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Hi Carmen,
My best luck was stopping by the trucks when they are working nearby. Ask to speak to the person in charge. I have found speaking to the people doing the work, works better than calling the company itself. I also bought a couple dump truck loads from a company that was clearing a lot for a building. I could have gotten probably 8 dump truck loads if I had wanted, but I didn't have the room or the money.
 
Edward Norton
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Phase 1 done, chip has been moved.





Just a few inches left which I’ll rake up when it cools down.

I had a second drop, just logs, soon after the first. The chap who delivered them wanted to know if I would be interested in more chip. Of course! But I wasn’t done moving the first lot. He said not to worry, he had a job in the neighbourhood in a couple of weeks.

Doorbell just rang, log-man is back with chip! So now I have another pile to move, a nice problem to have.



My plan out the back is coming along nicely. I’m going to dig some trenches and put in soaker drains. Soil is rock hard dirt and I need a better set of tools.



Now you can see why I need chip. Not much is going to grow in that.
 
Edward Norton
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Third pile arrived yesterday a day after I cleared the second pile. Chip is now part of my daily routine. Get up, shower, dress, coffee, 1 hour of moving chip. I have now covered 2/3 rd’s of my back lawn (800 sqft) somewhere between eight and twelve inches. The first corner has dropped a bit. I dug into it yesterday and it’s full of worms, so the magic is happening.


Gold at the end of the rainbow
 
gardener
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Hey,  can you tell us more about the soaker drains you're installing?
 
Edward Norton
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William Bronson wrote:Hey,  can you tell us more about the soaker drains you're installing?



Stage one was to fix the gutters, you can see what I did here:
Badge Bit - Clean Repair, improve gutters

The water in the down pipe goes through a filter and then into a 4 inch pipe.

The pipe is in a trench I dug with my new trenching tool from Lee Valley - How would you dig a trench in this - tool advice please



It linked up with two of these:

($18 soaker pipes from box store)



The black four inch pipe comes in three flavours. I went for the thickest, most robust, most expensive . . . It’s buried under a foot of chip but the thiner stuff felt too flimsy.



I also built a simple frame with a 2.5 degree slope (right  leg longer than left so when the spirit level is level or the bubble is on the left I have 2.5 or greater slope).



Hope that answers your question.

 
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I can get free wood chips here, have a pile, twigs and one inch thick, beggars can not be choosers,  You could did a hole, throw wood chips in hole, then take ~dirt you removed to cover.   I even throw them in growing area, move them out of area and plant.
 
William Bronson
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Edward,  love what you're doing!
That slope indicator in particular is very slick!
 
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We have checked with chip drop and they don't come here, but have found alternatives. Our Solid waste dept. where we take things to the dump usually has chips that they have done from Christmas trees and they will put in bed of truck for us, but we have to shovel out of truck and costs about $15. Not bad, another alternative is we have an arborist that comes to our town from another town and I asked if they would give us some mulch and they said they would dump at our place for free as they go right by our home. So, this is our choice.
 
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I'm working on my first chip drop now. I tried for a year or so to get a drop with no luck. Then I offered 40 dollars and got it within a couple of months.  I tried a fork for moving first, but it seemed like I wasn't getting much to stay on my fork. The flat shovel worked better, but I'm going to try the fork and the garbage can next. My vegetable beds have never looked better!
 
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Hilarious Chipdrop story:

We signed up and didn't get any drops for months. It put some "nice to have" projects behind so my husband did the option where you pay the $20 fee and then it was winter and we kind of forgot about it.

Fast forward 2 months, we had a bunch of trees cleared and with them gained a woodchip pile the size of an single-wide trailer, with another 2 regular sized piles in front of it. We're set for woodchips for life and will probably end up with soil at the base before we get through the pile.

2 days later...Chipdrop dumps a pile of woodchips in front of our chip piles. And we get charged $20.
 
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I’ve found that a hay fork works really well for scooping chips. Mine is wider than the standard fork, has thin tines, maybe 4-6 of them and they are slightly curved. Really easy to get into the chips and can get a large scoop on there easily. Can scoop a wheelbarrow heaping full in less than a minute. I also heap the wheelbarrow full until it spills off all sides, it’s amazing how much more fits after it looks like it is full.
 
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Has anyone tried contacting your local utility companies to see when they'll be trimming power lines/cable TV lines/phone lines in your area and, what companies do the work for them? I think in my neck of the woods, it's about every 4 years. So, knowing that ahead of time, you might be able to snag some chips.
 
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Edward Norton wrote:Jay’s method works a treat. I emptied our recycling wheelie bin and used it with a fork.



Does anyone have experience using this technique with soil? - filling the large recycling bin and wheeling it... or is soil too heavy?
 
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Jay Angler wrote:For those of you who get chips, I'll offer a little tip:
I use the Rubbermaid garbage cans to move them. I put the can on it's side to start and use a garden fork to push chips from the edge of the pile into the can, tipping it up periodically to get more room at the opening. As it's too full for that, I lean it against the pile and fork from the top, still with mostly a pushing action. Then I use my dolly to move the can where I want the chips and just tip it up to empty it.

I've moved a *lot* of chips in my time, and found shoveling it much harder and slower than the fork/garbagecan/push system.




I agree. Shoveling takes more time and and effort.

We use 15 gallon nursery pots, (We have a few.) I stand in front of the pot and swoop the chips in with both (gloved) hands. Sometimes, I even have a mask on. It’s fun!
I learned it from my 70+ year old friend.

They’re light enough for a petite middle-age woman to pick-up or drag, then dump.  (or put two in a hand truck) and just enough for my older husband to fill up a few and call it a day. It takes us many weeks to use it all up but it’s workable. 🧑🏽‍🦳👴🏻

We also tell our neighbors (and friends) and that they’re welcome to have as much as they want.
 
Tina Lim
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Matt McSpadden wrote:My experience was the same as Christopher's. I think it depends greatly on where you are.



And the timing.

I live in the suburbs. I never got a load the first time. The 2nd time, took weeks. The last time, this spring, I got it two days later. We weren’t quite ready but it was there when I looked outside and they dropped half of it on the neighbors extra driveway.

A good problem.

The pictures are after we’ve removed the half from the neighbors side. It was a huge pile. 🤩
8E52FD62-CC40-4A6A-8B4F-1282738FB539.jpeg
wood-chips
CEACBBA7-AB98-41B4-B216-520613E87603.jpeg
pile-of-wood-chips
 
Michael Moreken
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someone stole my pitch fork so I have to buy another at lowes.
 
Heather Staas
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I finally picked up a cheap greenhouse (it's been on my wish list for a few years now ) and fenced in my sideyard, added the space to my backyard.   No more grass.   I'm starting to wonder if my chipdrop pile this summer is going to be ENOUGH instead of wondering how I was going to give away all the extra LOL.  
greenhouse.jpg
greenhouse
 
Edward Norton
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Heather Staas wrote:I finally picked up a cheap greenhouse (it's been on my wish list for a few years now ) and fenced in my sideyard, added the space to my backyard.   No more grass.   I'm starting to wonder if my chipdrop pile this summer is going to be ENOUGH instead of wondering how I was going to give away all the extra LOL.  



Looking good - love the herb spiral!

I’ve had four loads so far, which is now in place. I could do with a few more drops for the side garden and front lawn. I’ll hold off until next summer though, as I need to start planting the back first.
 
Don Fini
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I’ve pretty much given up on chip drop, thinking of investing in a chipper shredder
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