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Where can I find free wood chips?

 
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I am wanting to get some areas ready for gardening in the spring. (Almost said next year, already?☺) I have contacted local tree clearing companies but not much luck. I tried lumber yards but due to liability they are not really willing to give out their goodies. I saw a post here recently and was thinking power company? Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!! Happy New Year!
 
steward
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Howdy Emily , welcome to permies!

Really , your tree clearing companies wouldn't give them away? Here in Colorado they will dump loads in your driveway for free.

What about asking your local county parks people, county extension agent, county master gardeners?

Lawn care companies maybe?
 
pollinator
Posts: 2419
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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For the lumber yard, I would do the same thing I do for cardboard or coffee grounds. Ask them if they mind if I grab some compost from near there trash can. They normally say we can't give it you without you having a waste removal license but we can put it to the side and I didn't give it to you. It helps if you have bought stuff from them.

For the arborist guys call 20 and 2 will call back. Don't waste your time with landscapers, also this is the worse time to call. The spring is best or after a strong that down trees.
 
master steward
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I get them from my city.  I have to haul them myself but they have piles of them in the spring and fall when they go around picking up leaves and branches from the residents.  If I lived in the city limits they said they'd deliver them for free.  But it's a small city so maybe I'm lucky...
 
pollinator
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Location: Boston, Massachusetts
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We get our chips from a local arborist who we use for all of our tree work. So, we get our own chips when they're here (maybe every 2-3 years), as well as anytime that I call.
They usually show up within the week, or the next week. I have asked for just one load, and I have also asked for 100 cubic yards (they made 3-4 trips over a two week span).

There is a service called Chip Drop, which is a sort of matchmaking service for arborists and gardeners. I have not used it since we already have a good thing going with our arborist...
Chip Drop
 
pollinator
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Location: North Carolina, USA Zone 7b
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Hi Emily!   Are you in a city?   I would follow the advice of others...call every tree service/arborist in your town.  They save money not having to pay dump fees.   In my city one of the arborists got wise and has started charging $100 to dump a load!   But another one gives them free if you live within ten miles of the job they are doing that day.   I found them on Craigslist where they post where they'll be working that day.  Sometimes I have to put in my request several times over months before they show up so patience and persistence are required

I also get dump trucks of shredded leaves from a lawn service company.   I drove around old, affluent neighborhoods where the giant oaks and maples are,  and called the numbers on the trucks working in the neighborhood.  Of course I don't want their regular grass clippings throughout the year,   just the fresh leaves in the fall, which is the end of November here.

Good luck!
 
pollinator
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Location: Derbyshire, UK
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Try building sites as well- builders often clear the site first and chip any wood stuff, and generally have no use for the wood chips (this is the only way I've ever gotten free wood chips- arborists always charged for them)
 
pollinator
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Location: San Diego, California
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This site may be operating in your area:

ChipDrop

Just make a profile, request a load, and, when one becomes available, they'll come by and drop it for free.

I signed up a few weeks ago, but my Load criteria (no logs, no invasive pepper or eucalyptus trees) is pretty limiting, so it might be awhile before a load comes my way.
 
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