Did you know that many trees that are removed end up in landfills? One way to reuse parts of removed trees is to find ways to use organic wood chips on your property. Using wood chips as organic mulch is one option, but how else can you use them?
In this article, we will go over alternative uses for wood chips that are created from a wood chipper during tree removal. Keep reading to learn some creative uses for this organic material!
Why Use Wood Chips in Your Phoenix-Area Yard?
Wood chips are an easy and inexpensive way to add organic materials to your property. They are easily available as a by-product from tree pruning or tree removals, and they help regulate temperatures and water levels around trees and plants.
As the wood chips decompose, nutrients are added to the soil, further benefiting the plants, shrubs, and trees growing nearby.
Some property owners are reluctant to use wood chips due to the false belief that the wood chips will attract termites or other pests, but this is not the case. In fact, in a study done by the University of Maryland, termites were more likely to be found under pea gravel than under wood chips. As a precaution, however, we recommend that you keep wood chips 12 inches away from the frame of your house or from any doorways.
You can read more about the positives (and negatives) of using different kinds of mulch on your property in our article Comparing and Contrasting Mulch and Rocks for Phoenix-Area Yards.
Seven Ways to Use Wood Chips in Your Yard and Garden
1. Use Wood Chips as Mulch
Mulch is one of our favorite ways to use mulch chips because it provides so many benefits to your trees and shrubs. Mulching your trees and shrubs helps to regulate soil temperature, stops water from evaporating too quickly, and adds nutrients to the soil as the wood chips break down.
Here's how to properly place the mulch:
- Spread the mulch in a layer no thicker than 2-3 inches
- Ensure no wood chips are touching the tree bark or root collar
- Don’t create mulch “volcanoes” by piling it around your trees or shrubs
2. Cushion the Ground in a Playground Area
Wood chips can be used around play areas to cushion the ground. Compared to other playground materials, chips are the most effective at preventing injuries.
They can also prevent the soil from becoming compacted too quickly and can lessen the amount of mud that is created when it rains.
We recommend spreading wood chips in playground areas to a minimum depth of 9 inches. The wood chips will compact as they're exposed to the elements and playground traffic so it's best to start out with a thicker layer.
If you use wood chips in a play area, remove any sharp twigs to prevent injuries.
3. Add Them as Mulch to Your Garden, Container, or Large Pots
Just as trees benefit from wood mulch, so do other plants. The wood chips can also bring a decorative touch to your containers and pots.
4. If You Have Gutters, Place Wood Chips Near the Downspout
This can prevent rainwater from eroding the ground there.
5. Create a Wood Chip Pathway
You can pour wood chips directly onto the ground and arrange them to form a pathway around your property. This can give your yard a more landscaped look and designate walking areas. If the wood chips are piled at least 2 inches thick, it should prevent any weeds from growing.
Add some edging or even rocks to the sides of the pathway to keep the chips from getting strewn about from wind, rain, or use.
6. Separate a Seating Area or Eating Spot by Spreading Wood Chips
Much like how an area rug can bring together an area indoors, an outdoor area spread with wood chips can work in a similar manner.
A circle of wood chips that contains a lounge chair and a side table, for instance, can become a reading nook. An outdoor dining set on an area with wood chips creates a clearly defined eating area.
7. Add Wood Chips to Your Compost Pile
Wood chips added to your compost pile will eventually break down and add nutrients to the compost.
There are many other ways to use wood chips in your Phoenix-area yard, but we hope that this article gave you some ideas!
When Should You Not Use Wood Chips in Your Yard?
In most cases, we don’t recommend using wood chips from a tree that was removed due to a disease or pest. Using these chips could spread the pest or disease to other trees or plants on your property.
Some Homeowner’s Associations can be picky about what materials are allowed on your property. Check with your HOA that wood chips are allowed, especially if you plan to use them in a less traditional way.
Ask For Wood Chips When Scheduling Tree Work
Next time you schedule a tree removal, ask if some of the mulched wood can be left on your property to be used as wood chips.
There are so many ways to use this eco-friendly material and you’ll be helping to keep some wood out of the landfill!
Contact Titan Tree Care if you have any questions about tree care, tree removals, or how we create wood chips from removed trees.
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Titan Tree Care is a full-service tree care company located in Anthem, AZ and serving all of North Phoenix. We offer a wide range of services to meet your tree care needs, including tree and palm trimming, tree pruning, tree removal, stump grinding, and more. We also offer insect or disease treatments and fertilization services. We are dedicated to providing high-quality, safe, and effective tree care services to our customers and work hard to ensure that your trees are healthy and look their best.