Wood Chip Myth

Anita Roselle anitaroselle@gmail.com
Sun, 26 Mar 2017 16:56:14 PDT

The free arborist woodchips are what I use, it fits my pocketbook and does
a good job. When I see trees being trimmed I stop and ask if they need a
place to dump them, usually they do. Where I am now there is a kids camp,
they have a lot of tree work done every year and I usually get it from
them, dumped at my place. I have a lot of areas planted and I could not
keep up with the weeds without it. If you get it from a arborist who has a
good chipper it is pretty uniform in size and looks good. When I want
something nicer I get some from a local saw mill, it is finer and breaks
down faster, its the bark and wood that comes off when they cut to flatten
the tree for slicing. They also have sawdust but I rarely if ever use that.
Around here the electric company trims the trees along their line about
every 2 years and they always need to have a place to dump them, they
contract with a co. called Asplund, I have used their chips also.

I understand the problem in dry climates, I have made a real rock garden,
created a 15" layer of fast draining soil, 1/3 decomposed wood chips, 1/2
sand and 1/3 gravel-small. I grow as many small dry climate plants as will
decide to accomadate me. Most purchased from Laport Ave. Nursery, Fort
Collins, CO. In the rock garden I use a gravel mulch, I have a friend that
has most of her garden mulched with the gravel. She is a nationally known
rockgardener. So many things self sow very successfully in the gravel. I
have not been able to do it that extensively due to budget, gravel is very
expensive here, haven't found a way to get that free yet.

Here we usually get up to 60" of rain a year, it's a temperate rain forrest
according to the Nat. Weather Serv. Everything grows with abandon except
the one plant I have had a problem with.

On Sun, Mar 26, 2017 at 6:47 PM, penstemon <penstemon@q.com> wrote:

> >When using arborist's wood chips (not retail bark chips) in the garden,
> the
> >chips do not bind up nitrogen in the soil if you just lay them on top of
> the
> >soil. Here the arborist's chips are free but you do have to take a truck
> >load, about 10-13 cu.ft. if you are spreading them yourself.
> In a semiarid climate like mine, wood mulches, like mulches of other
> organic matter, prevent rainfall from reaching the soil.
> I use gravel, or no mulch at all.
> Bob Nold
> Denver, Colorado, USA
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