Wood Chips on the Lawn

pacset(21286)March 12, 2008

We just had 7 Red Oak trees cut down on our front lawn. There are a lot of wood chips on the lawn from the cutting and stump grinding. I removed most of the stump grindings but there are still a lot of wood chips on the lawn. The lawn was also murdered by the guys and their machines. I have put down some line and am going to put topsoil, grass seed and fertilizer down after I areate. My question is; will the red oak wood chips hurt the new grass and how much of it should I remove?

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The chips themselves aren't going to hurt your grass at all unless they're piled deep enough to smother it in which case you can just rake them out.
You can lime if you're *sure* your soil is acidic, like readings less than 6 for most cool season grasses otherwise thats not going to do much either with regards to the chips. Where I live lime is probably the most mis-applied lawn product out there and that's saying something.

The one concern you might have is that wood chips are high in carbon and can rob the soil of N as they start to decompose. Maybe keep an eye on how quickly things green up and spray some N if you don't think your grass is coming back as quickly as it does most years. However long term the chips are going to add organic matter into the soil which is a good thing so don't freak out about them too much.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 3:58PM
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Have cut down 1 tree the past 3 years and always got mushrooms where the stumps were late in the summer. Last spring had a huge tree cut down and the company that removed the stump told me to apply powdered lime and granual lime before topping with new soil and seed. By August/September I still had shrooms growing at all previous tree areas but this area. Im heading out tonight to pick up both Limes to be prepared as I just had another tree taken down about a month ago. I also found to pile the soil on as it will settle a lot.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 6:58PM
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Mushrooms are present in soils with high carbon content and I don't see how the lime would address that and even if it did lime wouldn't have much residual benefit unless you apply an insane amount. My guess would be that the tree company did a very good job of removing the stump so that there wasn't enough carbon in the soil to host the fungi spores.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 7:38PM
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