Opinions on best type of tree for wood chip mulch?

californianJune 3, 2011

The tree service guy who just delivered 6 cubic yards of free wood chips from an assortment of Crape Myrtle, Carrot Wood, and Pine trees said he could probably get me wood chips from just about any type of tree that grows in southern California. I asked him what he recommended and he said avoid hardwood like Eucalyptus or Chinese Elm, and just about any softwood was good. He said the highest demand was citrus tree and fruit tree wood, and I would have to get on a waiting list for those. I was thinking camphor tree wood would be good if one got it at the time of the year when there weren't any berries on it. I like the smell of pine, and the pine needles would probably be good for the alkaline soil we have in southern California. Any really aromatic wood anyone can thing of?

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

The best wood chips to use as mulch are those that are free, when you start paying for them then you can get selective as to type, but none are better then any other.
Pine needlse do not have any significant affect on soil pH, nor do Oak leaves (pH 3.7), Maple leaves (pH 3.2), Beech (pH 3.4), etc.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 6:30AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

Pretty much any tree that needs to be chopped down, (except maybe black walnut)!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 10:24AM
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lazy_gardens

I asked him what he recommended and he said avoid hardwood like Eucalyptus or Chinese Elm

What was his reasoning for avoiding these? Aside from maybe black walnut ... chips is chips!

I've used wood chips from the following trees: eucalyptus, olive, mesquite and palo verde. it's all good. '

I'm with kimmsr: if it's FREE, it's good.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 2:04PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

How did you find the tree service guy to deliver the free chips? Did you just call one or more and ask if they deliver free wood chips? I need some this weekend and am wondering who to call.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:20AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

If its free, its good. I've probably have every single tree that grows int he upper midwest represented in my veggie beds.. it all works.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:07PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

In most communities, tree companies have to pay a fee to take their loads to a dump. They are almost always very glad to have people ask for the chips so that they don't have to shell out a lot of money.

jenn, just use the yellow pages to locate tree companies. Use one that brags about how 'pretty' their mulch is...meaning that it won't be filled with cones, sticks, leaves, and other stuff that really don't make for an attractive mulch, free or not.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:46PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Thanks rhizo, I'll do that. Do the ads really state that?? We need it tomorrow and I'm at work, so I'll find one for next time. My husband is concerned about leaves and seeds and we're wondering how they can give just the wood when the whole branch goes through the chipper.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 10:03AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Sorry, I wasn't clear...use the yellow pages to find the phone numbers, then call and talk to them IN PERSON. That's how you'll find out a bit of information about their mulch.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 12:14AM
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iowa50126(z5IA)

I agree free wood chips are always good.

I got a truck load from the local Tree Service when he pruned my trees this Spring, but that was unusual. The tree service guys won't just give them away as they have regular customers who need them.

Here Iowa, wood chips are NOT ALLOWED in landfills.

Most of the wood chips generated by Tree Services are used at county DOT sites to compost "road kill" (mostly deer) and at Hog Confinement Farms to compost dead baby pigs.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 3:35PM
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lazy_gardens

Jenn - My husband is concerned about leaves and seeds and we're wondering how they can give just the wood when the whole branch goes through the chipper.

What you get is a mix of wood chips and shredded leaves. It makes a good mulch. Tree sprouts will be a very minor issue. See baby tree, pull it out.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 7:05PM
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