Wood chips in compost and soil
Kris (kiddo_1) from Ohio mentioned in the thread about Christmas Desires...
... that wood chips seem to break down slowly in the compost pile, but break down quickly when used as mulch.
That observation has stuck with me and I'm going to try an experiment. I'm going to add a bunch of aged wood chips to a new batch of compost, and when the compost has finished, (except for the wood chips) I'm going to spread it on the top of a garden bed and pay attention to how long the wood chips last.
The theory here is that wood chips break down better in the mulch environment. I know that fungi feed on wood. This fall I watched in amazement as some black mushrooms pushed hunks hard clay soil off of the roots of a rose plant and 'bloomed'. I've seen mushrooms likewise bloom at the base of other tree trunks, so it's clear that fungi will feed on wood.
I doubt there's a Nitrogen deficit in my soil or compost. I use copious amounts of grass clippings and coffee grounds. So I'm not concerned about wood robbing the soil of Nitrogen.