• George R. Lee

Should You Use Natural Wood Chips in Your Landscape?

Updated: Apr 22


What are natural wood chips (also known as arborist wood chips)? Arborist wood chips are essentially any material that gets processed through a wood chipper. Arborist wood chips are a by-product of tree work, which includes all parts of the tree or shrub, deciduous or evergreen being grinded through a chipper. This may include bark, branches, leaves, berries, blooms, and larger wood.


Benefits of using arborist wood chips in your landscape or garden:


  1. Weed Suppression: By adding a 2-4 inch thick layer of wood chips in an area, weed seeds tend not to germinate. This weed suppression is due to the natural process of decomposition. As the wood chips slow decay, they absorb nitrogen from the surface of the soil, thereby eliminating seed germination.

  2. Moisture Retention and Drought Buffering: Arborist wood chips help keep the soil saturated which helps keep plants and vegetation well hydrated. This buffers the effects of seasonal drought stress. Natural wood chips also keep the soil cool and help block out damaging harsh sunlight.

  3. Soil Amendment and Sustainability: By decomposing slowly, nutrients from arborist wood chips are released into the soil and offer a diverse environment of organisms and microbes. These encourage and support a long term, healthy plant population in any landscape or garden.

  4. Environmentally Friendly: They make a more earth conscious choice for walking paths, berms, garden beds and landscape beds. Using arborist wood chips in the landscape as opposed to chemically treated and color dyed materials simply makes "green" sense.


When and how to apply arborist wood chips?


Apply and spread in your desired location with a depth of 2-4 inches. Be careful not to spread directly on trees and shrubs or around the base of any plant as the roots need room to "breath."


Where to find arborist wood chips?



Try calling your local tree service company first. Some companies do charge for chips or for delivery. Others will offer them free if they are available and working in your area. You can also buy arborist wood chips by the bag online and some communities have them stock piled at various locations for you to load your own.


Branch Tree Service continues to seek ways to be good stewards of our ecosystem. We offer wood chips as follows:

  • Pick up wood chips at our location during normal business hours.

  • Have a truck load delivered at a predetermined spot when we are working in your area. Please note that we only deliver in truck loads of either 10-12 yards or 20-24 yards and will deliver it after the completion of the local job so timing will vary.

  • Schedule a delivery. With this option, there will be a delivery charge based on your location.

Whenever you need help with your trees, shrubs or landscape, call the professionals at Branch Tree Service.