Arborist chips are a source of free organic matter that can be used as a long lived mulch.

Arborist chips are what's done with the branches when an arborist gets done pruning. Arborists are often looking for a place to dump their load. Typically you may get up to 9 yards in a single dump, perhaps more. Here are some pointers:

  • The time of year determines how many leaves and hence how much nitrogen your chips will have.
  • The quality of the chips (fine chips with few branches) is dependent on the size and sharpness of the chipper. The best situation is to peek in the back of the truck before asking for the load.
  • You will not likely get to determine when they arrive. Most arborists keep a list and dump based on convenience to the job site.
  • If the piles are nice and wet and finely chipped and contain some leaves they will produce some heat.
  • The place where you have the chips dumped will be thoroughly rotted if you let them sit for a while.
  • Chips arriving in late summer and fall may have viable seed from trees that could sprout up a storm.
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