wood chips-1Sometimes it just pays to pick up the phone and ask. I have been wanting wood much for around the chicken coop, the multiple mesquite trees I have, the front flower beds and also to get areas of my yard ready to plant into next year. Wood chip mulch runs about $3.50 a bag here and my head was kind exploding at the cost it would be to do all I wanted to do with wood chips. I had planned on just getting a few bags here and there because of the expense.. so it would also take me a long time to get the amount I need.

wood chips-3A few days ago I passed a utility company trimming trees out of power lines and did my usual eye roll at them butchering the shape of the trees. I love the natural shape of most trees and shrubs and hate it when they hack them apart like this. I understand it protects the power lines but still .. ugh. I am very careful when I plant any tree to make sure it will not grow up and into any line and warrant this kind of attack in the future. I also get a bit peeved when I see trees that were not natural but planted being chopped up and into to make the power lines safe.

wood chips-2As I drove on past the wood chipper truck .. some where in middle of the eye roll I wondered what they did with the wood chips. I hoped they dumped them in a place to be composted, but started to consider they may be going to waste some where and the utility company might be interested in a place to drop some of their chips.

wood chips-6So I stopped rolling my eyes and made that phone call to my electric company. They are always so nice and helpful when I have previously called, so I asked what became of the wood chips from tree trimming around their power lines. I was told they did not know as the work was contracted out to local tree trimmers. I explained why I was asking and she said she would pass my question to the trimmers. She then took my name and number and said she would send that to the people contracted for the work and see if they would contact me to discuss the matter. I hung up and figured that was the end of that.  I honestly did not figure she would pass along my information.. and sure did not expect the tree trimmers to contact me. Boy was I wrong.

wood chips-7I got a call that day from the company that does tree trimming in my area. He told me he received an email stating some one was interested in the wood chips and to please contact me to discuss it. I explained I needed a lot of mulch and also wanted to put the chips in the chicken run and needed a lot of chips. He was concerned about the amount I would receive and I reassured him I had plenty of places to put the chips. He was thrilled to have a place to drop the chips and said they were actually working around my home and could probably get some chips dropped the first part of this year. I was more than welcome to also keep in touch and just let them know anytime I needed more. I cannot believe how excited I was after that call. I was going to get wood chips.. and lots of them .. FREE! And .. I could get more at anytime. I had just tapped into a never ending supply of mulch.


wood chips-4If you are a gardener and need chips or just want to mulch your flower beds every year, I highly recommend contacting your utility company to see what happens to their trimmings from keeping the power lines clear. Some companies compost them and have the chips and mulch available to those who get service from their company. Typically you have to present a bill to show your address and proof of service. For this service you need a truck and or trailer and must haul them yourself.

I also recommend checking out Chip Drop. I saw them listed in my local Craigslist and registered.. but they were new to my area, I am out in the boonies and so I had been waiting for months for a load of chips. The purpose of this site is to pair tree trimmers with people that want chips and very successful in the areas whee it is more established. I asked the man that called me if he knew about the site and he had not heard of it but was interested and would check it out. He explained it was difficult to find places to put the chips and having people use them as mulch and in gardens it actually the best place for them. I always find it amazing that one persons problem is another persons solution. We just need to find ways to get the two together.

So.. in great expectation of my first load of wood chips I am pricing wheelbarrows. Can’t think of a better way to stay warm this winter than moving FREE wood chips.




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