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Is this woodchip?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by enginestar, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. enginestar

    enginestar Apprentice Gardener

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    I contacted a tree surgeon and told him I needed woodchip for my back garden.
    He came round and dropped off what looks like a mountain of leave and wood cuttings - the wood can be seen sparsely.

    He assured me that this was woodchip. He said you get different grades of woodchip.
    He told me it wouldn't turn into mud.
    I'm now scratching my head worrying - I have a mountain in my front garden leaning against my house.

    Does this look OK?:

    [​IMG]

    Any help would be appreciated. I need to decide what to do.
    I was going to go and buy black membrane to put in garden and then take this and pour over.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  2. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    Doesn't look like woodchip to me, but I guess there is no accepted definition. What do you actually woodchip want it for? If its for paths that doesn't look much use.
     
  3. Marley Farley

    Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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    Hi @enginestar I would say it is wood chip but it is fresh wood chip hence the green leaves.. My S in L is a tree surgeon I get get wood chip to mulch every year but I have the two year + old chips.. I never use new chips like that as they have no real water retention and you sometimes get sticky sap as well...

    I would go back and ask him how old they are myself as they don't look rotted to me..
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      Freshly chipped as said above.
      I think you have recent, probably same day, chippings from a pruning or felling job.

      Thing is, did you ask for rotted chippings.
       
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      • Marley Farley

        Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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        That said @pete any tree surgeon with a reputation would/should ask what you want them for.. You just don’t mulch with same year wood chips normally...
         
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        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          If I wanted it for paths I say that would be ok.
          Do tree surgeons actually store chippings for people that want part rotted ones then.

          Mostly when I see tree surgeons at work in wooded areas they just set up the chipper to pile the stuff in among the surrounding trees, I guess if they are working in gardens etc. they have to cart them away.
          Wonder what they do with them then?:biggrin:
           
        • Marley Farley

          Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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          @pete I don’t think I would want it for paths either, much too green..
          All the tree surgeons in this area and that I know who have land of their own have wood chip piles as they sell them to public schools, parks, gardens the list goes on and of course if they are like my S in L who also designs gardens as well, they use them in planting jobs that they do quite often..
           
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          • enginestar

            enginestar Apprentice Gardener

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            guys, thanks for the replies.
            i went to b&q and spoke to a nice lady who told me she thought all was ok.

            the woodchip: not for path, but just to cover 2 areas of the garden, a left part and right part. in the middle is a mini path (say 5m long) to my office from the back of my house.

            (plan is to have plant boxes on top where i can grow things individually.)

            i can't put down grass, we have a big trampoline that the kids love. i considered artificial grass - but thought i would wait till i become a millionaire to get that.

            then i came up with the idea of getting woodchip.

            the areas had sand put over soil. sand - i had 3 ton bags left over from our extension. the builders said it would be a 'wonderful idea' to put over the soil (that was badly damaged from the building work). move forward 12-15 months and weeds had taken over the place. only recently i got rid of and pulled out everywhere.

            i spent 4 hours transporting the wood chip to the back garden. back breaking work. i think i must have 2000 litres or something.

            the tree surgeon said that he thought i would need another load as he thought the woodchip wouldn't be enough!
             
          • Mike Allen

            Mike Allen Gardener

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            I think you have saved this tree surgeon afew quid and perhaps even paid him for dumpong his load on your doorstep.
            Forgive me for quoting from the past but, years ago, trees were felled or pruned. On the larger side like woodlands, forests etc chippers weren't invented. Either the feelings were left to rit or wre cut into suitable lengths stacked into cords for purchasers to take away and use as fuel.

            Woodchip and even the mounds of sawdust is going to provide you with an almighty growth of fungi, part of natures way of getting rid of or reducing to zilch vegitation.

            In the photo, this is simply as far as the tree surgeon is concerned. Todays truck load of waste. There shouldn't be any leaves and the wood chips should be well dried out.

            Over recent years so many things have become items for recycling and garden and food waste has become multi purpose compost, woody plants, tree, shrubs and the like now give us, woodchip. The latter is used for mulching to control weed growth. For soft woodland style pathways. Horse rides and equetrian paddocks, and yes, even childrens play areas.

            To buy and use as woodchip. See before you buy. The wood needs to be DEAD finely chipped.
             
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            • Verdun

              Verdun Passionate gardener

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              Enginestar, not ideal for using at this time of year really.....it tends to deplete nitrogen levels in the soil initially. However, do not despair. I see no problem using it in autumn and, afraid to say it but we arent too far away now, it is fine as a mulch. Will be better next year
              I would not take another batch though until this has been down for a year or more and use it in autumn :)
               
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              • enginestar

                enginestar Apprentice Gardener

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                Ouch.
                Should I get advice before laying down?
                That reminds me, I need to order membrane.

                If what you say is true, I'm a little upset that human beings can be that uncaring.

                @Verdun just read your reply. He said it would turn into mulch. I nodded intelligently pretending that I knew what mulch was. i actually have no clue! He said the mulch could be topped up with 'attractive' looking woodchip later in the year - or I could go tot b&q and buy right now, but that would cost £150+.

                So what is mulch and why do I need it?

                Thanks.
                 
              • Verdun

                Verdun Passionate gardener

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                Enginestar
                Mulch is a layer of material that forms a layer on top of the soil to help conserve moisture. You can get fabric membranes, gravel etc. that do nothing for the soil to enrich it or you can add compost, manure, bark chips, leaf mould, mushroom compost etc., that actually feeds the soil as well as help conserve moisture......i.e. Living mulches. Living mulches for me :)
                They are excellent for birds, soil life, plant life and copy nature's own system for enriching the soil (leaf drop in autumn for example)
                 
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                • enginestar

                  enginestar Apprentice Gardener

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                  so... should i keep the 'woodchip' supplied?
                  i did actually want membrane to stop weed growth - it was an immense amount of work getting rid of.

                  let me know. just a bit worried about the amount of work needed to get rid of the MASSIVE mountain i have.

                  thanks
                   
                • Verdun

                  Verdun Passionate gardener

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                  Yes, keep it, use it.
                  Mulches like woodchip, compost, etc. should be at least 3" thick. They will then suppress annual weeds and enrich the soil :)
                   
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                  • Kandy

                    Kandy Will be glad to see the sun again soon.....

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                    Those green leaves look like Ivy leaves to me so you need to make sure there are none of the stems with roots attached or else you might end up having Ivy growing wherever you use the mulch unless the mulch is so dry that any stemmed roots have already died...
                     
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