Wood Chips in Plant Beds

The Benefits of Using Arborist Wood Chips

What are Arborist Wood Chips?

Arborists are the people who specialize in tree care. When a tree service needs to take down a tree and grind it up using a chipper, those fresh untreated chips are what is meant by clean, rough cut Arborist Wood Chips. They are ideal to use as mulch, much better than bark mulch or the packaged treated commercial mulch sold in stores. The chips that we are using in the East Side Native Plant Garden at the Celery Farm were kindly donated by the Mahwah Tree Service.

What are the Benefits of Arborist Wood Chips?

Arborist wood chips mulch, spread 2-4 inches deep, no closer than 6-10 inches to seedling plugs, suppress weeds, prevent compaction and erosion, and retains moisture. The best arborist wood chips come from a wide variety of trees and include all parts of the tree, including leaves, branches, twig bark, roots, and trunk, with a wide variety of particle sizes and shapes. Can be old or fresh wood. Arborist Wood Chips support a wide diversity of soil life that supports healthier plants.

A variety in size, shape, type of material, and decomposition rate provides habitat and food for a diverse population of beneficial soil organisms including fungi, mycorrhizal fungi, and ground beetles. Mulch that is more uniform in size, shape, and material doesn’t support such a broad diversity of soil life.

Diversity in material and particle size results in less compaction compared to uniform mulches like bark, sawdust, or finely ground mulches. The different sizes and shapes also create more spaces and air gaps between particles, and less compaction and more oxygen are beneficial.

Aborist Wood Chips are large and chunky enough to stay on the soil surface and not move down into the soil, providing a better cover for weed suppression, reduced erosion, moderating soil temperature (also spread in Fall for Winter), and retaining soil moisture. Fine mulch mixes in with the soil after a little rain or minor soil disturbance.

Arborist Wood Chips use some nitrogen at the soil surface where the wood chips touch the soil, but they won’t tie up nitrogen in the root zone where plants need it. The chips break down slowly and stay on the surface longer, and saves replenishing as frequently as fine wood chips. This allows the fungi and microorganisms to break down the soil at their own pace.