It's important to know what you're signing up for, before you sign up. For that reason, we've provided a plain-english 'rules of engagement' to get everyone's expectations on the same level.
Please read this before signing up. If you have any questions, just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why would I want this?
Arborist's wood chips make a great mulch for your yard or garden. Mulching around garden beds and along pathways will help keep down weeds and retain moisture in your soil.
Arborists chips aren't like store-bought mulch. Please look at all of our pictures to see what kind of product you're getting before you sign up to receive a load.
How big is a Chip Drop?
You'll receive up to 15 yards of wood chips in a single delivery. That's about the size of a minivan, maybe a little bigger. There is no way to request a specific amount; you won't know how much you're getting until it shows up. It could be as little as 4 yards.
15 yards may seem like a lot, but wood chips break down quickly, and it's recommended to spread them in a thick layer to work effectively, up to 9" thick! If you end up having more than you need, give some away to your neighbors! The crews won't drop partial loads, so please be ready to accept up to 15 yards.
Here are some pictures to show you what you're getting. Most of these pictures came from homeowners who were upset with the size of the load or the amount of leaves and pine needles in them. Please consider this before signing up.
How to prepare before a Chip Drop
The following tips can help ensure that the chips get dropped where you want them, without issue:
Your dump spot must be accessible to the crew without a phone call prior. If you require a call ahead of time, you should not sign up for this service.
Make sure the dump spot is big enough. No less than 8' wide, and 15' long, with room for the truck to maneuver. The chips will spill out on all sides, so make sure to barricade or move any delicate plants, pots, yard art, garden gnomes, etc., that might get buried.
Make sure there aren't cars parked in the dump spot during the day.
Areas along busy streets (speed limit >25mph) are not great dump spots.
Check for low overhead lines and tree branches that the drop box would hit as it's being raised. They can go up pretty high, about 20'.
Leave a marker on the place where you want the chips dropped. This can be a tarp, a cone, or a six pack of beer.
Include a secondary dump spot in your description, in case the crew is not able to drop them at your first choice. (e.g. 'If you can't drop them in the driveway, drop them on the side of the road in front of the house.')
What's allowed in a Chip Drop?
A typical load contains about 50% wood chips and 50% green, leafy material or pine needles. About 5% of the load is often unchipped brush, small sticks, and maybe a few scoops of dirt, gravel or trash.
There is always a small amount of material at the end of a job that the chipper won't accept for one reason or another. In order to make this service viable, a small amount of random debris should be expected in each load. Just chuck it in your refuse bin.
What's not allowed in a Chip Drop?
None of the following items should be included in a wood chip load:
logs (unless the gardener has specified that they accept logs)
more garbage than you could pickup with two hands
large rocks over 1"
any wood species that the gardener has specified they do not accept
un-chipped brush or woody material that is over 5% of the entire load. This includes long, shredded or stringy chips that have been processed by a poorly adjusted chipper. Check your anvil and blade gap (arborists).
dirt, grass clippings, rocks, or any landscaping or fill materials
old wood chips that have been sitting for more than 2 weeks
construction waste, including plywood, lumber, nails and screws, etc.
As an arborist, you may have bad loads from time to time that do not meet Chip Drop's requirements. Also, if your chipper blades are dull, or the blades are not adjusted correctly, you may produce a stringy, shredded material that is not appropriate for delivery at Chip Drop sites. Any time you have a 'bad load', please dump it somewhere else.
Accidents happen. In the event of an accident, the following describes who is responsible for reparations:
Arborist trucks are heavy. If your driveway is thin enough, it could crack from the weight of a large truck. Any damage to your driveway or yard as a result of an arborist's truck is the responsibility of the property owner, not the arborist or Chip Drop.
It is the responsibility of the arborist to know if they can safely maneuver and drop a load in the specified location. Any damage to property, with the exception of the driveway, as a result of an arborist's truck, or the chips or logs they drop, is the responsibility of the arborist.
Chip Drop is not liable for any damage to persons or property related to the delivery of wood chips or logs. If an incident involving personal injury or property damage occurs, Chip Drop will help to facilitate a resolution by putting each party in contact with each other. It is up to the parties involved to resolve the issue independently of Chip Drop. Chip Drop is not liable for fees, fines or penalties associated with any delivery of a load of wood chips.
When will I get mine?
As soon as you check one of the 4 boxes in your profile, you could get a delivery as early as that day. Typical delivery times are between 1 and 5 weeks. Longer wait times will occur during winter months, and to locations in less populated areas, or in any city where Chip Drop is just getting started. Offering to pay for a delivery can help increase your chances of getting a delivery sooner. If you haven't received chips after 25 days, we'll send you an email to make sure you still want to be on the list.
Will there be logs in my Chip Drop?
Arborists should not put any unchipped logs into a load unless the gardener has specified that they accept logs. If you're a gardener who is accepting logs, please know that they may be rather large. The logs won't come pre-split, and they may be longer than you need them. You cannot specify the length or diameter of the logs, but you can specify that you don't want them.
If you're requesting a load of logs, you'll want to be sure you have access to a chainsaw and splitting equipment. There's no guarantee that the logs will be cut to length before they arrive.
*Pro Tip: By accepting a few logs, you're more likely to get wood chips sooner.
Why are there sticks in my Chip Drop?
Sticks and twigs also make great bio material for your yard and soil. Most plant material, even sticks and twigs, will break down within 1 year and provide nutrients for your soil and habitat for beneficial insects. If you have a yard debris collection service in your city, you can also use this to get rid of any unwanted woody material.
Why is there garbage in my Chip Drop?
In some cases you may find small amounts of garbage or small rocks in your wood chip pile. Please understand that arborists often rake and clean areas right next to roadways, and cannot sift through all of the piles to remove all of the garbage. If you feel like you've received an excessive amount of trash in your load, please let us know. If you find a shredded glove, a soda can, and a candy wrapper, search for the arborist. He may be in there.
What's the white stuff growing in my Chip Drop?
As wood chips sit in a large pile, they will naturally heat up and start to decompose. As this happens, mushroom mycelium will start to grow on the wood chips and break them down. This may look like a white or green mold growing on the wood chips. There may also be a powdery substance that floats in the air when you disturb the pile. This is all normal wood chip behavior, and is actually very beneficial to your soil and garden. However, it can be very bad to breathe in this dust. We recommend that you wear a dust mask while spreading wood chip mulch to avoid breathing in too much of the dust.
If you have asthma, any breathing related medical issue, or any known allergies to wood or plant material, you should not spread wood chips in your yard. Please have someone spread the wood chips for you. After the chips are spread, wait about 2-ish weeks before you walk on them.
Read more about the benefits of mycelium for gardening here.
Where should wood chips never be dropped?
As an arborist, please never drop wood chips in the following locations, even if specified by the owner:
blocking a neighbor's driveway
blocking a car in a driveway
blocking the pedestrian right-of-way
on a narrow or busy road such that the load spills out past where your truck would be if it were parked in that same place
around the base of a tree or on top of obvious landscape plantings
next to or on top of any piece of property or structure that could be damaged by the weight of the load
Paying for a Chip Drop - Gardeners
Chip Drop allows gardeners an option to pay for a delivery. If you decide to pay for a delivery, the payment will be processed after the chips are delivered. If you never receive a delivery, your card will never be charged.
Paying for a delivery is voluntary, with a range from $20 - $80. Any payment you make helps to offset the cost to the tree company to use the service. If you're only interested in free wood chips, you can still sign up! Over half of our deliveries go to folks who don't want to pay.
Paying for a delivery does not change the quantity, quality, or type of material you will receive with your delivery. It does not change the Expectations of Service in any way, other than increasing your chances of getting a delivery sooner. It does not guarantee that you will receive a delivery.
Again, paying is not required, but it is greatly appreciated!
Fee to dump - Arborists
Chip Drop is 100% free for tree companies in most areas, with the exception of Oregon, Washington, California, and a few other cities in the US. Until we establish a reliable service in your city, there is no fee for you to use the service.
For tree companies who operate in areas where we do charge, there is a $20 fee to drop at Chip Drop sites, with the following exceptions:
any site who offers to pay $20 for a drop is free for you to drop at. The homeowner essentially pays your fee.
any gardener who offers to pay more than $20 for a drop is free for you to drop at, plus we will apply a credit to your account for the difference, which can be used for future drops (e.g. you drop at a site that offers $60 for a delivery, we'll give you $40 towards 2 future drops)
Until we start charging in your state, you can still acrue credits by dropping at sites where the gardener has offered to pay for a delivery. These credits will tally up in your account until we finally start charging a tipping fee.
Credits can never be cashed in, or redeemed outside of the Chip Drop service. They can only be used towards drops which might otherwise require you to pay a fee.
These Expectations of Service are supplementary and complementary to our Terms of Service. In any case where these Expectations of Service contradict our Terms of Service, the Terms of Service take precedence.