Below are some common questions that gardeners have about the ChipDrop service. Please also be sure you've read and understand our Expectations of Service.
Arborist 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.
Check out this video to see what arborist wood chips are, and why they're the best choice for your yard and garden.
You'll receive an entire dump trucks worth of wood chips, which can be as much as 20 cubic yards, approximately. 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.
That 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 as much as 20 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.
Nope. You have to take the whole truck load, up to 20 yards.
Yes! You can definitely sign up to get a load of only logs with no wood chips. You can specify this when you place your request. Keep in mind you'll need to have a chainsaw and splitting tools handy.
Nope. You should expect leaves and pine needles in your delivery.
ChipDrop is probably not the right service for you. Store-bought mulch might be a better choice if you want your wood chips to look 'clean' or 'uniform'.
You can cancel your request in your profile, if you have a pending request. If you don't have a pending request, it should indicate this in your profile.
We try to take everyone off the list after each delivery attempt, but you can also cancel your request after a delivery just to be safe.
Just add yourself back to the list. There's no limit on how many loads you can receive.
Yes! They definitely can be, depending on a few factors. It's always better to be safe than sorry. We strongly recommend wearing a dust mask 😷, safety glasses 🥽, and gloves 🧤 when handling fresh mulch. This should keep you plenty safe.
If you want to be extra cautious, you can wet down your pile with water before moving it. Or, you can spread the pile out a bit with a rake, wait a few hours, and then move the material. All of this will help limit the amount of gas and dust you might inhale while moving the mulch.
If you feel light-headed, dizzy, or nautious while moving mulch, STOP IMMEDIATELY and consult with your physician. It's not worth risking your health to mulch your yard. Get some help from some friends or neighbors, or someone who is less susceptible to the effects of wood chip dust and mulch.
Probably not. Check out this paper.
Nope. In fact, wood chips will add nitrogen to your soil over time. Watch this informative video to learn more.
Wrong again. Here's This Old House to tell you why.
Yes, unless you specifically state that you don't want palm, you could receive a delivery of chipped up palm. Often times this is referred to as 'gorilla hair', and it makes a great mulch. If you live in the southern regions where palm is abundant, you should definintely consider accepting palm in your delivery. It's great stuff and it often gets a bad rap.
ChipDrop is free for gardeners (anyone who wants wood chips). ChipDrop costs $20 per drop for arborists.
Just cancel your request, and as soon as you get back you can submit a new one.
There's no order or priority to the list. Arborists don't deliver to sites based on how long they have been waiting. Arborists choose sites based on who is closest to them, whether or not they're willing to accept logs, and whether or not they're willing to pay for the delivery. They may also look at previous delivery attempts you've had, and comments that previous arborists have made about your site.
By accepting a few logs, not being too picky or specific in your description, and making sure your site is set up properly. Offering $20 for a delivery also helps when demand is high, like in the spring and summer months, but it's not required. We don't want folks to feel like they have to pay in order to get a delivery.
We take each site off the list every 25 days as a security precaution. You'll get an email from us each time with an easy 'Keep Me On The List' button. I know it's annoying, but it's necessary.
No, but the arborist probably left a comment that other arborists can see. If you have too many unsuccessful drops, future arborists probably won't want to drop at your site. To avoid this, make sure your site is set up properly.
Research has shown that these actually make fine mulches, and aren't harmful to your garden as you may have been told. If there's any species that you don't want, there is a section in your profile where you can list them. The arborists should honor these requests.
It's up to you to know which species of wood chips are toxic to your animals. Check with your vet and they may have some recommendations on species you should avoid. You can list these species in your request so the tree companies know not to deliver them.
This might be true with decorative or store-bought mulches. This isn't a problem with arborist wood chips. They won't compact and create a water barrier like some mulches do, and you don't need to till or cultivate arborist wood chip mulch like you need to with some decorative mulches. #lowmaintenance
There could be. In most cases the thorns will break down and dissolve after laying on the ground for a few months. In general, you shouldn't plan on walking around your yard bare foot after you've laid down mulch. If there aren't thorns, the wood will still be splintery. If you're using the wood chips for a playground, specify this in your description and list 'no thorns'. Hopefully the arborists will honor this request, but no guarantees. It's a 'use at your own risk' sort of deal when it comes to thorns and spikey tree bits. Nature is a nasty thing :)
No, but if you're worried about it, just spread it out and spray it down with a hose. The heat will dissipate quickly once it's not piled up in a mound.
They could. There's seeds and rhizomes of all kinds floating around all over the place, especially in cities, and they will likely be in your new pile of arborist wood chips. The key is to keep an eye on the pile after you spread out the wood chips, and pull any volunteers that sprout up out of the loose mulch. You can also let your pile 'cook' for a couple of weeks before you spread it out in your yard. This will help kill any viable plant material in the pile.
After you sign up, check out the Area Map in your profile. Recent ChipDrops in your city will show up as brown triangles on the map. If you only see your house and no brown triangles, it probably means we don't have an active service in your area yet. If you can wait on the list for a while, it helps to encourage arborists in your area to start using the service. Otherwise, check back in the next time you need some mulch, and maybe we'll have better service in your area by then.
Are wood chips right for you?
This video answers many of the questions that folks have about ChipDrop and arborist wood chips.