Ask a Question forum: Tree removal, stumps ground, what to do with chips?

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May 16, 2016 6:47 AM CST
Morning I finally had some trees and bushes taken down last week, the trees were a maple and pine and some smaller bushes, they ground up all of the stumps and left the chips. None of the bigger trees were near the house. My question is what should I do with the chips since I didn't have them removed. I don't plan on doing any major landscaping / grass work until next year (priorities with a new house, ha). I read that leaving them in place will take a while to settle, how much is a while (I'm in the Northeast), so I guess my options are
1) Leave them they are along the property line which a fence will ultimately be put up.
2) spread the chips over parts of the existing lawn to decompose
3) have landscapers deal with it next season.
My concern with #2 is when I go with the mower over the lawn the chips will cause issues w/ the lawn mower.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
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May 16, 2016 7:11 AM CST
You could certainly leave the wood chips where they are. You could also spread the chips in your landscape and/or around existing trees as a mulch. If you have natural pathways, you could spread the chips on those pathways. You can mix the chips in your potting soil (if they are not too large). This would open up the mix for plants that need additional root-aeration or better draining soil.

Welcome! @nutchellml.

By the way, though you say you are in the NE, please take a moment to go to your profile and update your "Public Profile" to include your location. City/state is best but you could simply give your USDA zone.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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May 16, 2016 7:28 AM CST
Welcome to, @nutshelml !

I don't think I'd put the chips on top of your grass (unless it's in a spot where you don't want grass...); but the chips do make great mulch for flower beds, around trees, on paths and the like. I wish I lived near you, I'd be happy to take them off your hands -- but since I don't, and if you don't want to use them yourself, why not place a "to give away" ad in your local paper (or even just put up a sign near them, if they are where they can be seen by people driving by, that says "Free Wood Chips!" ? I bet plenty of people would be happy to come clean them up and haul them home for their own projects. Smiling
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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May 16, 2016 7:44 AM CST
option #4. Start a compost pile.
Pile them up somewhere and leave them.
within a couple years they will decompose and you will have a nice pile of compost.
You can put some lattice or rocks,vine around it if you are worried about it looking bad.

Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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May 16, 2016 10:10 AM CST
Warm welcome from the Pacific Northwest. I well know about the priorities when building. Many years ago, we built our house (cash basis, minimal outside labor), and the landscaping was definitely low man on the totem pole. What you may want to do is figure out approximately where you may want some beds that are away from the construction zone and simply spread your chips in that general area to start building up the soil.
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