You finally had that tree removed and now all that remains is a pile of wood chips in your backyard—you’re at a crossroads. Do you save the wood chips and use them for your benefit? Or do you ask the professionals at Tree Tech to collect the chips and have them delivered to someone else? Either option is great, but if you do decide to keep the wood chips, here are a few ways, beyond just burning them, that you can use the chips to your benefit.
Now, if you are the person who has not yet had that stubborn tree removed from your yard but you have been dreaming about its absence, give the professional arborists at Tree Tech a call to have the job done right. The extensive list of services we offer include tree removal, trimming, pruning and more. In no time, you will have a heaping pile of wood chips at your disposal and clear views of the beautiful sky above—congratulations! And here are some of the ways you can put those chips to good use.
We did say we were going to offer suggestions for ways to use your wood chips that did not include burning them, but we would be doing you a disservice if we didn’t mention using the chips to smoke meat. Is there anything more delicious than smoked meat? Contrary to popular belief, you can smoke meat even without a smoker—a grill (gas or charcoal) and a smoker box (or piece of aluminum foil) will do an equally great job. There are many resources and recipes out there that will help you smoke the perfect piece of meat, but here’s the quick rundown of how to turn your barbecue grill in a smoker.
- Soak a few handfuls of your wood chips in cold water for no less than 30 minutes. (This step is optional, as many people don’t like to soak their chips. Others prefer a half and half method, using both wet and dry chips. It’s all about personal preference.)
- Put the wet chips into a smoker-chip box and put the box on the grill, without the meat. (If you are using aluminum foil instead of a smoker box, simply place the wet chips on a piece of foil and fold the sides making an aluminum packet. Then poke a few holes in the foil for airflow.)
- Wait for the chips to start visibly smoking.
- Cook your meat for the appropriate amount of time, either directly or indirectly. If you are using an indirect cooking method, add a few handfuls of wet chips every 45 minutes.
Fresh, crisp wood chips are absolutely beautiful and an inexpensive solution for creating walkways in your yard. First, decide where you want to lay the walkway and dig out about an inch of soil along the path so that the chips have a “trench” to settle into. Next, put down a weed barrier cloth or newspaper to prevent pesky weeds from popping up through the wood chips. Evenly distribute the chips along the path, and voila—an attractive and inexpensive new addition to your outdoor sanctuary! If your walkway situation is already covered, installing wood chip pathways between your raised garden beds is a good-looking way to prevent weeds from popping up between the different boxes. Speaking of weed prevention—save those wood chips to use as mulch for your garden and yard. Mulches are used to retain the moisture in soil, regulate soil temperature and suppress weed growth. If you’re currently noticing your plants suffering because of the heat, sprinkle your garden with the wood chips; they will act as a protective layer between the summer sun and your soil. Be aware that using too many wood chips may actually turn your soil acidic, so be sure to monitor the pH levels.
If you are someone who likes decorating your home with vases filled with colored marbles or artificial fruits and flowers, add some wood chips to you decorating arsenal. Picture a large, bulbous flower vase filled with crisp wood chips and artificial white gerbera daisies—a gorgeous addition to your bedside table or dining room table. Or, you can leave out the flowers and decorate your home with vases of fresh woods chips. Depending on the tree we removed for you, the chips may also acts as a natural, fragrant room freshener. Think pine tree. Yum!
Wood chips contain a lot of carbon which makes them a great “brown” level for your compost pile. Unfamiliar with how to start composting? Here’s a quick rundown of what it takes.
- You can build your own compost bin or just leave it as a loose pile.
- Carbon-rich materials for the “brown” layer. (Your wood chips!) Other materials include fallen leaves or shredded newspaper. This will be your base layer when you start composting and should be a few inches thick.
- Nitrogen-rich materials for the “green” layer. Examples include, vegetable and fruit peelings and manure from omnivorous animals. This layer will be your second level—you will pile these “greens” on top of the “brown” base level.
- Gardening soil. This soil will be tossed on top of the “greens.”
- Once you have started your pile, you will continue layering brown-green-soil until the compost is around three feet tall. Try to follow a ratio of three parts brown to one part green.
- And don’t forget to keep the pile moist, churning it every couple of weeks with a shovel.
If you think you really won’t be able to use your wood chips in any of the above ways, consider giving your wood chips to a friend or family member that is an avid gardener or is preparing to install a playground in their backyard. Here at Tree Tech, we will clean up and haul away your wood chips, if you choose. We provide wood chips upon request and delivery is absolutely free! So if you know of a friend who could really use your wood chips, it would be our pleasure to transport the chips to their home. Whatever your tree situation may be, the certified arborists at Tree Tech are here to help. So go out on a limb and give us a call today for a free estimate—we promise we won’t leaf you hanging!