Monday, August 5, 2019

FREE Woodchips Have Costs Too

Free Woodchip Drop Off

Recently, in Heather's quest to find FREE crap, I've stumbled across ways to obtain free woodchips. I knew about a handful of concerns and wasn't convinced on why I shouldn't get them, until I had to move the still existing pile in the front yard. What better way to gain experience than to experience thyself. This also may have included begging power pole maintenance workers for their shredded gold. If you're curious to see photos of my personal experience, they'll be towards the bottom of this article under "SEE MORE PHOTOS"

Garbage. It might be free, but also has the chance of containing anything that has blown in to the woods. This includes styrofoam containers, sandwich bags, shopping bags (sometimes from people acquiring Florida's famous Pub Subs), or anything critters brought to make nests, including cloth dog toys.

Location. Sometimes, there is no communication to workers willing to drop off your woodchips, or they are limited to a certain location due to lower tree branches and will have to dump them in an undesirable location. If you're located in the city or a residential area that includes HOAs, woodchips in a mountain may add negative attention to your new experiment.

Labor. I've been moving cartfuls of mulch for weeks that seem to have no end. Moving woodchips is most definitely a labor of love, especially in what feels like 103F heat in Florida during July.

Pests. There may or may not be termites, carpenter ants, fire ants and other demons that aren't necessarily wanted with your mountain of woodchips. If you have a wood-frame house, I HIGHLY suggest this be moved to the back of the property.

Dust. I just learned this at a homestead meetup recently that when a tree is cut, it produces something to protect the plant and keep it from the outside world, including fungi. When my mountain was dumped, I started moving the pile the next day. These freshly shaved fragments were creating a dust. Definitely wait at least a week before moving the pile to let any dust and debris settle within and keep it moist to start the decomposition process.

Mobility. As long as you have the correct tools to move the mechanically separated plants, it could make for a long day, week, or in my case, months... It is incredibly hot when you're living in what feels like 108F temperatures. Moving the pile doesn't really work well after 9:00am, and it's best after 6:00pm in sunny south Florida. I got myself a gorilla cart instead of a wheelbarrow which makes moving the chips hassle free.

Weather. Have I mentioned I'm in Florida? Well, if you didn't know, thunderstorms and 4:00pm rain showers will eliminate a week's worth of progress. Plan accordingly, especially if hurricane season is in affect! No need for woodchip shrapnel. Your neighbors will thank you.

If you're not convinced receiving woodchips is a bad thing,
I implore you to watch the following video.


Still want a pile of punishment? Then I congratulate you.