What to Do With Wood Chips From Chipper?

Do you have a wood chipper at home, but are looking for ways to best use the wood chips it creates? Wood chips can be used in a variety of applications, depending on how you would like to utilize them. This blog post explores the different options available for what to do with your wood chips from a chipper, whether they be around the house or in your backyard. We will look into uses such as mulching and staining, as well as discuss why these methods might be most beneficial. Read on for more information about this incredibly useful material and learn about our top tips!

Chipping: Generating the Wood Chips

Chipping is a crucial process in the paper and pulp mill industry, and it requires a deep understanding of the raw material and the machinery that is used to generate the perfect wood chips. The process usually starts with selecting the right type of wood, which has to be free from any metal, stones, or dirt. The logs go through a debarking process, where all the bark is removed by steel rollers, so the material can be processed efficiently.

Chipping: Generating the Wood Chips

The debarked logs are then fed into chippers that have large blades, and they cut the wood into thin and uniform pieces. The chips are then sent to the screening process, where they are sorted by size and quality, so they can be used in the specific application that requires them. [1] Chipping may seem like a straightforward task, but it is a complex process that needs precision and consistency. The quality of the wood chips can greatly affect the end product, and that is why the chipping process should be done with the utmost care and attention to detail.

Impact On The Environment

As chipping becomes more popular, concerns about its impact on the environment have arisen. While chipping does have benefits such as reducing yard waste and providing a source of mulch, it also poses risks. The noise pollution from chipping machines can disrupt wildlife and disturb nearby residents. Additionally, the chips produced can introduce non-native plant species to new areas, leading to ecological imbalances and increased competition with native plants. To minimize these risks, it’s important to properly dispose of chips, avoid chipping invasive or diseased plants, and use chipping machines that are designed to reduce noise pollution. Being mindful of the impact of chipping on the environment can help us enjoy its benefits while minimizing its negative effects.

What to Do With Wood Chips From Chipper

Once you have generated the wood chips from your chipper, there are a number of different ways that they can be used.

Use Wood Chips As Mulch

Using wood chips as mulch is a fantastic option for gardeners who want to keep their soil healthy and plants thriving. When you use wood chips as a mulch, they help regulate soil temperature, conserve moisture, and provide nutrients to the soil as they decompose. [2] Additionally, wood chips suppress weeds and keep soil erosion at bay. By using wood chips as mulch, you can save time and money, as you won’t need to water your plants as frequently, and you’ll spend less time weeding. It’s worth noting that not all types of wood are suitable for use as mulch, and some trees contain toxic compounds that can harm plants. However, with a bit of research, you’ll be able to select the right type of wood chips for your garden and enjoy all the benefits that come with using them as mulch.

Fresh Wood Chips Tie Up Soil Nitrogen as They Decompose

When wood chips are added to the soil, they can tie up soil nitrogen as they decompose. This is because the chips absorb nitrogen from the soil, and it takes time for them to break down and release it back into the environment. [3] To prevent this, pre-composting your wood chips can help reduce nitrogen loss and make them easier to work with in your garden.

Fresh Wood Chips Tie Up Soil Nitrogen as They Decompose

Pre-composting involves placing your wood chips in a pile or bin and allowing them to compost before using them as mulch. Doing so will both reduce nitrogen loss from the soil and speed up decomposition of the wood chips so that you can use them sooner.

  • Partially Rotted Wood Chips Are Different To Fresh Chips
  • Partially rotted wood chips are different from fresh chips in several ways. These include:
  • They contain fewer nutrients, so they may not be as beneficial for your garden or soil health.
  • They are less likely to tie up nitrogen, so there is less risk of nitrogen loss when using them as mulch.
  • Partially rotted wood chips tend to be easier to spread than fresh chips, which makes for a more efficient process.

It Matters Which Trees Have Been Chipped

When it comes to using wood chips, the type of tree that has been chipped matters. Trees with a dense wood, such as pine or maple, will have larger and more robust chips than trees with a softer wood, like cedar. From an aesthetic point of view, darker woods will give you a more uniform color when used as mulch in the garden. It’s important to note that some trees contain toxic compounds which can be harmful to plants and animals if ingested. Therefore, it’s always best practice to research any trees before chipping them so you can confidently use the chips without worrying about potential harm caused by chemicals or toxins.

Use Wood Chip in a Hugelkultur Mound

In addition to using wood chips as mulch, they can also be used to create a hugelkultur mound.

Hugelkultur is an ancient gardening technique from Germany which involves creating raised beds with logs and wood chips. [4]
The idea behind it is that the materials slowly decompose over time, releasing nutrients into the soil for plants to feed on. This method of gardening makes use of natural decomposition processes and has been found to improve soil fertility and moisture retention. By using wood chips in a hugelkultur mound, you can turn your garden into an incredibly productive growing environment for vegetables, flowers, and herbs!

Turn Wood Chips Into Rich Compost

Chipping wood chips is a fantastic way to turn them into rich compost. Many gardeners are hesitant to use wood chips in their garden because they lack nutrients and can rob the soil of existing nutrients. However, when turned into compost, wood chips can provide organic matter and nutrients to the soil. This process can take a while, but with some patience and the right approach, it’s possible to create high-quality compost that can be used to improve the health of any garden. There are several methods of chipping wood chips, but using a wood chipper is perhaps the most efficient and quickest way. By turning wood chips into compost, you can reduce waste, improve soil quality, and ultimately create a thriving garden.

How To Compost Wood Chips

To compost wood chips, you’ll need to create a pile that contains equal parts green material (such as grass clippings or food scraps) and brown material (wood chips). Make sure to layer the materials in alternating layers so that they can break down evenly. You’ll then need to keep the pile moist, but not soggy, by watering it regularly. Finally, be sure to turn the pile every few weeks and cover it with a tarp to help retain moisture. With these simple steps, you’ll have rich compost ready in no time!

Lay Walkways And Pathways

In addition to using wood chips as mulch or compost, you can also use them for pathways and walkways around your garden.

Lay Walkways And Pathways

Wood chips provide a natural-looking surface that is comfortable to walk on and easy to maintain. They are also great for preventing soil erosion due to their ability to absorb water quickly.

How To Create A Wood Chip Walkway

Creating a wood chip walkway is relatively simple. First, you’ll need to clear an area of any grass or weeds and dig out a shallow trench along the length of the path. Then, fill the trench with wood chips and tamp it down firmly using your feet or a tamping tool. Finally, spread a thin layer of soil over the top of the wood chips and water them thoroughly. This will help keep the chips in place and make sure they don’t move around as you walk on them.

Solution For Soil Erosion

Wood chips are also a great solution for soil erosion. When used as a mulch, wood chips can help absorb water and keep it from running off your garden or landscape, reducing the risk of soil erosion. [5]  Additionally, they create a porous surface that helps promote healthy root growth by providing air circulation around the roots.

Use Wood Chips To Cover Up Mud

Wood chips are also great for covering up mud and slippery areas. By spreading wood chips over muddy patches, you can create a dry, stable surface that is safe to walk on. This is especially useful if you have kids or pets who need to access certain parts of your garden or yard without having to worry about them slipping or getting muddy.

Build Up Raised Beds

Chipping is an excellent method to build raised beds, particularly for environmentally conscious gardeners. Wood chips, a byproduct of tree trimming or removal, can be used for this purpose. Wood chips are ideal for building raised beds since they have the potential to control weeds, retain moisture, and improve soil fertility.

Build Up Raised Beds

They’re also longer-lasting, and they won’t break down as quickly as other mulches. Organic gardeners often use wood chips in their raised beds to boost the soil’s health and overall fertility.

If you’re seeking to make the most out of your raised bed garden, chipping is a natural and safe way to do it.
With these benefits, it’s no surprise that chipping is becoming a popular choice for gardeners who desire to enhance the look and feel of their backyard.

Use Wood Chips For Smoking & Grilling

Wood chips are also becoming increasingly popular for smoking and grilling. When used in a smoker or grill, these wood chips can add flavor and aroma to the food being cooked. Different types of tree species will impart different flavors, so it’s important to do your research before using them. Additionally, soaking your wood chips prior to use will help reduce smoke flare ups and improve flavor.

Use For Animal Bedding

Also, wood chips are also great for providing animal bedding. Whether you have pets at home or are raising animals in a barn, wood chips can provide a comfortable and absorbent surface that helps keep your animals clean and healthy. Wood chip bedding is also much more affordable than traditional hay and straw bedding, making it a great option for those on a budget.

Use Wood Chips in a Bug Hotel

Chipping is a great way to use wood chips in a bug hotel. By providing a cozy and safe home for your garden’s crawling critters, you can not only make your backyard a welcoming place for insects, but also help your plants thrive. Wood chips create an inviting habitat for beneficial insects such as beetles, centipedes, and spiders. These critters play a significant role in controlling pests in your garden and pollinating flowers. Additionally, the wood chips help regulate moisture levels and keep your bug hotel insulated. Provide your garden guests with a comfortable abode by chipping some wood and building a bug hotel today.

Lay Wood Chips In Your Chicken Run

If you’re looking for a way to keep your chicken run clean and healthy, consider using wood chips. Not only do they make a lovely natural floor covering, but they also provide a soft surface for your chickens to walk on. Wood chips can help control odor, absorb moisture and make it easier to maintain a dry, clean environment for your flock. They are also a great source of carbon for your compost pile, providing nutrients that help break down other organic matter. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that more and more chicken owners are turning to wood chips as a go-to coop flooring option.

Use Wood Chips For Fire

Wood chips are an excellent source of fuel for any fire. They are small pieces of wood that can be used to start a fire, add fuel to an existing fire, or even as a substitute for wood logs in larger bonfires. Wood chips are also a more eco-friendly option than other fuels such as charcoal. They are made from waste wood, so using them as fuel is a great way to reduce waste and cut down on environmental impact. When using wood chips for fire, it’s important to store them in a dry, well-ventilated area to prevent moisture from affecting their effectiveness. With their numerous benefits, it’s easy to see why wood chips are an optimal choice for anyone looking for a reliable and sustainable source of fire fuel.

Use Wood Chips As Playground Cushioning

Enhancing the safety of playgrounds is a vital aspect of maintaining them. When it comes to cushioning landings, wood chips are a fantastic option. They are particularly useful for children’s playgrounds and can reduce the severity of injuries from falls. Using wood chips as a cushioning material is also very cost-effective, making it an excellent alternative to other playground flooring options. Wood chips offer an environmentally-friendly solution and can easily blend in with landscaping or other outdoor décor. Furthermore, wood chips are a renewable material and can be made from a variety of different tree species, making them an excellent and practical playground flooring solution for communities and schools across the country.

Use Wood Chips To Grow Mushrooms

Wood chips are a great substrate for growing mushrooms. They provide the ideal environment for mushroom mycelium to thrive, making them an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor mushroom cultivation. The wood chips will need to be soaked in water prior to use and then mixed with spawn material such as grain or sawdust. The mixture should then be placed in a container and left to incubate until mushrooms begin to appear. With proper care and maintenance, these wood chip-based substrates can produce healthy yields of mushrooms on a regular basis, making them a great addition to any home garden or kitchen pantry. [6]

Make Your Own Rustic Paper

If you’re looking for a creative way to use your wood chips, consider making your own rustic paper logs. By combining sawdust with water and recycled paper products such as cardboard or newspaper, you can create a beautiful decorative log that can be used as fuel for fireplaces.

Simply mix your sawdust and water together until it forms a paste-like consistency, then add the shredded paper and press into the desired shape.
Allow the logs to dry completely before lighting them in the fireplace. With this simple DIY project, you’ll have a unique source of fuel that will heat up any room in no time!

Make Your Own DIY Wood Briquettes

Wood briquettes are a great way to make use of wood chips. Not only do they provide an eco-friendly source of fuel, but they also create less smoke than other fuels such as coal or charcoal.

Make Your Own DIY Wood Briquettes

Making your own DIY wood briquettes is easy and cost-effective. Simply mix together sawdust and water, then add a binding agent such as flour before pressing the mixture into molds. Once dry, you can use your homemade wood briquettes in fireplaces, grills, or even for outdoor campfires! With their efficiency and versatility, wood briquettes are quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of sustainable energy.


What is the best wood chip mulch?

The best type of wood chip mulch is made from hardwood trees such as maple, oak, and ash. These types of wood chips tend to last longer than softer woods like pine or cedar. Additionally, hardwood chips are less likely to cause an increase in soil acidity over time so they are the ideal option for use in vegetable gardens and flower beds.

Does wood chip mulch attract termites?

No, wood chip mulch does not attract termites. In fact, a layer of wood chips can act as a physical barrier between the soil and any wooden structures in your yard, helping to protect them from termite damage.

Are wood chips good for a garden?

Yes, wood chips are an excellent choice for a garden. They can help improve the soil structure and provide valuable nutrients to plants. Additionally, they can help retain moisture in the soil and provide protection against weeds. Wood chips also make an attractive addition to any garden bed.

How do wood chips affect soil?

Wood chips can have a positive effect on soil, providing essential nutrients and improving the structure of the soil. They can also help to retain moisture in the soil and suppress weeds. In addition, wood chips can provide a habitat for beneficial insects such as earthworms that will break down the material into compost.

Should wood chips be wet or dry?

When using wood chips as mulch, it is best to use them dry. This will help prevent the spread of diseases and weeds as well as reduce the risk of negative impacts on nearby plants. When used for other purposes such as mushroom cultivation or rustic paper logs, however, it is best to soak the wood chips in water prior to use. Doing so will provide the ideal environment for certain organisms to thrive.

Useful Video: Wood Chip Gardening: What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Back To Eden Gardening


In conclusion, wood chips from a chipper are incredibly versatile and can be used for a variety of applications. You could repurpose your wood chips to mulch around plants or even stain walkways and fences. Better yet, you could also use them as fuel in a furnace or for the production of compost. The number of uses is truly up to your own imagination! Whatever you decide to do with the chips from your chipper, you can rest assured that it will end up being useful in some way or another. Get creative with your wood chips today and discover all the amazing possibilities this material has to offer.


  1. https://jimstrees.com.au/services-item/tree-woodchipping/#:~:text=Wood%20Chipping%20is%20the%20process,from%20fallen%20trees%20and%20branches.
  2. https://extension.okstate.edu/fact-sheets/mulching-with-wood-chips.html#:~:text=Mulching%20with%20wood%20chips%20conserves,cover%20garden%20and%20yard%20pathways.
  3. https://www.nutsandboltsnursery.com/blog/why-wood-chips
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%BCgelkultur#:~:text=H%C3%BCgelkultur%20(German%20pronunciation%3A%20%5B%CB%88hy%CB%90%C9%A1l%CC%A9k%CA%8Al%CB%8Ctu%CB%90%C9%90%CC%AF,planted%20as%20a%20raised%20bed.
  5. https://stormwater.pca.state.mn.us/index.php?title=Wood_chips_and_applications_of_wood_chips_in_stormwater
  6. https://www.chelseagreen.com/2021/methods-for-growing-mushrooms-in-woodchip/