Mysterious Wood Chips: Debunking Common Myths

Arborist Supplies

Wood Chips are a useful product for landscapes and are readily available for purchase. However, some people don’t fully understand this landscaping product. In fact, they believe all the rumors out there that say how dangerous these chips can be to a lawn and garden. The truth is, this landscaping product can enhance a garden, help it remain healthy, and ensure growth and longevity for plants. Some of the most common myths about this landscaping product are highlighted here along with the truth about wood mulch.

Chip’s aren’t Poisonous

Yes, the chips can contain small amounts of chemicals that may be dangerous to plant roots. However, this is only a problem if there is an extremely thick layer (six to 12 inches) of chips used under a plant. The thin layer that is used by most people poses no threat.

Chip’s Don’t Take Nitrogen Away

This is somewhat true, but not as bad as most people think. The chips can take nitrogen from the other plants, but this only happens if they are mixed with the soil. If the chips are spread out on top of the soil, this is a non-issue. Fungi and bacteria in the soil need quite a bit of nitrogen to break the coarse fiber in the chips down. If the chips happen to be mixed with the soil in a flower bed, the leaves on the plants may begin to turn a light yellow color because the bacteria has taken all the nitrogen that is required.

Wood Chips Won’t Attract Termites

Believe it or not, termites are an important part of nature. They have a job. Their job is to decompose the stumps and limbs that a person is too busy to remove themselves. By mulching the landscaped areas around the property, a person can create the ideal environment for termites to eat, live and, ultimately, thrive.

There is no question that wood chips can be a beneficial part of any landscape design. The key is to use them properly. If a homeowner has more questions about how to utilize wood chips around their landscape, they can contact the staff at Timberline Tree Service.