Yesterday I drove past a crew that was cutting down some beautiful, old, healthy, sweet-gum trees. They were chipping all of the smaller branches and scraps. I drove past, then turned around and drove back. I asked the crew if they need to pay, to dump the chips. They said yes. I asked if they wanted to dump them in my driveway. They said yes. I wound up with about 3 cubic yards of good quality wood chips for mulch, for free.
We have had notices from utility crews who are going around trimming under power lines. They offer to dump a load of chips on the driveway. Unfortunately, someone always gets to them before I do.
Some writers recommend `wood chips as one of the best mulches.
Wood chips last longer than many other mulches, and keep the ground soft, moist, weed free, and cool in the summer.
If there is a large area to mulch, cheap sources can be helpful.
I have read concerns that chipped tree mulch can spread disease. I suppose that is possible. I don’t think it has been an issue in my yard.
I also save cardboard food packaging for mulching around my fruit tree, especially spots that were grass and weeds before planting the tree. I tear the cardboard into pieces that are less than a square foot, and lay it overlapping on the entire area around the tree - usually about 4 foot by 4 foot. The cardboard kills the weeds, and the smaller size pieces allow water to drain. Then I mulch on top of that with chopped leaves, or straw, or wood chips. The straw doesn’t last long, but when the cardboard and straw is broken down, it leaves a nice soft soil and the area has few weeds, so easy to much again.
Sometimes I mulch with grass clippings. I usually use them in a circle around existing mulched areas to kill grass, since the do a good job of that and break down quickly. Then I use something longer lasting, such as the wood chips.
I’m sure everyone has their own method, or not mulching at all. You might not like my method but it works for me. I really liked getting the free wood chips which work well for me.