Someone left a steamy pile of

Wood chips on my driveway! :smile:

I finally finished shoveling 10 cu yards of it to my backyard! It smelled great the first couple of days. Then it turned dusty in the dry heat here. Never am I ordering arborist chips in summer!


that is when they are cheapest (or even free), and greenest.

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Always free here. Some companies have minimum loads of 20+ yards. Thankfully, I knew my arborist and he gave me a smaller load which he left in his truck over the weekend to start decomposing.

Shoveling 10 cu. yards of anything is WORK, even when it smells good.

I had my fair share of shoveling more than 10 cu. yards of wood chips couple summers ago when I finally decided how to handle the mowing path around all the nooks and crannies around my fruit trees planted all over the back yard!

Your statement is very true. ‘Shoveling 10 cu. yard of anything is WORK, even when it smells good’ (at the beginning!)

I hoped you got some helps!


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I try to get them deliver it when I have some time in the next day or two to get most of it moved. But, I’ve never been able to completely finish a truckload of it before it starts getting the white dusty mildew.

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We have literal mountains of the stuff, as my hubby does tree service.
We find lots of uses for the chips, and usually have a wide assortment of piles, in every condition.
I don’t envy you the shoveling though. They are not east to get a shovel into.

I’m planning on using a thick layer around the dwarf apple trees I’m planting out this fall, since weeds have a hard time getting through them too!

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An aluminum scoop shovel works best. Too bad I was stuck with a heavy iron transfer showel…

Have you compared it to a pitch fork? That has worked pretty well for me. The only problem is when the chips aren’t properly chewed up. Then they have a way of catching in between the tines.

Smells like my henhouse.:cold_sweat:

I just bought one of these:

Haven’t used it yet though. Its just for the final distribution inside fenced areas. I use a front loader on a compact utility tractor to get the chips from the pile to the tree.

Be careful the dust isn’t actually mold. That just happened to me a couple of weeks ago and it made me sick. Not hospital sick but sick enough. I’m much more careful now and wear a heavy duty dust mask while handling it. This last load had a higher percentage of leaf matter than usual, I suspect that may have been the cause of the mold but I can’t be certain. Even after wetting it down thoroughly to suppress the dust, the mold still flies like dry dust through the air.

I use a potato digging fork - stabs right in there

When I shovel wood chips on my truck I rake them to get them off. Don’t like shoveling things twice. When the piles break down that’s beautiful dirt they leave behind. That grey mold is not much fun to work with. Hard on breathing! The pile gets hot enough to spontaneous combust so it was a great idea to get it distributed. If I ever get a very tall pile I rake it in the truck which is a lot easier than shoveling. I also like wood chips with high sugar content like maple. I think the maple chips work better on fruit trees than old cedar or elm. I avoid fruit tree chips because the reason they are in the pile can be bad for others.

Anytime I’m moving light stuff in a trailer or pickup I like to have a good heavy tarp to help remove them. As you work you can pull up on the end and sides of the tarp to concentrate your stuff, and when it gets low enough you can start pulling the top end of the tarp to dump the remainder- kind of a poor man’s dump truck! And I think it might be possible to run ropes under the tarp and back over the top to fix to something- your tractor or spare pickup, for example- and then just slowly drive off.

Is that redneck enough for you?



Love it Mark! Especially if you need to unload the truck in one place like around a big fruit tree. You may see a picture about this at some point! Lol

Be careful, Clark, and forget where you heard about it …

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When I kept mules I would clean out the coral every month or so. Mules will go in the same spot so it is kind of piled. I would shovel it onto a big tarp, then hitch a mule up to and drag to the garden, then turn the mule around and walk it back over the tarp and it would dump it


I like to use a mulch fork, but I find that an ergonomic snow shovel works well too.

You live in a place where they sell those contraptions called snow shovels. :wink:

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