How to get FREE woodchips

free wood chips


I’ve written several times about our garden.  We converted everything over to raised beds last Spring and haven’t looked back.  We’ve thoroughly enjoyed them, but they have remained “unfinished” in between the beds which has been a pain in the patooty.  It’s really annoying weed whacking in between, and sometimes crab grass and weeds from between the beds starts to creep inside.  We’ve been wanting to put weed barrier down and cover with wood chips for several months now, but the cost for bags of mulch has been holding us back.  That’s the ugly side of frugality.  Sometimes it means projects stay on hold for a while until you can afford them or you find another option.

Another option was what we went with in this case, and it paid off big time!

A few weeks ago, our neighbor was having a tree cut down in his yard.  We were out front doing some landscaping and I asked my husband what they do with those trees once they mulch them.  He said he thought they had to pay someone to dump the mulch.  My mind began spinning, like it often does.  I thought it would be a great idea to ask if we could do each other a favor and have them dump those wood chips in our backyard.  Free dumping ground for them and free mulch for us!  Win win!

My husband loved the idea and sauntered over across the road to talk to the tree trimmer.  When he returned, we got good and bad news.  The bad news was that the wood chips he had in his truck bed weren’t a “clean” load and he didn’t recommend that we use it.  The good news was that he agreed to call us when he got a good load and he would give us woodchips at no cost.  Sweet!

Well, weeks went by and we never heard from him.  Discouragement crept in and we were pretty sure he lost our number or decided against giving us the wood chips.  We patiently waited for either another opportunity or when we would have extra funds to buy bags of mulch.

Friday, we were in the backyard filling the last two beds with dirt, newspapers, and plants when we got a call.  We were getting free mulch!!!!  Yipee!  He hadn’t forgotten about us after all.

You see we had some bad storms last weekend, which knocked our area out of power for several days.  Trees were ripped up from their roots.  Homes smashed.  Power lines down everywhere.  It was certainly a tragedy for many people.  Thankfully we just had no power for a few days and some large limbs down.


This is one of our neighbor’s trees ripped up from the roots.  Yikes!


With the abundance of trees down, this tree removal company had been booming.  They were probably getting tired of paying places to dump the wood chips, so that’s whey they decided to call us.  Hey, we’ll take it!

The guy came and dumped this humongous load in our backyard.


You can’t tell very well but that pile is almost 5 feet tall!  It will last us a LONG while. :)


Umm…please ignore the pasty white legs, greasy hair, and cheesy expression. Mmmkay?  Thanks.

We spent all day filling our last two and half beds with dirt and compost, planting the rest of the summer crops, ripping out weeds in between the beds, laying weed barrier between the beds and laying down mulch.

I was so incredibly tired when we came inside from our long day of yard work, but look how nice it turned out.  I’m so excited about our low maintenance garden!  It’s been a two year process to get here, and it’s finally DONE!  Ahhhhh…it feels so good when you see a long project finally come to an end.  Such satisfaction.




So, how do you get free wood chips?  Get a tree trimming service to dump some in your backyard.  Yes it will be a LOT, so beware, but you are doing them a favor and they are doing you a favor too.


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Frugally Sustainable


  1. Rene S says

    LOL, I love the cheesy expression! :-) We are fortunate that our city routinely has piles of free mulch for the taking most the year. The recycling center grinds up the branches brought in and puts the chips in designated areas for the public. It is a bit messy loading the containers into my car, but it’s nothing a vacuum cleaner can’t fix, and it’s free! And it’s reusing materials too.

  2. says

    Great blog! Die Informationen, die Sie ist ruhig hilfreich, warum ich nicht in der Lage, es früher zu finden. Sowieso ich Ihre Feeds abonniert haben, halten Sie die gute Arbeit auf.

  3. says

    Hey Tara,

    My name is Mark. I’m a Certified Arborist. Getting rid of wood chip mulch is a constant problem for tree guys, so we built an app that allows homeowners to put in a request which is shown to all the tree services in their area. Any of your readers can see it at

    Happy Mulching

  4. Dorothy Chalmers says

    Our power company just sent a postcard telling us they would be trimming trees in our area, and that wood chips would be available for free. Another source!! (and it’s in the middle of a rather harsh winter here in ILL) Just discovered your site, love it!!

  5. aaron says

    Tara, my wife and have been using woodchips on our ground for two years. This will be our third. You will find down the road that your pathways may be the best place to plant. We live in an area that gets no rain from end of May or early June thru early early September with 14+ hours of sun and regular triple digits and we don’t have to water or fertilize. We never till and weeds come right up. I highly recommend using the woodchips as the garden and not just a walk way. It has been the best garden I have ever had and I am now trying to get my first full acre covered in 4-6 inches of manure and woodchips. Back to Eden method really works.

    • Tara says

      We do use woodchips in our beds for mulching and just add a new layer each year, but they are more broken down than the ones we got from the tree trimmer. I felt like they were too big to go in the beds. We love the back to Eden method. It’s only gotten better every year. Wow! An acre! That’s incredible. What are you planning to do on the acre?

  6. Alvin Horn says

    I’m in Tukwila Washington and have contacted all the free woodchip companies around here for 6 months and none have kept their word to deliver, yet I see their trucks all the time in my area. Do you know of a company that will deliver free woodchips?

  7. karen says

    Thats beautiful! That is exactly how I get mine, watch for tree trimmers working in the area. I have a place on my property they can easily pull in and dump, and they always seem glad to do it. I make it a point to sweeten the deal by giving the guys $20 to $25, enough to get lunch or a 6 pack or two on the way home. They always seem very appreciative and keep me in mind when they are coming to our area. I have been using the ‘Back to Eden’ method about 4 years now, cannot say enough good about it. We live in a very humid, hot area in the summer and without the wood chips, the garden would be overrun with weeds and needing daily watering.


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