Wood Chip Delivery Program Guide

Fine Tree Care Wood Chip Giveaway Program

Valid in Sonoma County Only

Please read these guidelines, then click to continue on to the sign up form. By clicking below to enroll, you are acknowledging that you have read & accept these terms.

This is an environmentally friendly way to dispose of wood chips and decrease fuel consumption associated with wood waste or recycled products. Mulching is one of the most beneficial things a homeowner can do to keep trees healthy. When applied properly, mulch helps maintain soil moisture, control weeds, improve soil structure, and insulate plant roots. Mulch also protects plants and trees from "weed whacker" damage and lawnmower injuries - in addition to giving planting beds a uniform, well-cared-for look. Other uses for wood chips are to cover pathways and for erosion control. Wood chips add a natural element to the landscape. When it no longer looks its best, you can compost it or work it directly into the soil.

We give away wood chips on a first come, first served basis in areas where we are currently working, to those who make it easy for us to make a quick, full load, non-specific wood-type delivery. Our free wood chips consist of all types of wood, pine needles and foliage. They are a by-product of the routine trimming or removal done by Fine Tree Care. The ratio of wood to leaves varies with the season and the materials chipped. If you do not want a certain species in your load, please let us know, however, that will significantly decrease your chances of receiving a delivery.

While not a guarantee, and not a firm specification, all loads should contain approximately:

• 95% chipped wood and leafy material, including pine and fir needles

• 5% of the load may contain unchipped brush and sticks under 2" diameter

If you're hesitant to receive any unchipped brush, please understand that there is always a small amount of material at the end of a job that the chipper won't accept for one reason or another. In order to make this service viable, a small amount of unchipped brush must be expected in each load. These may be placed in your green waste bin.

Your delivery location must be obvious for chips to be delivered. If you wish, you may draw a map of where you would like chip delivered (or email a photograph) to info@sonomatree.com. We will NOT call before attempting to deliver the chips unless specified, and such specification decreases your chances of getting chips.

A large, heavy truck will be used to deliver the chips. Please bear this in mind when planning the delivery and drawing the delivery location map. We make every attempt to deliver your chips as requested, but will not take a chance of damaging your property or ours.

Please note: If your driveway is thin enough, it could crack from the weight of a large truck. Any damage to driveways as a result of our dropping chip is the responsibility of the property owner, not Fine Tree Care. By requesting a chip delivery, you authorize us to drive upon your property, and accept the results of large heavy trucks driving upon, to, from, and generally around your driveway and surrounding areas. We will do our best to be careful.

The chips are delivered in a large pile. We cannot spread the chips or split a single load into two or more piles. Nor can we deliver a load smaller than the truck carries. Also, once delivered we will not pick up. This program is designed primarily for larger landowners who can accept large amounts of general quality chip, or those who have an easy delivery location, and few specific parameters to the drop off location, time, and need to coordinate the delivery.

Paid services are available from regular landscape supply companies who can deliver specific quality chips under specific delivery times, if that is what you need.

How to prepare your drop site

1. Your site must be accessible to the crew without a phone call prior. If you require a call ahead for the crew to drop chips, you will most likely never receive chip from us.

2. Make sure your drop site is wide enough and tall enough for a large truck to drive through and to turn around. (Low hanging branches or wires).

3. Make sure there are no low overhead lines or tree branches that the drop box would hit as its being raised.

4. Leave a marker on the place where you want the chips dropped. This can be a tarp or a cone.

5. Make sure the drop site is large enough to receive the chips. The pile usually takes up a space about the size of a car, or larger.

6. Include a secondary drop location in your description, in case the crew is not able to drop them at your first choice. (e.g. 'If you can't drop them in the driveway, drop them on the side of the road in front of the house.')

Q&A on the Free Wood Chip Program

  • When will I receive wood chips? You may receive a load of chip when we are working in your area and have chip to give away. The easier you make it for us to deliver wood chip to you, the more likely you are to receive a load. Deliveries occur during the day when we need to empty the truck or after we have done all our work for the day on our way back to the yard. You must be able to accept the load anytime as we cannot call ahead and schedule it with you.

  • How large is a load of chip? A typical load of chips is 5 to 10 cubic yards, or enough to cover an area about the size same height, width and length as a car.

  • What about logs? You will not receive any logs.

  • What about stumps or rounds? If you wish to receive these, please let us know.

  • Would this be good for children playgrounds? No. It is best for landscaping around plants, roses, trees, etc.

  • What's the white stuff growing in my wood chips? As wood chips sit in a large pile, they will naturally heat up and start to decompose. As this happens, mushroom mycelium will start to grow on the wood chips and break them down. This may look like a white or green mold growing on the wood chips. There may also be a powdery substance that floats in the air when you disturb the pile. This is all normal wood chip behavior, and is actually very beneficial to your soil and garden. However, we do recommend that people wear a dust mask while spreading wood chip mulch to avoid breathing in too much of the dust.

Mulching Tips

• For well-drained sites, apply a 2 to 4-inch layer of mulch. If drainage problems exist, use a thinner layer.

• If mulch is already present, check the depth. Do not add mulch if there is already a sufficient layer (2 to 4 inches) in place. Instead, rake the old mulch to break up any matted layers and refresh the appearance.

• Avoid placing mulch against tree trunks. The mulch surrounding a tree should resemble more to the likeness of a “crater” (thickest at the outer edges and shallow in the center up to the root crown).

• If mulch is already piled against the stems or tree trunks, pull it back several inches so that the base of the trunk and the root crown are exposed.