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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have both our front and back yards entirely mulched. Then, we add in plants where we want them. But no grass, and nothing that really requires maintanance or care.<br><br>
Once before we've receive a load of free mulch from a tree removal company. They have to pay to get rid of it, so they'd rather give it away free. It worked out great for us. We don't care about the look of the mulch, so it's fine that it's all different. And I'm glad that it's not being made from trees that don't "need" to be cut down, you know? I mean, if the tree is being chopped down anyway, it's better to use that mulch than to buy it in big plastic bags at WalMart, right?<br><br>
Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this.
 

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No, but it seems like a great idea. How did you find out about the mulch?<br><br>
We mulch our front beds to control weeds and keep the soil moist in the summer. I usually spend $75 each Spring for a load. I oculd think of a lot of nice plants I would rather spend my money on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I found out because my neighbor owns a tree removal business. He has to pay a fee to the county whenever he dumps the mulch from the trees he removes. So, he prefers to give it away. I looked in the yellow pages under "tree removal" and found quite a few ads with "free mulch". I'm sure many of those who don't advertise it do it anyway. It's really great! They just let you know when they'll be in your area and you make sure to have a place ready for them to dump it.<br><br>
And, $75 for a load? How much is in that load? That seems cheap to me!
 

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I keep trying but so far no tree company ends up leaving it here. They won't tell me why, but it may be because of my driveway.
 

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No but my mom has had tree removal companies come and take trees down on her property in exchange for letting them keep the wood/mulch which the company then sells to people.<br><br>
Around here, though, my friend is a landscaper and he cannot resell or even give away any mulch he creates because it is not "sterile" whatever that means - I guess bits of diseased trees can find their way into the mulch and the county prohibits its use <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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When we were younger, my dad used to leave notes on their windows if he saw a tree removal truck. I wonder if he still does it that way?
 

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I don't, cause DH is pretty picky about the kind of mulch we have, and always wants to buy exactly what he wants. But my dad has a tree removal company, and I am pretty sure he charges only a delivery fee (to cover the cost of gas for the beast of a truck he uses). Whatever he doesn't sell this way goes down on the paths through my parents' woods, or on the trails on my aunt's horse farm...great stuff!
 

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My parents occasionally get free mulch from their town.<br><br>
My town does free compost, but we just moved here, and I haven't been out to the composting dump yet to see if there is mulch too.
 

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A tree removal company was just working down the road from us a little while ago, and I was able to get a couple bags of shredded stuff. That was nice!<br><br>
Another idea: my compost pile tends to have a lot more "greens" in it than browns, so I asked the folks at Home Depot if I could have a bunch of their sawdust. They looked at me funny, but they filled up my garbage can. Now I just put a bucket of it on top of my grass clippings in the heap. (And I realize some of it is treated lumber, but for my compost pile I am not too worried.)
 

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OK from what I understand, you only want to use bark as mulch, and not wood from the rest of the tree because it will steal nitrogen from the plants. Bark will not. I have gotten wood chips from a tree removal company before but I put them in my compost to decompose first. This is just what a gardener friend of mine told me, so someone can feel free to correct me if I"m wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, I think I've heard that about the bark. That's why we just use purchased pine bark around our actual plants. But we use whole tree mulch for the center of our yard. Here's our backyard:<br><a href="http://www.familymoses.net/outside.htm" target="_blank">http://www.familymoses.net/outside.htm</a>
 

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our neighbor knows someone who works for a tree company and they have dumped several loads this year for them, I went down and loaded some up for my garden paths to keep down the weeds and add moisture and eventually 'organic matter'<br><br>
Organic matter---I do think I have no idea where those trees and bushes came from so truely they are not 'organic' and that bothers me somewhat, I don't buy organic hay to mulch with nor is all my food scraps organic so in one way I'm not totally weird about using it but I do wonder sometimes "did they spray those trees at one time? and with what? Around here they usually trim the trees because of power lines or to keep the roads clear, not much decrotive/trim the trees in town where the use of chemicals theoretically could be higher, if not more intense. I know they have sprayed power lines in the past around here and there is the exast from the cars.... but.... so I've used it this year and am happy on one hand but don't want to REALLLY think about it.<br><br>
In town they have their yard waste area where folks take grass clippings and fallen leaves in the fall, I have restrained myself on using those, look at all those green yards in town and if the folks are dumping them, not using them for compost it 'might' mean that they have chemicals in them. Really makes me sad when I pass by w/ an empty truck and I don't feel comfortable hauling a load home. I want it for eating garden not flowers or shrubs so that's where my hangup is. If I actually had a shrub/flowr garden that didn't have edibales in it, I think I would cosider stopping for a load.
 

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Some people don't like to use the mulch from tree removal companies because the companies are often removing diseased and insect-infested trees. However, I have a huge area to mulch, so I'm getting ready to take a chance and get a load from a tree removal company. Of course, I'll look it over for bugs first, especially termites.<br><br>
I'd never heard the "bark versus wood" thing. In fact, one of the most popular mulches is hardwood mulch. Any mulch can cause the depletion of nitrogen to the soil, though, so you almost always have to fertilize mulched areas.
 

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i've used free woodchips for years. the county gives them away, also. they will deliver a load if you call and put your name on a list.<br>
note that woodchips don't really add that much nutrition to the soil. for nutrition, i use horse manure, which i also get delivered for free. i use woodchips to create pathways around my gardens, and the manure on the gardens themselves.
 

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lightheart re: "organic matter" I agree this is a misleading term. Technically "organic" can mean that it is carbon-based, and has nothing to do with pesticides.
 

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Yes, I've done this twice. It worked out fine. They dumped the stuff on the driveway and we wheelbarrowed it into place.
 
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