March 19

Are wood chips natural?

Are woodchips natural? Many people use woodchips as a mulch in their gardens. Sometimes they are placed in very large "mulch beds" where you see more mulch than plants. And, some people absolutely love them. They say, woodchips are natural. They mimic nature. I disagree.

There are no woodchips in nature. Especially not so many in one spot. The only woodchips in nature are small pieces of a branch that have fallen or pieces of bark that have flaked off. Large areas of chipped up, shredded, or cut up wood don't exist in nature. In fact, woodchips are a very processed product.

Oh sure, wood is natural. But the only wood that occurs on the ground in nature is when branches break and fall to the ground or entire trees fall down. No animals come along and chop up the wood into small chunks and then spread those chunks over the surface of the ground.

A queen paper wasp - out in March - exploring the woodchips

There are other items that are entirely natural that act as a mulch. Dead plant stems and stalks. These are all over nature. Whether they died from frost or for whatever reason, those plants died, shriveled up and dried out and lay on the ground.

Grasses. Some turn yellow or brown, dry out and look like hay and they cover the ground. Very natural.

Leaves. They fall from the trees every year. They cover the ground They do this all by themselves. No processing needed.

So the next time someone tells you they use woodchips because they are natural or they are mimicking nature, ask them to show you woodchips in nature and see what they say.


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