When Should I Use Wood Chips?

Q: I am having some trees removed and would like to have them chipped up and spread around my plants and flower beds. Is this a good idea?

A: Arborist wood chips are an excellent landscape mulch! Unlike other mulch material such as pine straw, bark chips, and shredded wood, arborist wood chips are a mixture of leaves, bark and sapwood. As these constituents slowly decompose, they release nutrients to the shrub and tree roots underneath. And, like other mulches, wood chips suppress weeds and keep the soil moist. You can apply a layer two to four inches deep. The only caution is to keep the mulch three inches away from the trunk of the shrub or tree, to prevent potential damage to the bark. More at bit.ly/GAwoodchips.