British Columbia: Free wood chip, leaves, conifer mulch

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by PNW_biologist, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. PNW_biologist

    PNW_biologist New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Are there any Vancouver gardeners out there looking for free mulch? I have recently received an amazing, but rather huge load of mulch from Chip Drop and am looking for people to share in my bounty. I've used all I need and still have 100-200L -ish to share.

    The mulch is a mix of maple wood chips, cut up maple leaves, and shredded conifers. It smells wonderful and to my understanding should be very effective for insulating the soil through the winter, as well as preventing weeds and replenishing some nutrients to the soil.

    My address is 942 West 15th ave in Vancouver. Drop me a line or just drop by with a shovel.
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,466
    Likes Received:
    538
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Hi,

    It is usually recommended to avoid posting addresses in the public forums. You might be able to edit your message to suggest people contact you via starting a conversation (private message) on here (or I can do it for you).
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  3. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

    Messages:
    1,800
    Likes Received:
    628
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    QUESTION - is it correct that some conifer mulch leaches natural toxins? So for example - one might be ok w pine wood and needles but not so w Cedar (I am talking about common BC trees)

    Like sage in Okanagan has natural chemicals for discouraging other plants taking over the sage’s space - a naturally built-in herbicide

    Let me know if I’m way off base about this armchair “expertise “

    Thank you
     
  4. PNW_biologist

    PNW_biologist New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I've read conflicting reports about whether natural toxins from conifers are actively leached and whether they are a detriment to plants/soil... I'm trying out this particular mix for the first time this year. In the past, we used straight up pine needles to mulch certain areas of the garden in the winter.

    The mix that I have also probably only has 5-10% conifer, so I doubt it will be a problem.
     
  5. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    800
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL USA USDA Zone 9
    I just did a casual google of allelopathy and wood chip mulch. There are of course other toxins, acidifiers, and potential problems with many natural mulches. In terms of allelopathy, even the notorious black walnut Juglans nigra and Eucalyptus spp. used as wood chip mulch do not appear to inhibit weed growth after a year or so. With allelopathic trees, the live roots are the biggest problem.

    A Comparison of Landscape Mulches: Chemical, Allelopathic, and Decomposition Properties — Urban Forestry South This is for southern US forestry and urban park planners, but addresses a number of wide spread source trees, including some I hate to see used for mulch and some I recommend. Doubt you get many people offering Melaleuca in your area, though.
     
  6. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

    Messages:
    1,800
    Likes Received:
    628
    Location:
    South Okanagan & Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    INTERESTING POINTS - above

    One thing to consider is at some of these green waste grinding places is that removal services can drop off palettes (made where? From what?) etc

    I found nails and other stuff plus a head gasket (part of car engine) in some - and - on a diff thread here 2016 I think - I said I ended up with a massive expensive fireweed invasion in bought mulch that is very difficult plant to remove due to nature of its roots and fluffy flowers - tho wildlife loves the pretty pink flowers - I suspect the fireweed is result of burn on logged off areas common in Pac NW

    Some suppliers are reputable - so make sure you know before your landscaper buys and invoices you - I learned the hard way $

    I know fr experience that ponderosa pine needles are ok for mini daffodils like tête à tête - tho the pine needles are slippery if used as pathway and DEFINITELY not Firesmart obviously (interface wildfire guidelines) - which we know applies to many places Coast and Interior in BC and WA and OR etc.

    Maples leaves anyone?
    EDIT - I am not suggesting the original poster has low quality mulch - just some general thoughts based on learning the expensive way - thx
     
  7. PNW_biologist

    PNW_biologist New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    While I can definitely imagine some landscaper or arborist sourced mulch being of poor quality with the potential for pallets, nails, and other undesirables, the arborist who dropped this load off assured me that it only contains the listed species.

    One thing that I might consider in the future is planning a year in advance to allow the mulch to compost a year before using it. I think fresh will work fine for my usage, but maybe a year of decomposition would decrease the probability of the mulch microbes consuming the soil nitrogen.
     
  8. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    I'd sure like some! I am always on the hunt for good free mulch to put under and around my hives in the beeyard? Still got some?
     
  9. PNW_biologist

    PNW_biologist New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Yes I do! There is still about 150 litres or so on a pile behind the hedge. My address is in the original post. Send me a message if you are planning to drop by, but anytime is fine really.
     

Share This Page