Tree Service Company Left Shavings – What Should I Do With Them?

After hiring a tree service company to work on your property, don’t be surprised if they left shavings behind. Whether you’re getting a tree removed, or perhaps a tree pruned, you’ll inevitably come across lots of wood chips on your land once the job has been completed.

Like many others, you’re probably wondering what you can do with all of the shavings. Of course, you can put them in the trash, but wood chips can be used for many different things, so let’s take a closer look at some of the things you can do with them.

recycling the tree shavings

Find a tree service company that will remove the shavings

There are several tree services out there that will remove the shavings for you. Before hiring a tree surgeon, consider asking them if they will remove all of the shavings once they’ve finished working. Don’t assume that removing the wood chips is included in the initial quote.

Reputable companies, like Trufast Tree Service can remove or leave tree trimmings based on preference. However, not all companies provide this service, so you must ask before the crew begins the job.

Removing the shavings yourself can consume a lot of time, especially if you don’t have access to the proper tools needed to carry out the task. An experienced and professional tree service will be able to remove all the shavings in a short space of time.

Even if the tree company removes the shavings, they will probably give them to you after the clean-up has been carried out. However, if you don’t want to keep them, they should have no problem using them themselves, or giving the shavings to another customer.

You can use the shavings as mulch

The reason tree surgeons leave shavings behind on their client’s property is that sometimes their customers want to keep them. There are several things you can do with tree shavings, including making mulch.

Wood chips can be used as an organic mulch, which can help improve the soil around trees and plants. It can also be used to suppress weeds growing on your land, and some even use it to save water because it helps preserve water in the soil. Not only does it benefit plants and trees growing on your property, but it looks good too.

If you have mulch on soil through your land, before removing the shavings, take a look at each of the beds. If you notice the old mulch is looking thin, perhaps it’s time to replenish it. Experts advise tree and plant owners to use at least a three-inch layer of organic mulch. If the coating is thin, it won’t be able to suppress weeds from growing. You can do the same with potted trees and plants.

Is it safe to use on household plants?

Although you can use almost all wood shavings as mulch, there are a few different types of wood you will want to avoid using. If there is walnut on your land, don’t use this as mulch as it contains a chemical that stops other plants from growing.

You’ll want to keep an eye out for construction materials that got mixed up in the shavings the tree surgeon used while taking on the task. These materials often contain toxic treatments that might cause the mulch to harm your trees and plants. Before you begin making the mulch, ask the tree surgeons whether or not any materials got mixed up in the shavings, and whether or not they used pesticides during the process. Although some pesticides can benefit your plants and trees, others can do some serious damage.

Share the shavings with your neighbors

If your neighbors take pride in their garden, they might require some wood chips. Consider asking your neighbors if they would like some free wood chips as long as they help you remove them.

Don’t hesitate to ask children to help out too. Organic mulch isn’t sharp, so you won’t have to worry about a child sustaining an injury while cleaning up the shavings. Lots of folks use mulch in children’s play areas for added protection.

Use the shavings at a later date

Just because you might not need the shavings after the job has been completed, you might need them at a later stage. Sourcing woodchips from your local yard store can prove challenging because few stores nowadays keep woodchips in stock.

Selling woodchips is not an easy task either, but if you don’t need them immediately, why not put them in storage, so when you need them, you won’t have to go looking to see if they are available.

Prevent soil erosion

A common problem plenty of property owners face is soil erosion. To prevent this from happening, you should consider using the shavings as a barrier on all of the beds in your yard.

By doing so, it will provide the beds with a defensive layer that can help stop erosion. After a short while, all of the woodchips will start to lock together, which helps the soil from moving.

Although this is only a temporary way of controlling the erosion of your soil, it will work for a while.

You can use mulch to stop bugs

Some woodchips are great at repelling bugs and pests. Instead of using dangerous chemicals to prevent bugs from destroying your trees and plants, woodchips (especially cypress, pine, and cedar woodchips) can be used as a safer and more natural solution.

mulch from tree shavings

If you currently have a flea population on your property, using woodchips to reduce or remove these harmful pests is a great idea. If your family and pets spend time on the land, you will want them safe from ticks and other harmful insects. Again, woodchip mulch can help prevent these bugs from making your property their home.

Mulch can improve soil temperatures during the colder months

During the winter, maintaining the temperature of the soil on your property isn’t going to be easy. However, mulch can be used as an insulative layer that will help keep the temperature of the surface of your soil consistent. Those who use mulch during the winter period tend to have healthier plants and trees by the time the Spring comes around.

Frost damage can prove detrimental to your plants, so don’t forget to use mulch before the snow arrives. Mulch will help prevent large amounts of moisture from gaining access to the plant’s roots, which will help the plants grow once the snow has gone.


Although recycling the tree shavings on your property has several benefits, there are a few downsides to re-using it. Don’t be surprised if you notice fungal growth. If you plant vegetables on your property, keep in mind that they will want to use organic material as a nutrient. Vegetables will also consume woodchip mulch to keep it safe during the season. However, after a while, you might see fungi developing throughout your property. This can have a negative impact on the plants and the vegetable on your land.

Although it might take a few years for the fungi to start establishing itself, it can cause a lot of issues for the land owner.

Consider asking your tree surgeon for professional advice on how you can use shavings around your home.

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About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at or

One Response to Tree Service Company Left Shavings – What Should I Do With Them?

  1. Mike Anderson says:

    I find that shavings are very useful for somewhat steeper slopes containing house plants or small trees, especially in an areas where flooding is possible. Keeps my driveway and side walk cleaner and mud free after a heavy rain. Thanks for the read!

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