Type of acceptable wood chips under pine trees

Asked July 6, 2017, 10:06 AM EDT

I have two types of pine trees: Black Hills Spruce and James McFarland. I am going to cut down two apple trees and two ash trees (not diseased) and would like to know if it is OK to put the wood chips form those trees under the aforementioned pine trees. I have been told that some wood chips may adversely change the soil acidity. Do you think it is OK for me to proceed?

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for the question. Wood chip mulches help soil retain moisture, reduce erosion and weeds, increase soil fertility, and regulate soil temperatures among other benefits. Using apple or ash wood chips around your pines will be fine. Studies have shown that soil pH is not acidified by mulches of any kind and any acidification that does occur is contained within the mulch layer itself. Be sure to keep the mulch layer at around 4 inches or so and keep the mulch away from the trunk of the pine trees.
Here are some publications for you to learn more:

Thank you for contacting Extension.