How do you colour woodchips? We are a tree surgery firm and sell bagged and loose quantities of chips to the public but have recently been asked for blue chips to meet the needs of a new garden design.

Sally Drury answers questions on colouring woodchips, pruning at height and mowing in a raised lawn area.

It's a good idea to offer coloured woodchips as there is extra money to be made from them.

Equipment Supply Services (ESS) is one company in the UK supplying colours or dyes to increase the value of woodchip mulch. The West Glamorgan-based firm supplies Firechief and Eco-Colour ranges - the Firechief range having the advantage of being an effective fire retardant and so making them particularly useful for public areas, roadside verges and around offices where smoking materials may be discarded.

Both are offered in a range of 10 colours, with bespoke shades also being available. The dyes are liquid, so they soak into the wood and give a true, durable colour that should last longer than powder-based products that only cover the surface of the woodchips.

If the woodchips are to be used in conditions where they will be subjected to high-UV levels, ESS can supply special UV-resistant dyes that ensure the woodchips stay the desired colour for longer than conventional dyes. The dyes are completely pet and child safe, so they could be used in playgrounds and urban parks where children play.

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