No-Cost Chipping

Maintaining the legally required 100 feet of defensible space around your property can be a challenge for homeowners. Once you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect your property by thinning and trimming hazardous brush, you are often left with large piles of dry vegetation, which can themselves become a fire hazard.

That is why we created our No-Cost Chipping program for residents in high-fire risk properties in San Diego County. Once you’ve done the hard work of preparing the space, our contractors come out and chip the cleared vegetation for you, free of charge. The chips are left with you and can be used as a weed suppressing mulch on your property.

Please note: Wait time for this program depends on funding availability and geographic location. Generally, properties in North San Diego County have an extended wait time, and South County properties have a shorter wait time due to program demand and grant guidelines. On average, service wait time is about 8-12 weeks. 

The slideshow below shows photos of chipping piles which follow our program guidelines and the wood chips you can expect to be left with after the service. 

Program Guidelines:

Please prepare your chipping piles before you sign up for the program.

  • No ground-clearing disturbance permitted while removing tree limbs or brush
  • Chipping crew is not responsible for moving brush beyond a 5′ distance from the chipper
  • No palm, cactus, poison oak, or ice plant will be chipped
  • Brush must be free of mud, rocks, and other debris
  • Maximum six-inch diameter on cut limbs
  • Piles should be: no more than six feet high, within five feet of road edge, and with cut ends facing road
  • Piles must be fully accessible for chipping equipment and crew
  • Chipped material to be left on-site in the area, not hauled away
  • Brush or limbs that have been mechanically removed (by tractor or bulldozer) will not be chipped
  • Brush or limbs that have been cleared or stacked with a tractor, or bulldozer, will not be chipped
  • Final scheduling decisions are made by the contractor based on location
Please Note:
  • The No-Cost Chipping Program for fuel reduction is offered in targeted communities and are subject to availability of funding. Communities may be added or removed without notice.
  • This program is funding dependent, and currently there is a 8-12 week wait time for service. If you are on the wait list, it is NOT a guarantee your property will be chipped.
  • The No-Cost Chipping Program is administered by the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County in partnership with the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County. Funding is provided by the San Diego River Conservancy through the Governor’s Wildfire Early Action Plan and a grant from San Diego Gas and Electric. 
  • In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.