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Free Brush Chipping Program

SSFSC sponsors a free brush and wood chipping program twice a year, Spring and Fall. Its purpose is to encourage and support homeowners in creating and maintaining a defensible space around their homes. You cut the brush and trees and create your defensible spacethen stack it along your driveway or access road, SSFSC schedules and sends professional crews to your home to turn them into chips. The chips are left on site for you to use as mulch or ground cover.

APPLICATION FOR 2021 Spring Chipping are Now Closed

We will not be accepting any further signups.

Stack all materials in accordance the the Do's and Don't below

Confirmations will be sent out on Friday, April 16th

Pile checks will begin on Saturday, April 17th

Schedule will be issued on Wednesday, April 21st

We have had an overwhelming response with more than 85 applications.

We are anticipating that chipping will take at least 3 weeks or more. 

Application Form

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Your home must be within the SSFSC Boundaries (See map)
  2. Brush Piles must be stacked in accordance with the SSFSC checklist.
  3. Brush piles must be available for inspection one week prior to the start date of chipping.
  4. Chipping is available for existing homes only, no new construction nor commercial sites.
For questions please contact Ed Hayes at edandcarolynhayes@gmail.com

SSFSC uses community volunteers to organize and supervise the program which includes the advertising, inspection and onsite supervision of the crews. The crews are hired on a competitive basis and must have current contractor license and appropriate insurance. Generally, our costs run around $325 per hour. This makes scheduling and proper stacking of piles extremely important since we cover such a large area along Skyline Blvd.

It is all free to our customers thanks to support through grants from the following organizations:

  • San Mateo FireSafe Council
  • Santa Clara FireSafe Council
  • FireSafe Council of Santa Cruz County
  • RCD Santa Cruz & San Mateo
  • Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District
  • South Skyline Association
  • Pacific Gas & Electric
  • As well as donations from community people like you

This is a FREE program from your South Skyline FireSafe Council.  A team of 4 bonded tree service professionals will be on-site doing this work.  You can help offset some of the cost of this service by clicking the  button below:


Here is some of the feedback from your neighbors who participated last year:

                                -- Dave

Thank you again for providing this important service the our community!!!!
                                -- The Irwin family

I got home Tuesday afternoon to no more piles! Thank you for the service and helping us keep our property more "defensible". Everything was left in great condition!
                                -- Debra and Don

Thanks for the great job on the chipping at our place.
                                -- Baylor and Linda

You guys were so efficient and good!  Thanks-and please let me know how I can help with the program next year.
                                -- Barrett

Let me add my thanks as well.  Fantastic program!!!!  Fantastic job!!!!  Thanks you so much for your efforts in making this happen.
                                -- Pat

Thank you Ed and the rest of your wonderful group. Such a great service that you provide to all of us.
                                -- Vicki

Note: Your pile must be a minimum of 500 cubic feet (10x10x5) About 15 minutes of chipping. It can not be larger than 4000 cubic feet (60x12x6) No more than 1 hour of chipping.

No chipping will be done for commercial sites, new land clearing or vacant lots.

Create defensible space to about 100 feet from structures & 30 feet from access roads. Piles must be free of all roots, stumps, rocks and mud.
Cut ends must face the same direction and point out toward the chipper location. Piles must be free of poison oak, Scotch broom after it seeds, blackberry and vines.
Piles must be located on the uphill side of private road, driveway, or lane with good access. Piles of leaves, pine needles or yard clippings cannot be chipped
Piles must be within 8 feet of the chipper location and 5 feet or less in height and about 10 feet long Piles must be free of all non-vegetative materials (trash, metal, wire, etc).
Material to be chipped must be less than 8 inches in diameter.  SSFSC will not chip for: timber harvest projects, tree farms, new construction or vacant lots.

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