Root chippings are an item collected during the tutorial Unstable Foundations. To end the quest and continue to RuneScape, players must choose to either mine the fallen wall away or chop tree roots blocking the path.
To be able to clear the path the player must first train Woodcutting by chopping smaller tree roots growing into the wall. For every successful chop, root chippings are received. After doing this twice, the player will reach level 2 in Woodcutting, and can now chop away the blockade of tree roots, which also give root chippings. However, they may not be kept, and they must be dropped by the end of the tutorial.
If root chippings are dropped and tried to be picked up, they would immediately disappear.
They are fairly useless, and are probably given to the player to show an item is received in return when training certain skills.