Hi again everyone, this is Ricks Picks. I like the idea of recycling. I like it so much that I try to apply it to all aspects of my household, both inside and outside. I especially like the idea of mulching down all the branches from my trees and bushes. All of the big stuff of course, if it is an inch or bigger ends up being firewood, once it dry's out of course. The smaller stuff which, in many households, ends up in the black trash can when the brown waste recycle container gets full, is all good material to be fed into your chipper/shredder. Check with your local Home Depot Garden Department for more information or check online at HomeDepot.com and just type in "Chipper/Shredder".
The size of your yard and the amount of material you have to deal with, will be the deciding factor in the size of the chipper/shredder you ultimately decide to purchase. If you do not have a fireplace and you plan on feeding 2 inch diameter or larger branches into your new chipper/shredder, then "Bigger" is definitely "Better". I use a smaller 5 HP model that I have had for about 20 years now. It is a nice gas model that works just fine for my purposes. You may need something slightly bigger or perhaps something a little smaller, like an electric powered chipper/shredder. Whichever model you choose, just be sure that it will have enough power to do the job. If you are not sure, go rent some different models from your local Home Depot Tool Rental. Supplies and models will vary depending on your location.
Once you get your new toy, you will be amazed at how quickly that large pile of brush and branches will become a greatly reduced pile of chips, ready to be placed into your flower bed as mulch if you chipped/shredded dry branches and leaves or new material for your compost pile. Even if you find that you have way too much to use, you can now put almost all that chipped and shredded material into the brown recycling container and the city or county will add it to their compost pile. But, before you do that, be sure to check with your neighbors to see if they would like some of that new mulch you just chipped and shredded. That is just one other way of using your mulched material. If you have the space, just place the material onto your existing compost pile and let nature take care of the rest.
Most likely, you will have the type of machine that will take up to a 2 inch branch. Now that is good firewood when it is dry, depending on the type if wood it is. But that is a whole other story. One thing I would like to recommend is some safety gear. If you value your hearing, I would purchase some ear protection. It is amazing at how loud that little 5HP unit of mine is! Wow, it will leave your ears ringing for sure. Next thing I would buy would be dust masks. Get a pack of them, you will need them. Some heavy duty work gloves are a must as well. You do not want to be handling that branch with bare hands when it kicks back at you and trust me, it will, !!!
If you are using your equipment and you find that the wind is not in your favor, be sure to have some eye protection available. It is no fun getting that nasty debris in your eyes! Once you have all of your safety gear, it is time to set up all your branches so that it will be easy for you to access them when the time comes to put them into the chipper/shredder. I like to keep a nice lopper handy, to cut the branches to a size that is easy to put into your chipper/shredder. You will see what I mean when the time comes.
Now that you have all your equipment, time to see how this chipper/shredder works. I have found that, taking your time when feeding the branches into your chipper/shredder and keeping the RPM’s at maximum, will result in a finer mulch material as opposed to jamming the branches into the shoot and causing the RPM to drop due to the extra load. This is especially true if you have a smaller 5 HP unit like I have. I prefer my mulch to be as fine and well chipped as possible. It will break down faster in your compost pile too!
I have a video of my chipper/shredder in action. I think it will give you a more practical application of the use of your chipper/shredder. Have fun with your new garden project!
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