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Old 07-25-2012, 09:01 AM
50 posts, read 119,153 times
Reputation: 42


Hi. I live on a heavily wooded lot in Wake Forest. I've been here about 6 years now and I am looking to take down a good number of baby pines as soon as I can.

One of the biggest challenges I've had living here has been trying to discard all my yard waste. Recently I got the idea that purchasing a heavy duty wood chipper might not be a bad investment. This way I could cut down my pines, put them in the chipper, and have some mulch for my property.

I know they are not cheap (the one I am looking at is around $1,400), but does anyone have any experience owning and operating their own wood chipper? Is my plan for the baby pines a sound one?

I figure I would save some money on mulch and transporting yard waste to North Raleigh, and that it might wind up paying for itself in a few years. Any insight would be appreciated.

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Old 07-25-2012, 10:20 AM
Location: Georgia, USA
23,161 posts, read 27,952,585 times
Reputation: 28581
I have a chipper, but I seldom use it. It is extremely labor intensive for not much return. I can haul yard waste to the mulching site at our land fill. If I want mulch, it is free from there.

Chippers can also be dangerous to use.

The size of your "baby pines" may be a consideration, too. My chipper does not handle larger branches too well.
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:16 AM
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,807 posts, read 41,741,408 times
Reputation: 43152
I have an electric one, in fact just came in after running it most of the morning, and am getting ready to upgrade to a larger gas one.

Do I use it "a lot"? No. Am I glad to have it when I need it? Yes.

It's like my tiller or chainsaw, they may only get used a couple times a year but when you need them you need them.
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:46 AM
50 posts, read 119,153 times
Reputation: 42
Thank you for the replies. Yeah, I think I would go with a larger gas one right off the bat. And considering I'm constantly trying to find a way to dispose of my yard waste, I think it might be a good investment.

NC is by far the greenest place I have ever lived, so I'm sure finding uses for it over time won't be an issue.
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:50 AM
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 37,379,191 times
Reputation: 39005
We had a gas one for about 15 years, and it was invaluable.
Never had to by mulch... or firewood.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:50 PM
25,631 posts, read 30,231,753 times
Reputation: 23106

Yard Shark w/8hp Briggs and Stratton.

Good for all sorts of trees and especially those named Carl.

You betcha.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:08 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,470 posts, read 43,438,848 times
Reputation: 47198
We had and used one for a long time in Atlanta. We finally decided it just wasn't worth the effort and time involved. And the pile of mulch was not worth the effort. We decided to stop using it, get free mulch delivered and spread it ourselves or hire local teens to do it. And it shook our arms sooooo bad when trying to use it. Don't know how much it cost. We had almost 2 acres.

Now if you are cutting down a forest every year it might be worth it but why not use your energy to cut down the trees and let them rot in place?
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:58 PM
12,489 posts, read 16,541,586 times
Reputation: 24082
I've had a Troy-bilt chipper-shredder (model CS 4325) for several years at my Albuquerque home and have found it to be very useful in taking care of the few trees I have. It can handle 3" diameter limbs but it sounds like you may need something a little bit larger.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:07 PM
Status: "C9H13NO3" (set 17 days ago)
Location: Raleigh NC
3,254 posts, read 7,215,789 times
Reputation: 3813
I think you're better off cutting down the trees and dragging them to an area where you want a pile of wood chips. Then all you have to do is rent a commercial chipper from Triad Equipment on Capital blvd. for a day.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:56 PM
Location: Swiftwater, PA
14,253 posts, read 11,570,587 times
Reputation: 10637
I have five acres of woods and lawn and my chipper sits collecting dust. I just have too much work for the chipper that I bought – a ten horsepower Yard Machine. If I feed too many leaves or wet leaves into the leaf end; it jams. It jams with sticks on the branch side – even when I come no place close to the the three or four inch maximum. I have even had the blades apart and sharpened them to make sure that it was not just dull blades.

I like mulching leaves with my ridding tractors. They do a better job and (if I always mow with the discharge shoot facing the middle of my circle) they also help rake and collect the leaves. The tractors do a pretty good job on mulching the smaller branches. I can also put on a bagging attachment and collect the mulch. In two or three years it turns back into soil.

I made a few brush piles on a back corner of my property. The brush actually breaks down and rots fairly quick (several years). The larger branches and trees I cut into firewood. Yes; I could also take the brush to a municipal recycling/compost center.

I would recommend saving your money and renting a large unit from a rental store – if you have too much to haul to a recycling center.
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