Tim Bermaw

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since May 26, 2017
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Recent posts by Tim Bermaw

Eric Hanson wrote:I have a roughly 800’ long living fence, and autumn olive grows rampantly there via volunteer....  I do maintain a trail that runs parallel to the fence line ... now I have to actively cut them back now or they will aggressively take over my trail and acreage....  It grows very fast..., grows back from a stump easily, will spontaneously grow up from shallow roots ... and is essentially unstoppable unless you spray copious amounts of roundup or other herbicide (and why would you do that).  The wood is classified as a hardwood, but is probably the softest hardwood available.  It should not dull chainsaws or chipping machinery quickly (but of course all cutting/chipping edges will eventually need sharpening sometime).

Having it grow on either side of a path or road makes sense from a harvesting point of view.  I don't have a problem with 'normal' levels of wear-and-tear — just want to avoid the 'abnormal' ones.

if I were planting new growth, I would also consider poplar, cottonwood, or is especially poplar/cottonwood hybrid.

Populus deltoides x nigra  ?

I don’t know how much you need.

A cubic metre of chips per week (average) to start with — so 52m³ (~1800ft³) in the first year (or thereabouts).  Scale up from that as things get streamlined and the woodlot grows...  Crunched some rough numbers and could probably stabilise at ~250m³ of chips per year.

I already have a few acres of mixed Eucalyptus, Pinus, Acacia and Banksia that can get processed whilst waiting for the dedicated crop to mature, so no rush on that front.

Dillon Nichols wrote:I was at a friends place yesterday.. last summer he dug out two ~20" cottonwoods in a field.  There are many hundred if not thousand suckers emerging in a 100ft radius from where the trees were...

Absolutely fabulous!  Just the sort of self-replacement and expansion I'm looking for.  I'd rather spend my time harvesting than planting.
3 weeks ago

William Bronson wrote:Bamboo or reeds are also possibilities.

Bamboo gets its great strength from a high proportion of silica.  Silica is basically sand.  We all know not to drop our chainsaw bars into the dirt because of how quickly it dulls the cutting teeth.  Wouldn't the same thing apply to the cutting blades on a chipper?  If so, then chipping bamboo might just wear out a lot of blades.

Then again, there are videos like this that show it can and does get done:

4 weeks ago

Dillon Nichols wrote:I have a lot of trees well suited for it thanks to PO clearcutting...

PO clearcutting?

I have been moving the wood(20ft trees piled high on tractor forks) to where I want the chips, then chipping it directly onto garden beds or storage piles.  I think it will be *much* more efficient to take chipper and dump trailer to tree location, chip into dump trailer, and move the chips back. A forkload is a substantial pile of saplings, but this turns into quite a small pile of chips. Way less trips will be involved.

Good tip.

The catch is my chipper is a pto/3pt model, and I cant move the dump trailer with it on the tractor. Once the logging road is fixed up enough for the truck the dump trailer method will be much more practical.

Assuming you have a front-end loader and your chipper has one of those outlets that can be swivelled/directed, could you aim the chipper outlet towards the front of the tractor and catch the chips in the bucket?  Or are the distances/volumes such that that doesn't make sense?
4 weeks ago
Charcoal for making biochar and amending soils, I presume?

Picking a species with multiple uses (e.g. stakes) is a permaculture 'stacking functions' staple, so always a good idea.

Interplanting with (or selecting) nitrogen fixers seems like it would help a lot — especially in the long term.

I've got Black Locust already planted, but that's — in my mind — mainly for firewood.  The plan is to transition from Eucalypts to Black Locust over time.  Given the thorns on the new growth, and the realities of feeding debris into a chipper, I'm not thinking that Black Locust would be a pleasant/desirable option for chipping.  There's also the 'hardness' to consider, and also the high levels of natural fungicide.

Pollarding/coppicing/suckering sure would be desirable traits from the regrowth angle.  Ideally this woodlot would only need to be planted once, and would regenerate automatically.

Pollarding implies 'poles', so I guess species with a 'straight' habit would make chipping much easier.  No need to pre-process a straight-ish, single-stemmed tree (assuming the chipper can handle the trunk diameter).
4 weeks ago
I need woodchips — a lot of woodchips — for [reasons].  I don't want the free woodchips that can be sourced from local tree services — for [other reasons].

I have acreage so am heavily leaning towards growing my own 'trees' specifically for chipping.  Generally-speaking, I'd like to grow 'trees' in the remote part(s) of my property, then harvest/chip/transport the chips closer to home where the carbon/nutrients are more useful.  Chopping and dropping the vegetation where it grows is of no use to me.

'Trees' are the first thing that spring to mind, but most woody (carbon-rich) vegetation would work — as long as it can be reduced to woodchip-sized pieces.  Having relatively uniform output is important to me because it increases the number of options I have with respect to where I store it, how I use it, and how much I use.

So, if you grow trees (or other woody plants) specifically for chipping, or have thought of the idea and done some research, I'd be curious to know:

  • what you grow
  • why you chose the species you did
  • how much (area-wise) you grow
  • how much you harvest each year
  • if and how you have optimised harvesting/processing

  • I look at growing trees for chipping as 'establishing a factory for redeployable-carbon'.  I'm wondering if anyone else does and, if so, what their thoughts are.

    4 weeks ago
    More details about The Scoop on Poop on:

  • permies.com
  • newsociety.com

  • ...for your reading and watching pleasure.
    1 month ago

    Sarah Theo wrote:Is there an option to pledge/pay $100 with 0 shipping for 0 physical

    Yes.  If you don't want any physical copies, just select Virgin Islands, U.S. as the "Shipping Destination" when you make your pledge.  Your shipping fees will be reduced to zero.

    and then I can pledge $15 ($40 with shipping) for one physical book.

    Yes, but you'll need to use a different Kickstarter "account" (with a different email address) for this one.  One Kickstarter "account" cannot have two different pledges for the same Kickstarter at the same time.

    Shawn Klassen-Koop wrote:Can someone who has actually done this verify?

    After you came up with the idea I did a bit of testing.  There's no way for a single Kickstarter account to record two pledges for the same Kickstarter, so if you want to make two pledges you need two accounts.  Each Kickstarter account can be accessed via either an email address or a Facebook account.  One email address can only be used to log into one account, so a person wanting to make two pledges needs to use either two different email addresses, or one email address and one Facebook account, or two different Facebook accounts.
    1 month ago

    paul wheaton wrote:

    Tim Bermaw wrote:Why USA-only for an eBook?

    It has something to do with the book processor and some sort of bizarre tax stuff and crazy.   We explored a lot of ways to make this work for everybody and they all sucked.   And this one ended up being the least sucky.

    Oh, for a moment there I thought the US Government decided to declare 'Early Retirement' to be a 'dangerous muntion' and slapped an export restriction on it.  ;)
    1 month ago

    paul wheaton wrote:The top 100 USA backers will get a copy of Jacob's book.

    Why USA-only for an eBook?
    1 month ago