Kc Simmons wrote:Based on the feedback, it seems my thoughts are pretty much in line with all of your experiences. I figured it would be a lot of time/effort/money, for very little yield.
For now, I'll probably just continue to ask the tree-trimming company to bring me chips, but also begin saving & piling up any sticks/branches that I have an immediate need. Then I can just rent one when the pile is big enough to justify the expense, transport & fuel.
For most people, that's the way to go. The small machines are a total waste of time. With that being said, I picked-up a PTO Woodmaxx WM8800 8" chipper this past summer and love it, but my property can produce a tremendous amount of branches in short order. For me, the best feature is the maneuverability the PTO chipper provides, I can back it right up to the work area, even between trees, and it saves a lot of dragging. Before I bought the chipper, I would drag and stack the branches to create 'habitat' and let them decompose in place, but that mostly made habitat for bull briars, rabbits and mice ...good for the owls and fox, me not so much. Next best method was to use the branches in a controlled burn to clear unwanted weeds. This worked great but it can be time-consuming and burning conditions need to be just right. So I finally opted for the PTO chipper, ends up being a time saver for me. It also affords me the ability to make wood chips on demand specifically for growing mushrooms (ie: oysters in buckets).
For those in northern climates, one downside to the chipper is it's not good to use them when below freezing (tough on the blades).