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Author Topic: Best practice for chipping and wet vs dry  (Read 3392 times)

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Offline redbull

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Best practice for chipping and wet vs dry
« on: April 25, 2019, 02:35:09 PM »
We are about to start clearing about 25 of 40 acres of our mountainous property in the Tahoe Forest. Decades of slash piles and down limbs piles up (all dry), and 3-10 foot live standing saplings (pine, doug fir, madrone) that were allowed to fill in between the big trees. We rented a tow behind Vermeer BC700 (6-inch) to do a test clearing of an acre that went well but it was all hand gather and feed as we moved the chipper to each area.

The greater plan is to tractor/brush grapple the greater piles over to the chipper and this brings me to my questions:

The dry wood makes fluffy much more uniform chip, while the saplings create wet (for now), needle filled branchy mix. It is wise, recommended, or preferred to just shoot all this chip back across the forest floor and if so, since I have a high volume of both kinds of chip fed at different times (dry first then wet later), would it matter which? Is one kind preferred for trails/paths and another for general forest floor?

Or do we try and keep the forest floor clear and use the chip only for trails/paths?

Offline maple flats

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Re: Best practice for chipping and wet vs dry
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2019, 01:21:41 PM »
Do you have a contract that specifies? All of my chipping is done on my own land, I do mostly fresh cut, but I do not separate it if I get a batch to chip that is dry dead wood. I just keep moving the discharge chute so it gets spread out and not into piles. It decays in a few years.
Do things break down very quickly there?
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed, Woodland Mills HM130Max , maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Best practice for chipping and wet vs dry
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2019, 01:30:04 PM »
You might want to look into getting someone with a forestry mulcher to clean it up.  Seems like the perfect tool for that job.

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Best practice for chipping and wet vs dry
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2019, 10:50:32 PM »
Welcome, Redbull.  Which side of the summit are you?  I'm building off I-80 at Yuba Gap.

I've seen what a masticator can do and it is both amazing and FAST.  You might want to look into something like that.  One person just flying along.
John Sawicky

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SkyTrak 9038, Ford 545D FEL, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline redbull

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Re: Best practice for chipping and wet vs dry
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2019, 03:47:59 AM »
Thanks for the replies and the welcome!

It isn't a contract it is our own property.

We thought of a masticator crew but after seeing a few properties just after passes, the shredded al pastor pork-like chunks aren't as nice as the smaller chip.

Things don't seem to break down very quick here. Getting things as small as possible is the ideal.

The hope after is to smooth tune up different areas for a mix of recreational zones (field archery, disc golf, enduro moto/MTB trails, moto/bike trials areas, tent pads, etc.) for fun with friends. So attention will be spent on the needs of each. Small chip seems to be the easier leave or clear as needed but just not sure if everything that is not trail or path should be chip.

Right now the initial plan is a mini track loader with a grapple to do about a week of initial passes clearing/gathering as much as possible of the already down dry branches and staging for the chipper in key chip ejection areas. Evaluate, then attack the sapplings now that things are more reachable and deciding where that chipping will take place and get thrown.

ljohnsaw - The North-West corner of Tahoe Forest between Nevada City and Downieville.

Offline RPF2509

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Re: Best practice for chipping and wet vs dry
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2019, 12:03:22 PM »
Your best chipping is when its cool and moist.  letting things dry increases the chance of a spark igniting things.  Fresh cut seems to chip better and the flexibility feeds into the chipper better.  Broadcast or concentrate - depends on what you want.  Broadcast chip will carry a ground fire but its better than standing brush.  Chip on paths can help esp if soil tends to be soggy like stream areas but they can be slippery for bikes.  Masticators get it done fast but results can be a bit messy.  Some masticators will incorporate the mulch into the soil but it requires an additional pass and rocky ground is tough on the machine.  If you have the time, cutting and chipping by hand works but is slow, any kind of mechanical assistance speeds things up.

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