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Author Topic: burning vs chipping  (Read 5871 times)

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Offline toughy

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burning vs chipping
« on: September 19, 2004, 02:42:37 PM »
Hello,

   I'm going to be clearing manzanita and other brush from around my home this winter.  It's simpler and less expensive to burn it as opposed to chipping it.  The question I have is: When I burn it am I wasting something because it was burned instead of chipped?  When its burned do the minerals go back into the ground or are all the minerals used to produce the brush lost.  I heard that burning is the natural means for the forests to replenish themselves.

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: burning vs chipping
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2004, 06:09:24 PM »
It really depends upon your soil type as to the benefits of each. Check with your local extension service for advice and maybe a soil sample if needed.

What is the preferred practice of "fireproofing" around homes there in your area. Also check with your local fire department for recommendations as certain permits may be needed for burning depending upon your location.

~Ron

Offline toughy

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Re: burning vs chipping
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2004, 09:47:03 PM »
You can either chip or burn.  The preferred one is chipping but thats only because of clean air.

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: burning vs chipping
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2004, 09:13:39 AM »
A lot of the minerals will go off in "flame" when burned and also burn off much of your soil's organic top soil matter depending upon how hot and how you well control the burn.

Chipping will also remove the flamable woody debris and soil nutrients, but a light chipping layer or small woody debris left on the soil may be of advantage to replace nutirents in the soil somewhat. Nature's way of doing it with rotting wood and chips should rot away quickly it not layered too thick.

Chipping also has the "clean air" advantage and maybe less dangerous when burning around dwellings,urban areas, etc.

Go with whatever is the most effective and efficient practice in your area.

~Ron

Offline Tillaway

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Re: burning vs chipping
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2004, 06:04:34 PM »
I'm a little late on this one.

I have done allot of those projects in California.

Burn it in piles, manzanita is a royal pain to run through a chipper and is really hard on knives.  It is also much faster to burn since there is less handling.  You have to fight that stuff through a chipper.

Don't worry about soils unless you pile it all in one place which I don't recommend.  Just start a small fire and cut and throw it on the pile as you go.  When it becomes too far to throw, start another fire.  
Making Tillamook Bay safe for bait; one salmon at a time.

Offline toughy

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Re: burning vs chipping
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2004, 09:08:41 PM »
Thanks alot guys,

   I will be burning it.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: burning vs chipping
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2004, 03:11:08 PM »
Burning in piles is how I cleaned up my small orchard 3 years ago. I didn't want to wade through brush piles when using my herbicide sprayer to kill the weeds afterward. Planting seedlings was much easier too. Also, its easy for a casual walk when you don't have to wade brush. I left some patches of fine branches, not piled, just scattered, they'll break down quite quick anyway. I used some of the wood for furnace wood, but most the apple wood and cherry was in poor shape so it kept the brush piles burning. Omce I got that apple wood on the fire I could burn limbs green with some extra handling of the burn piles. Because a fire just burns in the centre and doesn't travel much if there is no wind, even then it only burns to one side. 2 years afterwards it looks like someone took a sac of wild flowers and broadcast over the site, talk about plant diversity, although most of the colors are blues, yellows and whites. They don't seem to interfere with my planted yellow birch seedlings as they were 12 + inches high when planted from Jiffy containers. I'm just glad its not barn yard grass or cooch.
Move'n on.


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