London (change)
Today 21°C / 16°C
Tomorrow 22°C / 15°C
14 messages
15/08/2013 at 14:03

My "stock pile" for composting is getting out of hand!  I intend to buy a garden mulcher but perhaps hire one first to get an idea of how much it can handle.  Has anyone bought one?  If so what experiences do you have? Petrol or electric?  The one I need will have to be able to take branches from various fruit trees, conifer hedges etc in addition to the usual soft stuff that piles up.  I'm gearing up for more homemade compost but thats a story for another thread..........

15/08/2013 at 14:22

Will this be what I know as a chipper/shredder? If so I'd recommend it. Petrol. Assess the largest diameter branch you'll want to put through. Max size of branch is usually written on the machine. What they don't do well in my experience is soft wet growth.

15/08/2013 at 17:07
Hi Mrweeds im also looking for help with a shredder and don't seem to find anyone whose actually happy with any of them,they seem to clog up with green or wet stuff ,im looking for one that will take green stuff and Hydrangea type clippings so i can mulch, even the BnQ chap couldn't give me any good guidance on it except don't buy a Bosch they get returned more than others it seems,so im still looking so ill keep my eye on this question good luck Mrweeds Alan4711
15/08/2013 at 17:44

I'm also looking for a green clipping shredder but also can't find one 



15/08/2013 at 17:50

Same here. Always store the branches etc until dried out. Would be better if could do it on same day as cutting.

15/08/2013 at 18:48

It doesn't matter what make/model, the only way to shred is to have two piles of stuff, one green stuff and one dry stuff.  You need to mix them while shredding, so that about 80% is dry matter and 20% wet.  In other words you need to feed in 4 parts dry matter with one part wet matter.  That is all there is to it.  By following this rule of thumb, I can shred for several hours without blocking my Alko.

15/08/2013 at 19:15
many thanks Bob, Alan
15/08/2013 at 19:16

I've got a bosch shredder which chunks straight pieces of dryish stuff. Also an alko which I chuck all the bits in. If there is too much wet it will clog, but I add some newspaper every now and then, or as Bob, says, mix the wet bits with some dry.

16/08/2013 at 16:00

Ok, thanks all.  The petrol models able to take up to 50mm are a little out of my much right now I discovered.  Searching second hand now so will let you know how I get on.

17/08/2013 at 13:21


I hope im not late on this subject as i bought a shredder/chipper last year,

It works off the mini tractor P.T.O (Power turn over) but you can buy these in petrol operated machines,

Now ive a large garden and as we're wood burning home heated we get our wood from the local woods, this means removing all the side shoots before the wood is cut into wood burner size and then split,

Coming back to the size of the garden and the fact that age slows you down i needed mulch to help keep weeds down and protect the roots of verious trees/plants etc through the winter,

This wood chipper is a great bit of stuff "not only" will it deal with all the "up to 2 inch thick wood, but also such things as cabbage stalks, now these are not dry when they go through the machine and it deals with them with no messing,

how it all works is a drum turns all the time and this drum has spikes that grip the wood and feeds it into another drum thats got a series of metal blades that go around at speed, these cut the wood into small chips and then a blower blows the chips through a tunnel into a pile,

the thing to check is that this tunnel is kept dry-ish otherwise the dust of the chips will block the exit route out of the tunnel,

So do as i do and clean the machine after use "i use polish in the tunnel area to help it stay moist free and the chips etc slide out easier" If you dont clean after use the dust thats collected in this are will have moisture in it and will cause damp "hence a future blockage waiting to happen.

As ive said this is a great machine and ive had it going for two days non stop except for the normal tes/coffee break and its filled trailer after trailer (farm tractor trailer size) time and time again.

Remember you get what you pay for, if you want quality then dont buy cheaper ones as this is a machine meant to work,

google shredder/chippers and you'll see just how much work these machines can do.

Hope this little lot helps.

19/08/2013 at 20:32

Thanks Smokin - very helpful.  Definitely getting petrol and the largest capacity I can afford.  Its amazing how much needs to be disposed of!

19/08/2013 at 23:09

You wont be sorry you did,

I waited far to long before i got one,

Im amazed just how much mulch i can put to good use and help the plants out in the winter (roses etc)

By getting a petrol one you can take the machine to the where ever the wood is and chip it there.

Good luck

20/08/2013 at 12:18

Get your self a petrol one and try to keep the blades as sharp as you can if your chipping.

If you buy one get spare blades and that way you can get them sharpened but while you have a spare.

We had a joiner sharpen ours on a motorised sharpener.

The amount of stuff you can get through is amazing and we used it in the compost and as mulch on beds.

21/08/2013 at 23:27

Get yourself a petrol one.  If you get one which can be laid flat you can rake in the clipping and the chipper option normally says it wil do up to 3" diameter, but just over 2" is more realistic.  I have a 10hp Mighty Mac Woodsman and it pulps everything I throw at it. I use it for autumn leaves, tree and hedge prunings as well as old bedding plant etc straight onto the compost heap.  One tip though get yourself a forestry helmet with ear defenders and visor.  It is very noisy and it the debris comes out like a machine gun!!

email image
14 messages