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#105901 - 01/26/08 11:47 AM My Second Pond: Got Mulch?
Theo Gallus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12332
Loc: Central Ohio
Just a short thread on finishing cleanup activities at My Second Pond (excavated in My Second Pond: Groundbreaking , with stocking planned in My Second Pond: Stocking Plan, Strategy, and Tactics , and with structure created in My Second Pond: Structure ).

After finishing the dam and pond, my excavator left post-haste to work a wetlands abatement project for the state Dept of Transportation (I got the distinct impression there was completion date dependent money involved), which kept him tied up until the Fall rains reached central Ohio and got everything muddy and soft. This left some brushpile cleanup and fence row clearing activities uncompleted until this week, when the ground was frozen hard enough to bring the heavy equipment back in and work without tearing up any of our finish-graded and reseeded ground.

We were unwilling to have a major brushpile burn on this project due to 1) legal requirement for a burn to be at least 1000 feet from any dwelling, 2) a property width that is just under 1000 feet, 3) houses practically on the property line in the subdivision next door, and 4) 37 sets of neighbors living in said subdivision, some of whom turn us in for weenie roasts before the juice starts dripping out of the hotdogs. So instead, we used a combination of stashing the trees removed for excavation by the woods next to the pond and chipping the largest brushpile (because there just wasn't room to put it out of the way without dropping another big bunch of trees.

Here you can see the industrial chipper we rented, being fed by a small trackhoe and spitting out finger-sized pieces of mulch. This chipper has a 4 cylinder Cummins diesel engine and is the single loudest piece of equipment we have ever had on the farm. You could hear the chipper working from inside a running vehicle on our driveway or from the interior of our well-insulated house, both located over 1000 feet away. Once a tree trunk was placed in the chipper inlet, it is automatically advanced into the chipper at the rate at which it can be chewed up and spit out (IMHO a big improvement over smaller chippers, as seen in Fargo).


We used the chipper to mulch limbs and trunks sized from about 2" up to about 12 inches. Smaller stuff and root balls were moved into a small pile next to the woods and the (>12" diameter) trunks which were too big to mulch were stockpiled to be cut into firewood (this stuff is mostly straight, branchless ash and red maple that splits beautifully). We spread the resulting mulch out over the brushpile area and the area next to it (where trackhoe treads lopped off the new grass with extreme prejudice) to prevent erosion, until it can all be seeded in grass to sprout next Spring. Before (long before, as you can tell by my short sleeves) and after pictures of the brushpile are shown below.



Here is an overall view of the pond in it's current state, frozen over and still about 3 to 3 1/2 feet short of full pool.

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#105936 - 01/26/08 08:35 PM Re: My Second Pond: Got Mulch? [Re: Theo Gallus]
Brettski Offline
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Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6867
Loc: Illinois
How much for the chipper rental?
Chips = horse stall stuff?
-
I'm pretty much over it by now, but I still think about all the trees we just torched. It had to be. At least you get a pile of chips.
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Even in the dead of winter, the new pond looks tuff!
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#105941 - 01/26/08 08:46 PM Re: My Second Pond: Got Mulch? [Re: Brettski]
Theo Gallus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12332
Loc: Central Ohio
$300/day (gulp). You definitely want to have all your ducks lined up before you rent it.

The chips are too big to be much good for horse bedding; not enough surface area to be absorbent (sawdust works OK). Bummer - that would have covered the chipper rental (although we would have had to move them 1/3 mile for dry storage). Ernie said this stuff is what they use for mulching school playgrounds, which have to have all new material, no recycled pallets. But we didn't know of any place that would take it now, so it's on erosion control and soil enrichment duty.
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#105944 - 01/26/08 08:53 PM Re: My Second Pond: Got Mulch? [Re: Theo Gallus]
dave in el dorado ca Offline
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Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 3261
Loc: el dorado ca
just so you know theo, you inspired me to get after some down trees today w/ those pics.....the before and after is striking.

i'm sure you were glad to have that little trackhoe loading into chipper....or you might of ended up w/ peg leg like me (or worse).

i still have the main brush pile left from the pond renovation. it mostly contains the dozen or so 40 ft willows from the dam, but some pines were added....the pile is similar in size to yours, has seasoned for 2 years, and will be the biggest bonfire we've had on the place before the rainy season ends...i'll try to remember to get a before and after...
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#105945 - 01/26/08 08:54 PM Re: My Second Pond: Got Mulch? [Re: Theo Gallus]
ewest Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 18957
Loc: Miss.
That mulch works good for starting fires (house fireplace type). I gather some up in big plastic bags and store in the shed for later use.
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#106040 - 01/27/08 08:53 PM Re: My Second Pond: Got Mulch? [Re: Theo Gallus]
RobA Offline
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Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 702
Loc: SE Pennsylvania
 Originally Posted By: Theo Gallus
Once a tree trunk was placed in the chipper inlet, it is automatically advanced into the chipper at the rate at which it can be chewed up and spit out (IMHO a big improvement over smaller chippers, as seen in Fargo).

What a great movie. What a great scene.

I thought about renting a chipper but I don't have the burn restrictions that you do. I've been burning huge piles lately. Not as easy as it looks.


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