The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:




TimberKing Sawmills




Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Forest Products Industry Insurance


Norwood Industries Inc.


Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine



Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades


Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Woodshax Outdoor Vending Solutions

FARMA

Forestry Forum Tool Box

Author Topic: Disposing of tree tops  (Read 1737 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BenjaminPQ

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • I'm new!
Disposing of tree tops
« on: August 04, 2016, 12:30:46 pm »
I'm clearing some forest on my property. I was burning the tree tops and brush until the county came and told me to stop. My neighbors are within 1000 ft so I can only have a 5x5x5 "ceremonial" fire. So, what are my options. I'm considering renting a dump truck and hauling it to the local drop off. A top load chipper would be great. I have a thump on my backhoe and could load it pretty fast. Does a top load chipper exist? I stander ed chipper would just take to long I think.

Any advice in appreciated!

Offline Weekend_Sawyer

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3246
  • Age: 57
  • Location: Laurel, MD
  • Gender: Male
  • Jack of all trades, master of fun
Re: Disposing of tree tops
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2016, 01:50:48 pm »
If you are replanting trees the tops will make good cover and add nutrients as they rot for seedlings.

If you don't mind having a slash pile pick out a spot and make a big pile, the birds, snakes and small mammals would love it.

I don't know about a chipper.

Jon
Imagine, Me a Tree Farmer.
Jon, Appalachian American Wannabe. ... and it looks like my dream will come true!

Offline thecfarm

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 25193
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Chesterville,Maine
  • Gender: Male
  • If I don't do it,it don't get done
Re: Disposing of tree tops
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2016, 07:24:49 pm »
I have no idea how many tops you have. No idea where you live,firewood as a option?
I cut wood on my land. I only have a tractor so can't run through the brush. I try not to leave anything over 2 feet long,which is just about impossible,but this is what I try to do. Sometimes I can't tell something is longer. I run the saw up and down the limbs and cut the limbs short when still on the trunk. Yes,it's slow,but cheaper and maybe just as quick as a chipper. I cut the brush short because my land is a challenge to get a road through,between the rocks,uneven ground and trees I want to leave,it's hard to get a road through my land. This way I can drive over the brush,if I need to. After a few years,the brush is gone. I don't leave a piece that is curved up into the air,that is why I cut it so short. Get it down on the ground and it will disappear.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline low_48

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 635
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Peoria, IL 61614
  • Gender: Male
Re: Disposing of tree tops
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2016, 10:51:41 pm »
Any barbecue restaurants in your area? They would buy hickory for sure, and possibly some other woods.

Offline timberlinetree

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1564
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Blandford, MA
  • Gender: Male
Re: Disposing of tree tops
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2016, 06:54:57 am »
We chop the tops( cut into small pieces) and in a couple years you won't even now they were there. But as mentioned, leave them if trying to establish new growth.
I've met Vets who have lived but still lost their lives... Thank a Vet

Family man and loving it :)

Offline bdsmith

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Location: Gulf Coast MS, inland 40 miles
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
Re: Disposing of tree tops
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 07:08:19 pm »
I make charcoal with my slash.  It reduces the wood to a tenth of original volume and then you can use it as a soil amendment.  (look up biochar on the internet.)

My slash piles are quite large so I dig a pit 3' deep, 3' wide and 5' to 10' long depending on the length of the branches, using the dirt to make a berm around the pit.  I start a fire in the bottom and start piling the wood in.  I let each addition to the pile start burning well before adding more.  After a while, it is amazing how fast it will start burning with all that heat below.
By burning on the top like this, I keep the combustion plane above the pile of wood coals.  This keeps the coals in a low oxygen zone and prevents them from burning into ash.  Mix small branches with trunk pieces to get a consistent burn and even distribution of coals. 
When the pit is filled, douse it REAL well with water, or cover it with metal sheeting or just shovel dirt on it to smother the fire.  Check back frequently for smoke because it can take a few days to go out completely.  The charcoal will mostly be the sizr of small gravel; shovel it out and use it around plants and garden as biochar.
Burning this way is surprisingly smoke free because most of the soot stays as part of the charcoal.  Green branches give off white steam but that is all. 

Offline Furu

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 124
  • Location: NW US
Re: Disposing of tree tops
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2017, 09:45:00 pm »
I'm clearing some forest on my property. I was burning the tree tops and brush until the county came and told me to stop. My neighbors are within 1000 ft so I can only have a 5x5x5 "ceremonial" fire. So, what are my options. I'm considering renting a dump truck and hauling it to the local drop off. A top load chipper would be great. I have a thump on my backhoe and could load it pretty fast. Does a top load chipper exist? I stander ed chipper would just take to long I think.

Any advice in appreciated!

Letting it rot back into the soil is the best idea for long term health as several have mentioned.  Mulching it with a forestry mulcher can break it down into varying sizes.  If you get it too small it rots too quickly.  Larger chunks will decay at rates that feed the next generation for several years.  Benefits everyone.






Offline bdsmith

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Location: Gulf Coast MS, inland 40 miles
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
Re: Disposing of tree tops
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 07:04:19 pm »
As mentioned, chipped and rotting wood will provide nutrients to the forest for the next 5 to 20 years, depending on the size of the chips.
Charcoal will last for several thousands of years in the soil.  The Amazon has fertile areas with charcoal that humans added more than 2500 years ago (biochar).  Charcoal acts as a medium for bacteria and fungal growth, absorbing water and nutrients and then releasing them slowly. 
If you are looking at improving the soil for the future forest or for agriculture, converting the wood into charcoal provides a very long term benefit.

Offline bluthum

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Nothcentral Arkansas
  • Gender: Male
  • Tick magnet.
Re: Disposing of tree tops
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2017, 08:11:42 pm »
Yep, yep and yep for the votes for adding it back to the soil. I'm glad to see so much wisdom.

Offline Chuck White

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 10373
  • Age: 68
  • Location: Russell, NY (Way Upstate)
  • Gender: Male
  • Sawing Mobile since 2005
Re: Disposing of tree tops
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2017, 02:52:29 pm »
Letting the tops and limbs go back to nature is a good thing, but if you have to get rid of them, AND if you are agricultural, you might be exempted from the burning issue!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider
Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline petefrom bearswamp

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2710
  • Age: 80
  • Location: Finger Lakes region of NY, no more FL in winter
  • Gender: Male
  • made 70-10 and still feelin pretty darned good!
Re: Disposing of tree tops
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2017, 05:54:07 pm »
Benjamin, I'll bet you are in the great state of NY.
Cant burn stuff , unless a ceremonial bonfire.
Let em rot.
I have heaps of Hemlock slabs that I cant burn but have thought maybe go to the Onondaga reservation and invite several Native Americans to my place with a couple of kegs of beer for a real ceremony.
LT40SHDD51
Kubota 8540 tractor, Farmi winch
Kubota 900 RTV
Polaris 550 Sportsman ATV
1 Husky 1 gas Echo 1 cordless Echo
241 acres of woodland

Offline red

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1952
  • Location: ne PA
  • Gender: Male
  • we will never forget
Re: Disposing of tree tops
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2017, 08:19:09 pm »
Maybe Charcoal ?
We have a lot of good boys and girls in harms way
lets all support them and their familys.

Offline Stuart Caruk

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 243
  • Location: Ridgefield WA USA
  • Gender: Female
  • Woodmizer Stationary timber processing
Re: Disposing of tree tops
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2017, 11:21:13 pm »
I got hit by the stacked pile limit of 10' x 10' x 10' when I cleared my place as well. I dug a 15' deep hole with my excavator in what was going to be an unused area anyway. Kept dumping sticks, tops, stumps, etc. in it until I hit the heaped pile limit then lit the sucker off. As it burned down, I simply reloaded the pile with the excavator. When I was done I scraped the dirt back in the hole and leveled the area with my cat. It worked very well.

To be fair, I tried this a coupe years later on another property. Sadly, before I lit the pile, it rained and the hole filled with water. That was mistake #1. Then I figured I could dispose of a couple 55 gallon barrels of waste petroleum products... stale gas, dirty diesel, waste oil, tranny fluid, etc... I dumped it onto the top of the pile from the excavator. That was mistake #2. Then I stood downwind... mistake #3, and spread some gel fire starter on a stick and lit it. I was halfway through the windup when the wind picked up and I smelt the fumes in my face. A looud whoof followed as I was picked up off the ground and tossed back 30' or so by the concussion from the explosion and fireball. Shaken, but not wounded I watched the pile erupt in flame. Everything is good I thought. Mistake #4. The small stuff and tops burned furiously and went out immediately in the water, leaving me a big pile of stumps. I couldn't relight them until I drained the water from the hole, and relaid some suitable ignition material.

Done properly, and where it's dry, the hole technique works great. It beats driving a cat through the ash to keep the fire going. You just keep pushing things into the hole until you're done.
Stuart Caruk
Wood-Mizer LX450 Diesel w/ debarker, Woodmizer twin blade edger, Barko 450 log loader, Clark 666 Grapple Skidder w/ 200' of mainline. Bobcats and forklifts.