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Author Topic: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning  (Read 1985 times)

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Offline username

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Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« on: October 20, 2017, 05:37:03 pm »
Hello dear friends,

So we finally logged about 200-300 pine trees from our small property where we live. I only had a limited say in the decision as you know.

The logger was kind enough to make 5-6 piles, medium sized, maybe 10ft by 10 ft of the slash (tree limbs and tops)

Now we need to decide what is the best option to get rid of the slash.

We wanted to burn, but the County rules around it seem controversial, e.g. it cannot be a nuisance. Our neighbor, who lives several acres away on the adjacent plot already expressed his concerns about his trees dying due to the heat from the fire and or smoke.

What are some other options, affordable, that we can explore? If we leave the piles as is, it will take 3-4 years to decompose.

We thought about renting a bobcat which does mulching and use that? but that itself costs $3000 just to rent, and then we need to find someone to operate it, transport it to and from the rental company, and who knows, maybe that is not sufficient as some limbs are thick.

So, I am once again looking for help, and know I can find it here!!

Please do let us know. If someone on here can do it for a reasonable fee....please let me know too!!


Online TKehl

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 08:06:39 pm »
Your neighbor is insane or making excuses.  I've had MUCH bigger and very dry red cedar piles I've burnt and never killed anything more than 50' away.  Smaller piles directly under other trees clearing fence... yes.  But 50' sounds very conservative in your case for that size piles.  Could me much less depending on how long they've had to dry.  Regardless, I bet if you burn, your neighbor will call the authorities.   :-\

Adding your location to your profile would help find someone locally. 

Sounds like you are unable or unwilling to put in labor.  As such, perhaps someone with a forestry mulcher could at least reduce the piles if fire is out of the question... maybe.  However, I bet the logger compacted the pile a bit, so may not be much reduction. 

It also never hurts to ask your local volunteer fire department if they could use the burn for training.  Not much your neighbor can say about that.   :D
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2017, 08:15:11 pm »
I live in Maine and if that was here,it would take about 10 years to really rot. Rot by able to drive a tractor through it without damage to the tractor. I have an area I piled up some brush by hand,took really more than 10 years to really rot.
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Offline goku78

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2017, 10:22:48 pm »
 I agree with thecfarm. brush takes around 10 years, if not more, to rot if left in a pile. If you want to decompose the brush faster, you could try to bury it. Any soil contact will accelerate the decomposition process, especially with pine.  The pile shrinks down pretty fast and in about 2 years you have a mound of nice soil.

 Or cover the brush piles with tarps and uncover and burn them after snow is on the ground.

 A local tree service may chip up the brush for less.

Offline Riwaka

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2017, 05:12:39 am »
Location?, climate?(not likely to need firewood for heating in the tropics), local health and safety rules?, machine operator codes and regulations? type of pine?  etc.

Hire a forestry mulcher 400 horsepower plus with skilled operator to turn piles into wood flakes.

Any local fire wood yards? (or waste/scrap wood recovery for industrial heating operations) with their own grapple excavator to pull the piles apart to recover saleable firewood, that would leave a lot less to burn or mulch.
If the wood material is suitable for saleable firewood, there should be no charge or a slight payment to you (unless the firewood want to cover their insurance costs or machine fuel costs, chainsaw costs, worker costs before they sell the firewood in which case you might have to pay them something). That skidsteer hire fee) is indicative of a high cost business environment.

If the rules/ laws allow - pull piles apart, advertise free firewood and have a few friends over for the management of the day. If chainsaw safety rules, litigation concerns etc make this a non-starter there are a lot places like this now.

Innoculate the wood with a super rot fungi strain ?

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2017, 08:49:07 am »
Rent a woodchipper and pick away at it.  Use a quad, truck or tractor to chain a bigger limb thats a ways down from the top and yank.  This will help disperse the pile and make it possible to start freeing limbs via chainsaw.  Disperse the chips all over.. Or pile them and spread by snowplow later. 

Personally id buy a used chipper now and sell in the spring.  Used equipment prices drop during heating season and rise during tax returns. 

Offline barbender

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2017, 09:43:26 am »
Slash is typically better left laying flat on the ground. I'll guessing by you using the term "slash" that you are located in the midwest? I've seen landowners do this before, they want it all piled up so the woods look nice and "neat" and then they don't know what to do with it. Your only realistic option at this point is burning it. Get a burning permit, comply with all the regulations, and light it off. Then, who cares if your neighbor calls the authorities, you're legal. You could also chip it, but you'd have to rent a real chipper, not a Harry Homeowner unit. It would be a ton of work.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2017, 11:18:09 am »
I agree with Barbender.My slash gets reduced in size right where it lays.Too late for the OP situation,though.
Mick
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Offline tawilson

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2017, 03:35:46 pm »
A half dozen 10'x10' piles doesn't sound like that much. Campfires must be allowed. Start having them on a regular basis.
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Offline Neilo

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2017, 04:22:06 pm »
Light them after dark so you can't see the smoke. Pick the wind if where smoke goes is important, and to minimise scorch if you have trees near the piles.

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2017, 09:15:29 pm »
Hello and thank you for the replies

The issue of burning here is dicey, as the neighbor has already warned us about the smoke/heat killing his trees, and the outdoor burning laws in Texas do not really permit outdoor burning with some exceptions.

See attachment

We are ready to do the hard work and labor, we just want to avoid burning, because the laws are grey on that. Of course, if we can get the volunteer fire fighter or any official group to do it, then it will be fine.

We are north of Houston, in Texas.

Yes, we should have left the slash/debris as it is, but now it is too late. This is our first time doing logging trees.

Since the loggers took the trunk, can parts of the limbs and leftover trunk pieces be used as firewood?

I am not sure what constitutes firewood, i.e. whether any of these left overs qualify.

Relatively speaking, what would be the cheapest machine to rent to deal with this, even if it will take more man power and time?

Thank you very much!!

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2017, 09:20:18 pm »
Can you even smoke outside?  :D
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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2017, 11:31:15 pm »
Who knows if we can smoke outside!!

the neighbor has sued all the neighbors - one because their dogs went on to his property, another neighbor because the other neighbor had some soil, fertilizer along their fence, and it got washed on to the neighbors lake and his fish died so he sued them, he also sued the company that makes the wooden fence posts because they rotted in about 15 years, etc.

each property is 12-30 acres, so it is not like they are in 0.5 acre plots

so we do not want him to claim that burning our piles killed his trees :(

we are simple people who work hard and cannot afford the time and expense of frivolous lawsuits

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2017, 04:45:25 am »
Personally I really hate slash piles, big time. They bring porcupines to a new home to girdle the nice trees that are standing. I am a big fan of slash dispersal, or lie where it was cut. In my woods I like to keep open trails for recreation and looking at my trees. Good exercise getting out with a brush saw or chainsaw clearing trails for 3 hrs. ;D I find slash from thinning is gone in 10 years, in big piles it lasts more than 10 years around here. If it were white cedar piles, count on 30 years. I have a couple cedar piles 24 years old now, they are just hidden from trees grown up around. They are finally breaking down good anyway. They were tops smaller than rails. I've thinned almost every acre of my 70 acre lot and that slash is 90 % gone. The last was in 2011, the first area was 2005. It's like parkland now, the lower limbs have all died back since the canopy closed back in and I can see a long way through the woods.  :)


Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline Den-Den

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2017, 09:38:04 am »
Not sure how far north of Houston you are.  I am north and east of Houston (100+ miles) and outdoor burning is VERY common here.  The regulations are specific to certain areas.  It sounds like you have an ornery neighbor.
You may think that you can or may think you can't; either way, you are right.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2017, 10:27:46 am »
Nice looking forest you there,Swampdonkey. Mighty nice.
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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2017, 10:59:06 am »
Yes, and proud of it. I like the mix of hardwoods in it, I'm not a monoculture type. And a hardwood is higher up the scale of priority than a spruce. Since I enjoy the fall colors to, you can see some maple close by in the video, mostly sugar, but at the end a red maple I think. Most of my maples would be red maple since the land is so flat. I have a lot of ash to. Hope we don't get those borers.  ::)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2017, 11:39:42 am »
After reading those regulations you provided, I'd say go ahead and burn it. The rules say you can even burn your household garbage including plastics, cardboard boxes, rubber, and even kitchen wastes.

The rules also specifically say you can burn plant material generated on site. In some counties you need no notifications. As far as that ornery neighbor, he has nothing to say if you follow the rules.
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Offline krusty

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2017, 09:53:47 pm »
how tall are the piles? could slowly work away at them with a bush hog if not too tall. cheapest way of course is to burn them. call your local town. get the rules in writing. burn it at the onset of a rainstorm and they will have nothing to complain about....well near nothing.

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2017, 10:53:56 pm »
As stated by others, it would have been best to have the logger loop and scatter the slash within 2-4 feet of the ground or else chip the top wood if their had been a chip market in the area.

But since you now have the slash in piles on the property, the most efficient and effective way to get rid of it in a timely manner would be to burn it during the rainy or snow season in accordance to any state or local burning ordinances.