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Author Topic: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning  (Read 1959 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!!


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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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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.
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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!!

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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.

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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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Offline SwampDonkey

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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.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

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.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2017, 10:21:55 am »
I didnt expect to hear about a lawyerupper in texas. Thats sad.

I love where i live.  We burn everything.. Brush, trash, abandoned houses turned meth lab.  Neighborly disputes boil down to shooting at the ground and threatening to smash each others faces in then fade away.      Cant seem to get arrested here if you try.


You want to rent a 4cylinder or bigger diesel chipper.  Vermeer or morbark.   Could probably put an ad on CL with accurate pics of the job and have tree guys submit bids to chip and blow on site.  Theyd come with a skid steer grapple and be gone by lunch.

Offline gww

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2017, 01:30:18 pm »
I am burning a pile today.  I wish I had some mulch but burning is so much easier and quicker.  I love where I live.
Cheers
gww

Offline timberking

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2017, 08:26:39 am »
No regs where I live as long as there isn't a burn ban.  I have seen some issues around Pittsburg, Texas due to the abundance of chicken houses.  I was shut down there one time

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2017, 09:36:53 am »
We have burn ban and restricted hours hear sometimes because of dryness. Burning is regulated here because some folks lack some sense or think it is fun setting woods ablaze. Right now we have some forest fires, which is rare for here in October. These were deliberate start. Years ago this was an old game to get fire fighting jobs. We have to have burn plans now for burning grass fires, so now they get a bill when they let the fire go into the woods to burn down.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline Nate R

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2017, 01:07:18 pm »
FWIW, I had 400-450 60 year old red pine thinned out from 4 acres this year. (100 cords) The logger used a feller/buncher, and I didn't' realize it would be processed near the landing. I ended up with "lanes" of brush and slash. My Forester directed me to someone that does clearing and grinding. I paid a local guy to come out with his 120 HP machine and grinder. He had other attachments so he could move the brush first, moved some piles for us and then ground it up.

Not cheap, but MUCH faster/easier/safer than burning, and MUCH faster than chipping it myself. He was in and out in a few hours. Could grind things as fine or coarse as I wanted, mix it with dirt, etc.


He also was able to take down some stumps I wanted out of the way, and pulled a few for me as well.


He charged by the hour, including his travel time. I'd highly recommend this option for a small property where you want it to look nice again ASAP.

-Nate





Offline dsgsr

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2017, 06:33:02 pm »
If I lived next to a neighbor like that, I would make piles of brush as close to the property line that the law allows and leave them there for them to marvel.


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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2017, 07:45:26 pm »
 

 


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Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2017, 05:16:13 am »
If I lived next to a neighbor like that, I would make piles of brush as close to the property line that the law allows and leave them there for them to marvel.


David





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Offline rasawing

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2017, 02:39:43 pm »
I also don't see the problem with burning. 10'x10' piles? And something could be killed 50' away? Not buying it. As long as you follow these simple rules for outdoor burning (i.e. my 7 commandements for outdoor burning), you should be fine:

1. NO wind when you burn.

2. Everything on the pile must be completely dried out.....and hopefully nothing too big. (Big stuff will not compeltely burn and could sit there and smolder for quite some time which is dangerous. You want everything to burn up fast. No fuel, no fire.)

3. Probably the most important one: Burn AFTER a light-medium rain. Hot embers coming down on wet ground is no danger...unless you've had a drought. And then burning is off anyway.

4. A break around the pile is good. (Maybe not necessary if you follow #3.) I usually harrow a circle with the tractor.

5. Keep the piles size under control. I try to limit it to 30'x30'. And pile it right too. I've seen some people's idea of a "pile" as  30' x 30' x 1' (the height). That's no pile.

6. Good standoff distance from anything you want to keep. 100 yards from a permanent structure. But it's a judgement call based on pile size.

7. Although stuff burns faster in heat....I like to do it in the cool months. (And at night.) Although it's hard where I live to get a light rain in the fall/winter months (keeping #3 in mind). It will rain for days then.

I've never had an issue when I've followed those rules.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2017, 08:14:21 pm »
A few scraps of junk tin (from insulated door cutouts in my case) are the best fire tools i have.  Whether its to direct heat into a stump, keep rain off, keep ash in or blasting wind out, drying wet wood ontop the tin before adding it to the coals... You name it.  I burn stumps every week and never without my tins.  When im not burning i cover the stump pile with em to keep dry.

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2017, 07:38:13 am »
@RA sawing   Why not burn during a rain.   Granted you need be Johhny on the spot to get it started.

Offline Don P

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2017, 08:13:56 am »
If we're back to burning, I'm about to try an experiment. There were some old fuel drums on the farm where we are working. I've cut the end out of one, stood it up and removed a large bung that is now near the bottom end, the lighting and air hole. I'll fill it and get it rolling, then block the bottom air and keep filling it. With the fire up top it'll exclude oxygen and should created charcoal on the bottom. Keep feeding, keep feeding all day. At the end of the day drop the cutout lid back on and seal the edge with dirt to exclude oxygen. Wait till it cools and I should have a couple of yards of charcoal, or, if I drive over it and crush it, biochar for soil amendment, we'll see which sells first. Heck bury the charcoal and sell the carbon credits, you'll be a hero  :D

Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2017, 10:28:33 am »
Don your a hoot. Lol you should be able to get a government grant for an idea like that. I have seen it done a little different in that they put woodnin a sealed container and place the container in the fire. The heat turns it into charcoal.
If you do something simular with birch bark you end up with oil. A very smokie sooty but burns hot.
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Offline rasawing

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2017, 10:50:57 am »
Quote
@RA sawing   Why not burn during a rain.   Granted you need be Johhny on the spot to get it started.

During the rain? Why? Why not just wait until it's over (especially if it's a hit and run shower)? Works every time. The point is to get vegetation in the area soaked.....not yourself.

The reason I emphasized AFTER the rain was because of what I observe locally. A lot of the local Gomers will set their piles ablaze before a rain. (I.e. when it's in the forecast.) Well guess what? A lot can happen in 12 hours. Embers can come down on dry stuff (including permanent structures)......and the fire can get away from the edge of a pile.


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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2017, 11:10:09 am »
How much of that slash pile is 4 inches and greater in diameter? Pull it out and cut it up into 14 or 16 inch lengths makes good firewood that may bring your pile down some. You can use it for your evening campfires or sell it.
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Offline maple flats

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2017, 08:44:30 am »
You guys might be able to burn pine, but I've tried it in my evaporator (making maple syrup) where I add a full arm load of wood every 8 or 9 minutes and I have high pressure air both under the grates and over the fire (under the fire I have a 4" duct with 3 rows of holes spaced 2" apart, one row on top and one row so the air hits near the outer edge of the grates, then for the air over the fire, I have a manifold that surrounds the firebox with a nozzle every 6" angled down at 15 degrees, so there are air nozzles everywhere except where the 2 doors are) The high pressure air is produced by a 3/4 HP blower very similar to a leaf blower, with paddles which throws the air, not fling it like a squirrel cage. If the pine still has the bark on it, some is still left after hours of burning (sometimes as much as 8-10 hrs of hard burning). Pines have some sort of fire retardant in the bark to naturally protect it in a forest fire.
However, if I burn slab off the sawmill, where 1 or more faces have no bark it burns fine.
I'd either spread it to rot or mulch/chip it.
I prune my blueberries and all of the prunings get just left in the aisles, then after 2 or 3 mowings if any sizable trash remains, I chip it.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline Coconut

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2017, 07:48:44 pm »
Hi Folks >I tend to go along with thecfarm can you smoke outside?     Getting along with neighbors can be extreme at times , good luck with them. As for rules and regulations I don,t know that I should speak for most of us ,but I am hot at the collar and have had it up to here with it all ,and that is being nice about it.   What happened to the days gone by ? It was not like this a few short years  ago. Lets live and let live.  The bests way to deal with slash is to have your cutter limb it off and keep it below  knee height right where the tree fell. Within a few years it is compost. It will help your bush,I best stop here while I can or I might rant about (neighbors & regulations) Best to all. Coconut.http://www.forestryforum.com/board/Smileys/default/cool.gif

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #37 on: November 11, 2017, 06:40:17 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!!

The folks that recommended mulching are giving you great advise.  Mulching keeps that organic material on site, improves soil, helps retain moisture, nutrients recycled. etc.  Also, the sites look great afterwards. 

I have a massive mulching/grinding attachment so big I had to get a new tractor.  However, lots and lots of guys have smaller attachments on skidsteers (much like the one posted in this thread) and occasionally a guy will have a dedicated machine like a Fecon (also shown in the thread). 

Online thecfarm

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Re: Options to dispose of slash - apart from burning
« Reply #38 on: November 11, 2017, 09:01:23 pm »
Don't want to get this off thread too much,some care and some don't.
We use to burn the fields here and had many many brush fires. Never once had one get away from us. Have to pick your days. Have to pick a good spot for the brush piles. We use to go down the field 50 feet and light it. Go down another 50 feet and do it again,after we was sure the first fifty was out. Stone walls was a problem. My Father was always concerned the fire would get into a wall. Could smolder for days and start up anywhere in the wall. Was not much that grew next to the wall,due to the trees on the other side of the stone wall. I bought a riding lawnmower and would mow around the fields. My Father really liked that,nothing for the fire to run on. You have to respect fire and know how to use it. Years ago fire permits was unheard of. We knew when to burn and not to burn. Now some burn when it has not rained for a month. We always burned late evening,the air is stiller at night,I can hear him say that to me. We spent many late nights watching a brush pile burn.
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