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We live in a neighborhood of acre lots and as a result there are a ton of tree trimmings every time bulk trash is scheduled. We were thinking of getting a shredder/wood chipper and gathering the debris to make our own mulch. Does anyone have experience with chippers? We are thinking a 3" diameter would be about the right size. I think we would mostly be doing branches rather than leaves. We aren't sure which would be the best chipper for us.


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Hi Heather,

A chipper is a good idea.  You will need to do your research - when you say 3" the small chippers which "say" they will do a 2 or 3 inch branch really can't.  This will be a long term investment so you should look for something that will handle a bit bigger size than you anticipate needing.

I would suggest you try renting and then choosing the best of what worked for you.

A-Z has been around for decades - so you might try renting from them first.

Hello Heather,

Running a chipper can be exhilarating, but I prefer to get my wood chips dropped off by a local tree company for free. (It saves them from having to go to the dump.)

If you are going to be composting/cooking the chips down into a true composted mulch than leaves chipped along with the branches can be a good thing.

Just make sure to clearly communicate with the tree company regarding what species you are willing to take and that contaminants such as non agreed upon species and trash (Thirstbuster cups, etc) are not acceptable.

The thing about commercial chippers is that they are expensive, powerful, noisy, dusty, require a lot of mechanical maintenance, and are extremely dangerous (even to the highly trained).




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