I did a search of the forums on this, and just didn't get quite the information I'm looking for. I have a small yard- backyard is about 65 x 45, front yard probably half that. I get lots of leaves, some pine straw, and fairly consistent dropping tree branches (about 1.5" to 3" dia). For composting and mulching, I have been running over all but the branches with my mulching mower, then running them twice through my leaf vac/shredder. As you can guess, it's pretty time consuming to handle all that stuff at least three times before being finished with it. I'm considering buying a chipper/shredder, so I can also chip the branches up, and because I'm starting to get some neighbors to give me their yard waste instead of throwing it away, so I'll have lots more material to work. Here are my problems: 1) money- I really need something inexpensive, like under $200.00; 2) space- with my small property comes little storage space, it'll have to go in my one-car garage. Any suggestions? Should I just stick to my current set-up and burn the branches (I have a fire pit in the backyard)?
Thanks for any help, and Dave, thanks for this forum!
I can't give you a recommendation on which brand to buy, but you might try renting a few chipper/shredders to compare which one seems to work the best. If you rent a couple times a year you can probably handle all your needs with a one-day rental each time (and a lot of places will let you rent on Saturday a.m. and return Monday a.m. for a one-day price, if they're not open on Sunday.)
You might find it's more feasible (from a financial and space perspective) to rent a heavy-duty one a few times a year, rather than trying to buy and store a less-expensive model. ;o)