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Do any of you own a DR wood chipper? Is so, I would like to hear your thoughts about it. I am looking at a model that has 13hp and says it can chip branches up to 4.5 inches thick. I need it to clear out invasive Chinese privet (some of them are that big). I had a smaller chipper before, but it was underpowered and was a cheapo brand. The price of the DR is about $2300. For that price, I really need it to work.
The MacKissic 12PT10 http://www.westpowertools.com/mackissic/chipper-12p.html costs about $1600 and can chip to 3½" but it also has a very capable hammermill shredder. The advantage of the hammermill shredder is that it can easily handle the small stuff that is very awkward to feed to a chipper. For the price difference you could get a good chainsaw to handle that 4½" inch stuff.
I have the MacKissic and it handles 3½" limbs very well, and I consider anything bigger than that to be firewood. As I feed a limb into the chipper chute and get down to the smaller stuff at the end, I just toss that into the shredder hopper. Much easier (and safer) than trying to force the small branches, twigs, and leaves into the chipper chute.
I decided to go ahead and purchase the DR. It looked the most heavy duty. Unfortunately I don't have a fireplace, so bigger pieces either get burned outside or left on the ground to rot. I'm hoping to turn my overgrown woods into a "park like" setting within a year. I have been piling it up and burning it, but I get impatient waiting on the right weather to be able to burn. It always seems to be too wet, or too dry and windy.
Good luck with your DR. It looks like a very capable chipper. We have a lot of brush piles here, too, but outdoor burning is very rarely done around here. We live in what is basically a northern rain forest and, although forest fires are rare in Maine, a burning permit is required for any kind of unconfined outdoor burning. I've never seen any outdoor burning done around here.
So our brush piles, leaves, and other deadfall and garden waste are going through my MacKissic shredder-chipper and I have several optional screens for its hammermill. The ¼" screen is my favorite for making very fine, fluffy material suitable for rapid composting and the ½" screen is my favorite for making material for garden paths. What we don't burn in our fireplaces goes into the garden as compost or path material.
I know where I am in SC we can burn outside unless it's a red flag day. There's a lot of timber land around here and they do controlled burns on thousands of acres every once in a while. it's a lot eaier for me just to burn yard debris especially pine needles. Got to watch out for pine though, if those needles are dry they burn fast and hot. I"ve actually thought of lighting my lawn on fire earily in the spring, think the grass would like it but I'm afraid of things getting out of hand. LOL.
CoreH, I know what you mean about those pine needles. The adjacent property to the east of me is mostly oaks and maples and when I was clearing brush from that area I did burn plenty of piles. However, the property to the west of me is a pine forest that is owned by a timber company, and unfortunately it hasn't been maintained correctly for the last two decades and if one of my embers were to land over there that would be all she wrote. I would like that land to be burned but I don't want to be the one to do it. It's also infested with Cogon grass which is extremely flammable. So, on the west side of my property it looks like I will have to use a chipper.
I got my new DR a couple of days ago and it works great. I have cleared out a big area that was infested with Chinese privet. I have also put some smaller 15ft maple trees through it with no problem. I won't be buying mulch anymore that's for sure.
Hellnzn11, I'm not sure if they call it "red flag" in Alabama. They just simply call it a "no burn ordinance" here. They just do it when we have gone long periods with no rain. We also can't burn after tropical storms and hurricanes because of the excess debris and limited number of fire fighters available.