If you’re anything like us, trees and hedges only get pruned and trimmed when they’ve got too big and bushy, or a storm has gone through the garden and shredded a lot of the foliage.
The gardening gurus suggest that it’s best to prune trees and shrubs when they have finished doing what they do, which suggests autumn is often the best time to prune. However this isn’t always possible, and often a chainsaw and chipper need to be deployed at short notice to tidy up the garden.
At Upper Hutt Hire we stock the Hansa range of chippers, a quality range of NZ-built chippers featuring some elegant design features. The Hansa chippers will make short work of any foliage, usually up to 4″ or 5″ diameter.
If you are going to trim and chip a few trees or shrubs here are a few simple guidelines:
Safety comes first
When it comes to Chainsaws, make sure you know what you are doing before you start. Never use a chainsaw above shoulder height, and ensure you have the correct personal protective equipment. You can download some information on chainsaw use from our Health & Safety page https://www.upperhutthire.co.nz/health-and-safety/
Equally as important is the chipper. It might seem blatantly obvious but NEVER put any limb anywhere near the feed chute. Make sure you are wearing snugly fitting clothing, along with ear, eye and hand protection, and ready the safety instructions before you start. Again, have a read of the safety information before you start.
Consider also the ejected material. Chipped material leaving the chipper is usually moving at a fair rate of knots, and you don’t want to get in the way. It’ll also scare the cat.
Remember also that operating a chipper is a one-man operation. Many accidents occur when there is more than one person feeding branches into the chipper. Work on a 2 meter exclusion zone around the chipper and at least 10 meters around the eject chute.
Recycle or remove?
Our Hansa chippers tend to produce a medium sized chip up to 25 mm x 25 mm size, so the resulting chip (and mulch) is ideal for spreading around the bases of shrubs to help retain moisture and slow weed growth, or for other landscaping projects. If you intend to reuse the chipped material make sure you don’t inadvertently add any weeds that might get spread with the chipped material.
Fresh is best
Chippers will always work best when the foliage is fresh and green. Braches and foliage left to dry for more than a week quickly become hard and will dull the blades.
Flax doesn’t work
It’s been tried many times before. Flax will quickly get wrapped around the flywheel and clog up the machine. You can see why they used to make rope out of good old New Zealand flax. It also upsets Garry, who has to try and cut any flax away from the flywheel using a Stanley knife.
Don’t add your sweepings
At the conclusion of the chipping it’s easy to sweep up the scraps and tip them into the chipper. Unfortunately these sweepings often contain rocks. Avoid the temptation and place the last shovel-full in the rubbish bin.
With a few hours work you’ll soon have some nicely trimmed trees and some piles of chipped material to use for compost or landscaping. The garden (and the neighbours) will probably thank you for it.
There’s more information on our chippers at http://bit.ly/2lxeF5K or give us a call to chat further.