[permaculture] Where can I buy an electric chipper/shedders in North America?

Harold Waldock haroldw at alternatives.com
Wed Jul 3 00:48:53 EDT 2002

Where can I buy an electric chipper/shedders in North America?

Why would I want them?

My Father and brother both find that in trimming the trees and shrubs in
their suburban yards that they generate much fine twiggy material that does
not compost easily let alone get in the compost.  It needs to be shredded.

My brother, who is usually not practical actually retrofitted an electric
lawnmower to shred twiggy material. I don't know how safe it is but it broke
down.  He went to these creative and probably dangerous efforts to get the
job done. He is a husband and the father of my 3 nephews.  Alternatively, he
borrows pickups and trailers from friends and pays to dump perfectly mulch
able material at the green waste yard.  If he had a modern, efficient self
feeding, reversible, light weight, chipper/shredder then he would have a
useful supply of woodchips and would not have to buy bark mulch.

My father is on a steep south facing slope rock garden.  It is not possible
to move heavy gas powered chippers to where it could be operated or where
the pile of cuttings are.  Well, people tell me it won't be powerful enough.
Well we burn down to 1 inch wood and have never needed to buy wood and we
never seem to have enough little stuff - its just enough for the cold winter
nights to keep my Grandmother warm at night.  So power and speed is not
needed.  A self feeding machine would be great - go cut and trim then dump
what one cut right in the machine and let it work on it while one goes back
to cutting and trimming.

On the internet I can find several models for sale in U.K. one or two models
in Germany and one or two in both Australia and New Zealand.  But I can't
find anything for North America. I live in Vancouver, Canada so I'd prefer a
Western Canadian source.

Particularly desirable models is the Bosch AXT 1800 - 2200 : Features: self
feeding, overload cut off, unjam/reverse, only 80 db noise, (I hate noise)
and about 70 lbs.  I have not been able to reach any Bosch people either.
There are other makers out there such as McCullough but I can't find the
product for sale anywhere.

People in the business of garden equipment locally have never seen or heard
of electric chipper shredders.  The small gas ones are disappointing (they
jam), heavy,  really noisy, prone to breaking, and rarely can be rented -
and hard to move too.

Well, what is a Permaculturalist doing thinking like this?  Well, it is
culturally appropriate to the guys involved, easily in their budget. It is
hard for us to get professional tree service guys in for less than $500 why
not buy a machine for the same price (or twice as much) and we would never
get the tree service guys in again. They don't just do twig piles.  I can't
leave them there, although the Winter Wrens love them, because the yard is
too small for such a large ugly pile.

I've got a new saying these days:  "If it is not transitional then it is not
Permaculture."  I.e. if it never gets partially implemented it won't get
implemented at all.  There are lots of Permaculture dreamers out there but
there are far fewer who do anything.

This low tech appropriate tool would mean that all the woody material and
nutrients would stay in the yard and be useful, the cash would stay at home

This has to get answered as I tend to plant and suggest to friends trees,
shrubs and perennials instead of lawns.  They generate much twiggy material.
Hand tools are not an option for this social and cultural situation.  The
twiggy material can't be buried either. The yards are not large or worked on
enough for that.  This is a common problem in our green garden city where
the rains and warmth make everything grow.  The free green waste pick up
trucks the woody material to Richmond 45km away - I'd hate to loose all
those nutrients - why make the taxes go up and impoverish my garden?

Lescha's don't seem to be sold, and are an old design but much loved. If I
could lay  my hands on two I might have a solution. I suspect these to 10 -
20 years old and much used.  A couple of places in the US have parts for

Any ideas, info contacts or suggestions or ways out?


Harold Waldock

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