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pruning debris disposal

Posted by Emily Brown Rosen 
pruning debris disposal
March 22, 2017 01:27AM
What is the best method for chopping up pruning debris? I'm thinking ahead for my young plantings in NY, after spending tons of time chopping , hauling , piling, prunings for my 6 old giant home trees in NJ. When I used to work in a commercial orchard we cut up the firewood, raked smaller prunings into the alleys, then mowed with a big chopper not sure if it was a flail mower? brush hog? what are you all doing?

Emily Brown Rosen
NJ 6a and NY 5b
Re: pruning debris disposal
March 22, 2017 04:30PM
For my part I use a chipper-shreadder which permits production of ramial wood chips that are used in the orchard. I think quite a few of us use this sort of machine.

The model (which I share with my neighbour) is similar to
and I think it is OK, although not great. Very noisy.

Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec
Author, The New Cider Maker's Handbook
Re: pruning debris disposal
March 25, 2017 01:33AM
We do what you used to do at the commercial orchard where you worked - cut out the big pieces for firewood, get all the small diameter pieces into the aisle, and chop them using our big Woods mower powered by our Massey Ferguson tractor. Not a flail mower, but it does the job. Hope this helps!

Door Creek Orchard
Zone 5a in Wisconsin
Re: pruning debris disposal
April 03, 2017 06:12AM
Hi Emily,
Good to see you here. We also remove big pieces, put smaller ones in the aisles, and then run our Rears brand flail mowers over them which does a good job on the brush.

Fruitilicious Farm
Zone 9b in California
Re: pruning debris disposal
April 04, 2017 07:07PM
Edited for brevity

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/30/2022 05:43PM by Chris Vlitas.
Re: pruning debris disposal
July 12, 2017 10:48PM
Good question Chris.

Yes, get the fireblight wood out of the orchard.

One good method is cut and toss the infected wood into the middle of the orchard isles, let them dry out (think "cook") a bit in the sun for a few days before you carefully haul them to the burn pile or local garbage dump. You could chip that wood, and yes, a thriving biology in the soil will work wonders on putting a check into FBs growth, but it is still FB and it is still one of the scariest things you can have running amock in the orchard.

FB has no useful purpose in the orchard and has the potential to be your complete undoing. Give it no quarter, take no prisoners.

Gives me chills thinking about chop & drop with FB infected wood :-)

Emily: Your recollection of thoughts from your commercial orchasing days is right on the money

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California
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