What do you do with the waste from a tree removal?

Written by Joshua Mcdowell

Arborist Manager

Yarra Eco Pty Ltd

Arborist Manager at Yarra Eco Pty Ltd

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When pruning or removing a tree on your property, there are always going to be byproducts produced in the form of branches, logs and sawdust. Luckily for everybody involved, there are several different uses for the byproducts that are generated from tree work.

Unless there is a large open area, your tree is likely going to be climbed and dismantled piece by piece. This process always goes in the same order, which is branches first (albeit sometimes really large ones), and logwood second which can also differ in terms of size due to access. Finally, if the stump is being removed, you’d grind that out at the end. The branches that are removed from the extremities of larger trees will usually fit straight into the wood chipper in one go, and sometimes smaller trees can be chipped whole without the need to cut them up or process them.

tree climber reducing the height of a tree

The mulch generated from chipping the branches will be a good balance of ‘green’ and ‘brown’ composting materials, meaning nitrogen and carbon-rich respectively. Some people prefer to let mulch sit in a pile for a couple of months to start breaking down, and whilst this can be good practise, there’s no harm in using fresh mulch as surface cover. It is great for the purposes of moisture retention and weed suppression in garden beds and around the base of trees. Be careful not to stack mulch too high around the trunk of a tree, however, as this can have a detrimental effect.

Wood chipper mulching branches from tree removal

Logwood is the material that we come across once all of the outer extremities have been removed from larger tree specimens. These lengths of timber can either be mulched with a large wood chipper (depending upon their size) similarly to the branches prior, or they can be cut into firewood rounds. The mulch produced by purely chipping logs is much more carbon-heavy, and it looks a lot neater than that of chipping the foliage with leaves on it. This would look fantastic on the ground inside of a play area, or a mulched pathway.

Firewood rounds are pieces of wood, cut to the desired length (usually marginally smaller than whatever the opening of the customer’s log fire measures) which we can then stack into a pile ready for splitting. Although we don’t typically offer the service of splitting log rounds into small firewood, we can point you in the right direction if wood splitter hire is what you’re after.

It’s nearly always easier and cheaper to leave the main barrel (trunk) of larger trees standing, providing it’s safe to do so. If this is an option that you’d consider, habitat trees might be appropriate for you. We can create hollows and crevices for nesting birds, bats or possums to live in. Stump grinding generates its own type of organic material, an earth-mulch mixture. Check out an article that our friends at Proleaf wrote about the mulch generated by stump grinding. If you’re interested in keeping your byproducts after we’ve pruned or removed your tree, be sure to let us know at the quoting stage as it might end up saving you some money!

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. If you would like to discuss any of the information mentioned, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Yarra Eco Pty Ltd.

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