How To Make Your Own Mulch With A Chipper Shredder

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,371
    Matt Ellsworth from ECHO Inc. demonstrates how to safely make your own mulch using a chipper shredder and explains the benefits of using a chipper shredder over a chipper.

    Matt Ellsworth: Hi! I am Matt Ellsworth with ECHO Inc. I am here today to show you how to properly make mulch for your gardens and flower bed. Fully read the owners manual before operation and have the right safety gear; ear protection, eye protection, gloves, tight sleeves or no sleeves, and dry clean level ground, a clear work area. Never operate the chipper/shredder without the discharge screen and safety shield properly installed. Chippers are designed for simply making materials smaller. There is less control or concern over finished product size. You can make burning material for use in heat stoves or use it to reduce trees and branches for ease of hauling and handling. Chipper/shredders are designed to process material to a smaller finished size to facilitate faster material decomposition. They are great for mulching garden waste for natural fertilizer and soil conditioning, reducing materials for composting purposes and making landscape and animal bedding. For startup instructions read the operator manual for your particular machine. Material up to 3 inches in diameter can be chipped through the chipper shoot. All 3 inch machines require the operator to control the feed speed of the material. Do not overfeed the machine; overfeeding can cause serious damage to the drive and housing components. Always feed branches, but with thick end first. Chip material down until the diameter is less than three-quarters of an inch. Follow the rule of thumb; no material larger than the diameter of your thumb should be put through the shredder. Keep the blade sharp; all 3 inch ECHO Bear Cat Chipper/Shredders feature heat treated chipping blades that are reversible. Hard drying dirty material causes increased heat on the blades when chipping. Overheating blades will shorten their lifespan. If possible, alternate old dry material and material with moisture to help reduce blade overheating. New or newly sharpen blades will allow you to feed the material more easily. Dull blades will cause a jam or require forcing the material into the chipping shoot. Dull or dulling blades will increase wear to the drive component, such as the belt, bearings, rotor and even the engine. The shredding function is performed by alternately spaced, serrated edged, free swinging knives. Knives are made from tempered steel and can be reversed to extend life. Various debris screens with different hole sizes allow the operator to control the finished size of processed material. These include the standard core screen and the optional medium, fine, and slotted screen for use with wet debris. Do not place material larger than three-quarters of an inch diameter into the shredding shoot. Doing so may cause damage to the rotor assembly. Do not overfeed the shredder; overfeeding may cause serious damage to the drive and housing components. When shredding bulky material, such as leaves or garden waste, use an Echo Bear Cat Leaf Tamper to push material into the shredder hopper. Never use the handle of a rake or other garden instrument to push material into the hopper. So thats how easy it is to make mulch; all you need is some material and a good reliable machine.