Shredding Tools

One of the challenges for yardeners as they care for their property is what to do with all the organic waste – leaves, grass clippings, weeds, material from pruning, and twigs and branches that fall out of the trees and shrubs. Years ago the simple solution was to bag up that stuff and put it out on the curb for pickup by the trash truck. In the past decade most communities have banned lawn waste from trash pickup because it clogged up the expensive landfills. Some communities will collect leaves in the fall and store them someplace in town so they will decompose. Other communities will pick up woody materials on specific days and then they will shred that material for use as mulch in parks and municipal plantings. 

If you are having difficulty in getting rid of all or some of the organic waste produced from the normal plant care routines, perhaps a shredder is a tool to consider. The purpose of a landscape shredder is to break up the organic material into little pieces so it can be used as mulch or placed in the compost pile without taking up much space. There are three kinds of shredders on the market. Electric leaf shredders only deal with shredding leaves, preferably dry leaves. Self-propelled shredder vacuums not handle leaves very well, but can handle the smaller twigs and small branches that fall to the lawn from time to time. They cannot handle larger branches. Chipper Shredders which handle weeds, leaves, and small branches are gasoline driven machines. Electric chipper shredders have not proven to be reliable. Gas chipper shredders come in a number of sizes and costs depending on how much material you are generating each year. Here are some of the issues to consider before you make a purchase.

For information about dealing with yard waste see the files in Yardener's Helper for:

Yard Waste Management

Using Mulch



see all questions...

Do you have a gardening question? Ask Nancy