make your own mulch?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by mike lane lawn care, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,707

    i was wondering what one would have to do to make their own mulch, is it just getting a chipper and chipping away? or is it more complex(as i suspect it is)
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,567

    All you have to do is call a few tree trimming services and let them dump at your house. Then put a sprinkler on top of it and add some nitrogen and turn the piles about every week. Oh, then you have to regrind it before selling it. We have at least two companies that do this in our area. And the great thing is they charge the tree companies to dump.
  3. AAELI

    AAELI LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 360

    I would think that after the nitrogen & regrind it would be more like compost than mulch. Too much water will cause an anerobic condition to exist with the associated odors.

    If you want a fine mulch that is likely to add nutrients to the soil over time then this would work.

    What is nice is that you may get paid to take the chips along with getting paid by the customer to apply the chips.

    It works well here.
  4. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,213

    Take a ride down to TJ Barkmulch in Southwick, Ma. and check out thier opperation. Its extencive, piles and piles of materal and logs.
  5. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 843

    A chipper doesn't make as nice mulch as a tub or horizontal grinder. Its cut itno the wood is VERY different so the product (chips) is much different then a tub grinder would.
  6. godzilla

    godzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    You would need to get a LOT of wood and chips together... at least a few hundred yards worth. Get a tub or horizontal grinder in for the day (gonna cost you a few G's probably) and let them grind it up. If possible let it sit for a while (months preferably). This is going to give you brown mulch... not red or black.
  7. jim dailey

    jim dailey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    It is more complex than just the chipper. Tub Grinder is needed. THEN, you are in the great state of Big Noses and Held-Out Palms. The local Fire Department gets involved. Piles have to be keep at a certain height. They are afraid of combustion. Then there are the neighbors. In the town of Ashland, they ran D & D Mulch out of town. Their mulch piles' aromas were hurting a little girl in the neighborhood. She has asthma. The parents comlained and D&D lost out. They had to close down. You also need a loader to move it. There is a decent profit, but not without a little bit of work.
  8. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,707

    thanks, i wasn't thinking HUGE amounts, just enough for my house and maybe the few clients who ask me to do mulch. all i'll need is 25 yards max. i will look into renting a tub grinder as we live in the berkshires, surrounded by woods everywhere, my neighbors in the back of us have 25 acres of woods, they always talk about cleaning up the mess in the woods, an almost un limited supply of stuff to grind.
  9. kemmer

    kemmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 608

    Dude, 25 yrds? just go out and buy it, when you want to make mulch you need a tub grinder, front end loader of skid, lots of wood and space, plus a dyeing machine if you want color. If your thinking about making 1000's of yards go for it, but 25!?!?! lol :hammerhead:
    This is the smallest grinder you can get and i dont even know how good of a job it does
    but they get as large as this
    Its not as easy as you think

    Let a larger contractor tackle that job
  10. lwcmattlifter

    lwcmattlifter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 859

    25 yrds is such a small amount it's not even worth making. Look at it this way 25 yrds is about 1/3 of a load from mulch delivery place. I don't know how much mulch costs where you are but I would think that you should be able to get 25 yrds for less than $300. I doubt you can rent a good tub grinder for less than $600-1000 a day. BTW grinders use a lot of fuel and take up a lot of space. If you don't have experience using a tub grinder I would not mess with it. Tub grinders are one of those machines that let you know how precious life is. You'll understand if your ever around one.


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