Tumbleweed Shredder

vah1941March 12, 2007

I live in west Texas where tumbleweeds (TWs) accumulate after one of our frequent windy days. With very limited capability to burn them (city & county ordinances), most are hauled to the dump intact. Shredded, their volume could be reduced 50x-100x!! TWs can reach 5' and more in diameter, resulting 3-4 completely filling a dumpster. I have rented a typical chipper/shredder and found that it is virtually impossible to force a large TW into the small throat. What I need is a shredder with a large throat. I have heard of an agricultural hay shredder, but have not found one that looks like it will do the job. any suggestions will be much appreciated. Thanks.

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maineman(z5a ME)


Shredders with large throats are going to be large themselves, and they will have large prices. This "Big Brute" MacKissic shredder-chipper has a comparatively large throat for its 48-hammer shredder, and it sells for $4479.95, but I doubt that even its large throat could swallow one of those huge West Texas tumbleweeds. I've seen those things, dodged a few with our minivan, and some of them are like small trees!

I think you are going to have to "pre-process" those huge tumbleweeds to knock them down into pieces small enough to feed to a more affordable shredder-chipper. I guess you could drive over them with a Monster Truck, but who has one of those?

I would probably just attack them with a big lopper pruner and cut most of the individual limbs off of the central "trunk". I do the same thing with the tops of large bushy trees that I feed to my MacKissic shredder-chipper. I actually would feed some of them to the chipper chute, with the rest going into the shredder chute.

If the lopper-pruner approach was too slow, you could attack the tumbleweeds with one of those buzz saw blades on a weed whacker or brush cutter tool. Actually, I would use one of the Stihl trimmer blades because I would probably use one of the Stihl trimmers or Stihl brush cutter/clearing saws. I have been very impressed with my Stihl MS-361 chain saw, so I would tend to choose another Stihl product.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 3:34PM
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Good ideas Maineman! Out here in the high desert area of Southern California, we got a bumper crop of these tumbleweeds. I used your idea of lopping them off at the
base (root). Let them dry out (in about a week) and then crush (brittle by this time) or shred them. Then you can bag the debris in trash bags easily and haul them away.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 11:18PM
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