Brush chipping for permaculture

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by Treehuggingtreecutter, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Treehuggingtreecutter

    Treehuggingtreecutter New Member

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    I am a tree service contractor based in Sonoma County, California. As in many areas of California and in Mediterranean climates around the world, forest fires are a tremendous threat to soils, forest canopy coverage and human safety.

    I believe the best way to manage our forested landscape is through hand crews and light equipment while maintaining organic material on site, rather than heavy machinery with biomass harvesting or fire to reduce fuel loads.

    So far as I know I am the first person to create and implement this kind of appropriate technology for forest management and I would like to show off my equipment so that others may copy me.

    This is my first video, others will be following soon.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2LW-SXSLrI

    I hope this thread leads to discussion, I am new to studying permaculture and I look forward to connecting with like minded people.
     
  2. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    Took me a while to get my head around your version of light equipment. but well done that thing is cool.I love the way it vomits chips.
    Welcome to Permaculture.
     
  3. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Matthew

    Welcome to the PRI Forum.

    The work that you are doing is very important. Sonoma County (like many/much of Australia's 'dry sclerophyll' forests/woodlands) is susceptible to wildfire. This is nothing new. These woody biomass regions have evolved with fire for eons. What is new is that in the last few hundred years, humans have decided to live (build houses) within the 'firezone', and in the last 22-30 years especially, they have done so with little recognition of the danger.

    Here in Australia, management of forests/woodlands by fire was/is the traditional domain of Indigenous Australians. This practice is now starting to reoccur in some areas. I wonder if the Indigenous Peoples in your part of the world would be interested in what you are doing?

    You may be aware of David Holmgren, the co-founder of the permaculture concept? David has been instrumental in the planning, design and development of Fryer's Forest Ecovillage. At Fryer's, the practice of sustainable forest management is undertaken. You might like to have a look at how we do it here. I can see the advantages of chipping/mulching in situ, however we tend to harvest the 'barrels' (large diameter trunks and branches) for use as durable timber, and drop the 'heads' (leafy mass) in rows to form 'swales'.

    As you will be aware. Every site must be approached according to its own management requirements. I can certainly see the benefits of having a mobile chipper. I have worked in many different forests - some 'wet', some 'dry' - and each bring their own peculiarities to the job.

    Good luck with your projects. Don't forget to document (the video is a great start) all of your work, as records are an important part of management. Oh, and as for people who build houses literally in the wilderness (or what is left of that), lightening sets up the fire regime here that takes care of their 'management'. It's just a pity that some individuals still want their trees, but not their safety - or at least be prepared to live in a responsible manner among those trees.

    Cheerio, Markos.
     
  4. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I'd love one of those.
     
  5. adiantum

    adiantum Junior Member

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    You should check out the work of Jean Pain. Pre-permaculture, but he managed Mediterranean fire-prone forests in France by chipping and then piling the chips in huge compost piles. He even heated water by running it through coils inside these piles.
    Ultimately when we rely on power equipment we need to consider the energy input needed to operate it. Perhaps a wood-gas fired engine could substitute for a fossil fuel engine and so the chippers could run off a portion of their own product? That would be cool!
     
  6. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
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    Hunter Valley New South Wales
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    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Is that where they go the saying "no pain - no gain"?
     

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