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Branches, sure. Sticks, sure. But vines?
Can you put vines into a wood chipper?
The answer is . . . maybe. Let’s take a further look.
I have run chippers in two states:
- Hawaii, where the greenery is lush, supple, and bendable. Vines are strong and unbelievably hard to kill.
- We have also utilized chippers in California, in both dry and wet climates.
If vines are chopped up first and dried, they will move through a chipper. However, if they are recently cut, they are very hard to work with and they want to wrap around your machinery.
So can you put vines in a wood chipper if they are still a little green and not dried out?
This is extremely problematic and may cause a jam. Always try and make sure that the vines are dried out nicely before trying to put them through the chipper.
The quality of the Wood Chipper
It also depends on the quality of your chipper equipment.
Professional quality will, of course, chew through a great deal of material without problems. Inexpensive chippers, however, may not be built for difficult material. Consult your manual and/or dealer.
Does your chipper have a shredder?
The chipper will just break the vines down into chips. This is fine for most homeowners, and very handy. The chips then make a nice landscaping material.
A shredder is a little different. It has a blunt edge that shreds wood (or other materials) apart and renders it into a finer type of mulch material.
A high-powered, professional-grade chipper is really a must if you want to chip up vines confidently. Like this one below:
But what are your alternatives? We trim them by hand, load and then take them to our dump’s green waste site.
Even there, they are problematic, and sometimes they are not allowed. Unfortunately, they can grow at the dumpsite and then must be eradicated. Sometimes the dump personnel will insist that vines be cut up into very small sections before you can leave them.
Be sure to observe safety precautions when operating chippers and chipper-shredders. This means using safety glasses, gloves, and not having any loose clothing.
Follow the instructions carefully and do not deposit any materials into the chipper that are not recommended, i.e., lumber (especially not pressure-treated lumber) or tires. Consult the manual or rental facility if you are uncertain about what you want to chip.