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shredding palm fronds

Discussion in 'Large Equipment' started by wsm, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. wsm

    wsm New Member

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    Another newbie here, glad to have found this forum! I'm hoping that somebody out there has experience with shredding palm fronds??? I'm on a small island in the South of Thailand where our best resource material for composting and mulching is coconuts and coconut fronds. At present they're burned by 100% of the population and I've got loads of landscape plantings that need mulching and a desire to develop a composting business to produce potting mix to replace that which we have to have trucked/shipped in from Bangkok. I've used a small "home-owner" shredder (8 H.P.) but the blades just dull out in 15 minutes. I've been looking into Bandit/Morbark/Vermeer type shredders but they appear to be overkill! I'd be interested to hear of anyone else's experiences. Any advantage of drum vs. disc in this application? Thanks
     
  2. treeclimber165

    treeclimber165 Member A.K.A Skwerl

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    HORAAAAAY! I finally got the reply window to open! Been trying to post for 45 minutes (between visiting other sites) and nothing was happening.:angry:

    Anyway, on to the subject at hand: If you can find a chipper that will chip palm fronds without dulling quickly, and it's less than $30,000, you will be ahead of the game. Fronds are about impossible to chip well enough to make mulch, everyone I have ever known pays to dump palm chippings at the dump.
    Dead fronds chip halfway decent. About the only way to recycle that stuff would be to stockpile the green fronds till they turn brown and crispy, then chip them.

    The drum chippers tend to handle palms better than the disc. Crap wraps around the disc bearings and causes failure on disc chippers. I've heard that the new style drum with feeder wheels handles them better than the old style. Check out Morbark or Vermeer BC1000/BC1800 series.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2002
  3. DDM

    DDM Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You should try to find an Older Drum chipper, Asplundh,Mitts, Ect But make sure it has at least a 6 cyl engine preferebly a v-8 you should find one around the 4000.00 Range US.
     
  4. sonny

    sonny AboristSite Guru

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    Mitts & merrill chippers came out with Calif. blades a few yrs, back to handle palm frons. I have no idea how they worked out.
     
  5. wsm

    wsm New Member

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    Thanks for the input guys,

    Between the input here and responses to e-mails I sent out, I'm tending towards a Asplundh/Mitts drum or Altec Whisper Chipper. The few responses from people working with palm fronds and nuts on a regular basis have all said their Altecs do a great job. I'm thinking that I can easily get a good diesel engine here in Thailand and save a massive amount on shipping, so if anybody knows of a used Altec TL4271 without an engine please contact me! Do these chippers usually have a hour clock built in to log operation time? And how reliable are they if so?
     
  6. treeclimber165

    treeclimber165 Member A.K.A Skwerl

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    Pretty much all chippers built in the last 30 years have an hour meter. Some of them still work! It isn't unusual to replace the hour meter when installing a new (or rebuilt) engine. Standard off-the-shelf stuff, available at any automotive parts house.

    The drum chippers will 'handle' palm fronds, but don't expect the resulting 'chips' to be of any consistency. It will kinda chop them up, dry ones will chip a lot better than green ones.
     
  7. Heidi

    Heidi New Member

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    High-School/Community Composting Project Needs to Shred Palm Fronds

    wsm - are you still out there? any luck with finding an affordable way to shred palm fronds?

    I live on a small island in Belize and 100% of our palm fronds and kitchen waste are burned. I have started a high school on the island and as a class business (and long-term environmental lesson), I am trying to set up a community composting project. I hope to show that we can reduce the harm to our coral reef (from dredging sand for landfill) and pollution (through burning).

    Our Village Council has agreed to deliver palm fronds and organic matter to our composting site. Restaurants have agreed to set aside fruits and vegetables. One of our teachers has composted palm fronds on a small scale using chickens (without shredder). They have bagged and sold the black dirt (gold on a sandy island).

    I am hoping to compost on a larger scale for landfill (to reduce the environmentally unfriendly dredging practice). Residential areas are spreading to swampy areas and landfill is a huge market.

    As a non-profit school, we have a small budget ($1000). We are resourceful people and could possibly build something if you or anyone has any suggestions. Also - any recommendations to prevent black fly problem (neighbors are worried of this because the nearby dump already has this problem). Many thanks to anyone who can advise me.

    Sincerely,

    Heidi Curry
    Co-Founder, Principal, Teacher
    Ocean Academy: A Non-Profit Community High School
    Caye Caulker, Belize, Central America
    www.cayecaulkerschool.com
     

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