Joe Gardener Recommends Shredding Your Branches

Joe Gardener Recommends Shredding Your Branches

Joe Lamp’lIt’s time to introduce a fan of mine-and trust me, the feeling is mutual. He is Joe Gardener, well-known for his TV gardening shows, books, seminars and following. In fact, he spent much of last year teaching at garden shows.

Joe and I love to bounce ideas off of each other and he is well versed in green gardening, living and sustainability so automatically he gets an A+ in my book. He gets a second A+ because he then takes those ideas and teaches the rest of us. How can you color greener than that? It’s what society did before such widespread educational facilities were available-they learned and had a responsibility to pass it on.

This year, I looked at the pile of branches in my yard with total dismay. Yes, there is a an approved dumping spot down the road and I do mean dumping spot-the stuff just sits there-but I was sad with the thought of just dumping it there and making that particular spot in the neighborhood look bad. Besides, my kids and I had really been discussing how we could re-use things more and therefore buy and waste less.

I was seriously thinking about stripping the leaves, chopping the branches up and tying it all together (with…vines?) to form a raft (OK, so I watched “Castaway” the week before) when Joe came to my rescue.

He recommended using a wood chipper or shredder-an electric model to be the most eco-friendly.

But then of course, I wondered if I would have to dump the pile of chips in the approved dumping spot down the road.

“Nah, there’s another option,” he said. “Believe it or not, tree and shrub prunings contribute about 25% of yard and garden waste. That’s about 8 million tons a year! Don’t dump the chips!”

Joe recommended either composting the chips, or using them as mulch. Either way, they go back into the yard eventually to help your other plants.

Back to nature, my friends.

If you don’t have a wood chipper, ask around. After all, part of using your resources wisely is asking-and learning-to share your toys.

  • Carola
    Posted at 14:10h, 28 September Reply

    In the Eugene/Springfield area, we have yard debris bins that are picked up by the garbage people and taken to a company that not only shreds everything but composts it and sells the product.

  • Flora
    Posted at 20:53h, 30 September Reply

    Carola-What a GREAT idea! I hope that other waste companies start doing that as well. Wouldn’t that be great? Thanks for sharing and for reading. ~Flora

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