Advice on Shredders

Hi.
I have just joined. Has anyone experience of shredders? With a large garden we need to use as much of our garden waste as possible, and have plenty of woody pruning. I would prefer an electric model as I am more likely to use this myself. I don’t want to waste my money though on something that just won’t do the job. I was looking at the top Bosch model, but have also seen Eliet models that some reports say can match a petrol shredder? These are a lot more than the Bosch though, but would be interested to know if anyone had any experience of either?Opinions welcome too!

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Hi Jules!
We splashed out on a chipper/ shredder last year, as we have a large garden and lots of prunings, too. We went with the Bosch AXT 25 TC last March and are super pleased with it. Does the job and OH loves no piles of sticks and branches stacked up. I love lots of mulch for my shrubs and trees.

Be aware that the shredded material won’t be superfine, but it seems to be working well as mulch for us.

We bought it from A, as there was an offer of interest free payments which made it especially attractive or us.

Good luck!

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Hi. Thanks for the advice!
That’s useful to know. What size branches does it take? Also what is it like with perennial prunings is softer stuff? Do you put it straight on your beds? One more question- Is it suitable to compost or do you think it would take too long to break down? Sorry for bombarding you,but it’s good to hear from someone who has got one!

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Hey Jules,
Technical bit from chief shredder:
Takes branches up to about 45mm (1 3/4”), there’s a restrictor in the inlet for the maximum size. We’ve put branches, and branches with leaves through. We usually leave them a week or so after cutting before shredding to let them dry a bit. We have not used it for just greenery.

If you go to the Bosch website and look the model up, there is a video showing it do just that,

Woody bits take longer to compost, so we use those around trees and shrubs and don’t add to the compost bin,

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Hi Jules and welcome! I was really keen to get a shredder for ages, to use for mulch and to use up the prunings and branches from the garden. However, I am now a convert to dead hedges — simple windbreaks made from these materials. They protect the garden, provide wildlife habitat and food, and feed the soil (eventually), without any need for a shredder. Here’s a pic of a rather artful one, made by the gardener John Little I believe:

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Hi. Thanks for the advice. I have considered dead hedges, but am torn as currently we could really do with the extra mulch… Hopefully we will eventually have less bare soil,so won’t need as much. I will carry on pondering for as bit longer I think. Until I decide though I do have the equivalent of a dead hedge ,if a big pile counts! Doesn’t look quite so organised though I must admit.

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It’s all in the organisation! Not sure how he managed to get his dead hedge so tidy…

It is a difficult one to make a decision. I worked out that it’s cheaper to get wood chip from a local recycling centre than to buy a shredder, particularly when you factor in the time. Plus, one less machine to have around, which is no bad thing.

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Hi Jules
I bought a Mountfield electric shredder a few years ago, which has a drum cutting mechanism, rather than a blade. I think it’s been well worth having. The drum pulls the plant stems into the machine (so you can start gathering the next handful) and can cope with branches up to about 2" diameter. It’s much happier with wood/dry material and is a bit tempramental with very fleshy stems or lots of leaf, and it really only works for material that has some stems to feed into the machine (e.g. no good for a mass of last year’s clematis) so it takes a bit of practice knowing what it will do well and what’s better left to cut up with shears.
It doesn’t cut everything up perfectly, especially fleshy/stringy stems, but drier wood we’ve put through is good for mulch and it all works well on the compost, which has definitely improved since we’ve been putting on shredded waste that once would have gone in the brown bin.

Thanks Tom. That is really useful too. I have much to consider. I have already been using lawnmower to shred hedge cuttings etc, so may get a shredder for the woody stuff,or possibly do a dead hedge. Decisions, decisions! I will post once I have decided!