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Garden shredder - worth it?

Klug Posts: 216 Forumite
Hi all
We have a few trees in the garden that we periodically cut branches off in an attempt to tame them!

Is is worth investing in a shredder to dispose of the branches? If so, how much should we spend on one? It would only be used once or twice a year..

Many thanks for any advice


  • angelavdavis
    It is a tricky one. I have a shredder and used to use it at least twice a year. I have had it for about 8 years. I don't like having bonfires in the garden and prefer to compost the shreddings. However, we had an open fire fitted in November, and I am now cutting up branches, etc to stack and use as kindling so was thinking the other day that I doubt I will use it much going forward.

    I think I paid £160 for mine originally. It can shred thicknesses up to about 3.5 cm in diameter - which isn't huge.
    :D Thanks to MSE, I am mortgage free!:D
  • ShauntheSheep
    I have 2 shredders, an Alko that I bought about 25 years ago and a Flymo that somebody had thrown into a skip but which somehow found itself in the back of my car. It has worked perfectly for at least 15 years.

    I use the Flymo to chop up all the herbaceous stuff before I put it in the compost so at this time of year I'm using it a lot. The Alko is OK for chopping fairly small woody material, but no use for anything more than an inch in diameter - but all of that goes on my fire.

    I've just googled prices for shredders and I'm horrified by how expensive they seem now- I can't remember how much I paid for the Alko, bit I'm sure it's paid for itself many times over.
  • Klug
    Klug Posts: 216 Forumite
    Thanks for the reply. I'm not convinced we will get enough use from it to warrant the spend - but it's such a nuisance to try and get the cuttings
    to the dump..!
  • ixwood
    ixwood Posts: 2,550 Forumite
    Shredders are good, but if you just want to dispose of it and you've got room, stick the woody bits in a pile in a shady corner and it'll make a nice habitat for frogs, toads, beetles, hedgehogs etc.

    Or you can compost them in a separate woody pile. Peeing on it now and then would help.
  • ixwood
    ixwood Posts: 2,550 Forumite
    PS Dead wood is vital for a lot of wildlife and relatively rare these days, so anything you do leave will be appreciated.
  • amcluesent
    amcluesent Posts: 9,425 Forumite
    Domestic shredders can't cope with branches. In fact electric ones barely cope with twigs.
  • anotherbaldrick
    A decent shredder will handle up to 40mm branch stuff and produce useful mulch for he garden , but they come in two types 1) the cheap and very noisy which have a whirling cutter inside and soon go phut and 2) the type which employ a screw cutting mill like an old time mincing machine (IE Atco) which are quiet and last for years. Buy the latter or not at all.
    You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe (Henry IV part 2)
  • FitStacy
    Get one off ebay - I got one for £10. It's OK if you want to just shread small and very straight branches it OK, softwood is obviously a lot better. Personally I wouldn't pay more than £50 for one which is why I got one off ebay.
  • Mids_Costcutter
    Klug, doesn't your local council collect garden waste? Any thicker branches (that won't compost easily) and pernicious weeds go in our green garden waste bin that's collected fortnightly for most of the year.

    I'd say it's not worth buying a shredder for the small amount of woody waste you produce.
  • morg_monster
    You might be able to hire one for a weekend? I think there are a couple of places around us that offer that service. One is a lawnmower sales shop so that might be a place to start. Cheaper, probably a much better quality machine, and you don't have to find space for it in the garage!
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