There is a lot of clippings in parks and gardens. Hedges, bushes and trees are trimmed. What remains are thousands of cubic meters of branches, leaves and undergrowth. Burning the dead wood is a good idea. But open fires in your own garden or on the property are prohibited in Germany. So what to do with the bulky and prickly tree and plant remains? Shredding is the magic word. According to the motto: “Clean at the top, small at the bottom.” The bad news: you have to buy another garden tool to do this. The good thing: The wood chips are the perfect mulch for beds, tree trimmings and borders.
Shredder experts make a basic distinction between two types of shredders: While the knife shredder shreds the cuttings into small pieces with its rotating blades, the rollers of a roller shredder simply break up the wood fibers and spit out crushed twigs and branches when the work is done. If you want to mulch paths, beds or tree slices in autumn and winter, you should use a knife shredder. The clippings that roller shredders spit out, on the other hand, are more suitable for compost. Important: Roller shredders should be “fed” with dry cuttings if possible. When the branches are wet, the cutting roller systems reach their limits.
Below we present models from both categories. The manufacturers have both roller and knife versions in their range.
Two reversible knives in the Einhell electric shredder "GC-KS 2540" are powered by a 2500 watt motor. The rotating blades made of special steel shred branches up to four centimeters thick. There is space for around 50 liters of chopped material in the collecting bag. The container can be fixed to the shredder with hooks. With an empty weight of just under ten kilograms, the Einhell model is one of the lightest in this small comparison. It is therefore perfect for small garden plots or the orchard behind the house. Small drawback. Before thicker branches disappear into the chipper's not-too-large funnel, smaller shoots must be pinched off or broken off. That takes a little time.
The device from Lidl's own brand is an electric roller shredder. That's actually not entirely correct, because the dead wood is not chopped in the Parkside roller shredder "PWH 2800 B2" but rather crushed. A whopping 20 kilograms have to be balanced out of the shed or cellar. But the Parkside doesn't tip over so quickly. On top of that, the roller shredder shreds trees with a branch thickness of up to 42 millimeters. The centerpiece is a cutting roller system with an infinitely adjustable pressure plate. The catch box even swallows up to 60 liters of shredded wood, more than any other chipper on this short list.
It continues with a 2400 watt power pack that can handle branches up to 45 millimeters thick. Even hard local woods such as elm and maple are not safe from the Scheppach GS55 electric shredder. A pair of double reversible knives rotate inside and shred the cuttings into manageable wood chips. They are perfect for beds and borders or to protect plants from the first frost. They also keep garden weeds on a short leash. This saves a lot of time. At 45 liters, the collection bag is the smallest in this comparison. So this needs to be emptied a little more often. Scheppach provides a second collection bag for this purpose. The device from the Swabian town of Ichenhausen is particularly recommended for cutting hedges or perennials.
The Bosch roller shredder AXT 25 D is not exactly cheap. At just under 400 euros, it is the most expensive of the shredder quartet presented. For this you get a branded device with a milling drum cutting system that crushes and shreds branches up to four centimeters thick, as well as hedge trimmings and thorn bushes. As with the other shredders, the cuttings are drawn in automatically. The funnel for filling in the clippings is removable, which will please any gardener whose shed is already bursting at the seams. Because the shredder is less than 70 centimeters high. The catch box holds a sporty 53 liters.
If you have too much clippings and want to help four-legged garden companions such as hedgehogs or other small animals over the winter, you shouldn't throw every branch into the shredder. Use the long canes of blackberries, branches and leaves and use them to build a rustic deadwood hedge. Layer up the branches and cover the whole thing with some leaves and pine fronds. The winter quarters for hedgehogs are ready
Note: The article was first published in September 2022.
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