Are you considering buying a forestry mulcher to help clear your land for building or landscaping? Maybe you just need a more efficient way of managing the plants, trees, and vegetation on your land?
Our helpful guide on how to find the best forestry mulcher will give you a rundown of all the things you need to know before you invest. We’ll take a look at the pros and cons, costs, and things to look for when purchasing a forestry mulcher, as well as an overview of some of the best machines out there for your land-clearing needs.
What is a Forestry Mulcher?
A forestry mulcher is a machine or attachment used to help clear plants and vegetation. You can buy freestanding small garden mulchers or attachments which are connected to skid steers, tractors, and other heavy-duty machinery. Forestry mulchers typically have teeth that turn the vegetation into larger chips, or blades that turn vegetation into mulch or shavings.
The output of the forestry mulcher – chips or mulch – can be left as an eco-friendly ground covering for the land that you cleared or reused in your landscaping, gardens, and for certain farm animal or pet bedding, among other uses.
Do I Need a Forestry Mulcher?
A forestry mulcher can be used as an eco-friendly and cost-effective way of clearing land for a number of reasons including:
- Clearing residential and/or farmland – clearing land for residential building, farming, landscaping, gardening, etc.
- Clearing land for commercial building – clearing land for commercial building and/or large-scale residential building.
- Management of invasive species – in areas overrun by invasive species of plants and vegetation a forestry mulcher is an eco-friendly way to remove and manage the issue and help enrich the soil.
- Conservation and welfare of forest, wetlands, habitats – to help maintain and encourage natural areas and wildlife. Clearing areas to improve access to food and water supplies and remove invasive species or other vegetation that may be an impediment to wildlife, forests, and wetlands. Clearing can also help with controlling wildfire risk in forests and other natural spaces.
Pros and Cons to a Forestry Mulcher
If you’re still on the fence as to whether or not you should invest in a forestry mulcher, here’s a simple breakdown of some of the pros and cons of owning a forestry mulcher.
- Protects and nourishes the soil
- Manages invasive species of vegetation as well as unwanted insects such as ticks
- Helps control weeds
- Efficient means of clearing land
- Saves money
- The required amount of storage space (size of machine depending)
- Can be dangerous if not operated properly
- Over Mulching can suffocate remaining plants/trees
How Much Do Forestry Mulchers Cost?
Forestry mulchers vary quite a bit in type, size and cost. So, how much should you save if you’re looking to invest in a forestry mulcher?
If you’re looking to purchase a small home garden mulcher, costs can vary from $500 to over $1,000 depending on the model, features, and power you’re looking for. For larger forestry mulcher attachments for your farm equipment or heavy machinery, you are looking at a considerably high price tag – anywhere from $6,000 to over $40,000.
Despite the higher price tag, in many cases, forestry mulchers can pay for themselves quite quickly and will help save you money in the long run – especially if you tend a large amount of land and/or have a large garden area that requires maintenance and landscaping.
What You Should Know About Forestry Mulching
Forestry mulching, as we have mentioned above, has many benefits but there are some surprising uses for forestry mulching that you may not know.
Forestry mulching is most often used for clearing or tending the land and managing invasive species and other large-scale projects. A forestry mulcher can also be a handy tool to have on hand for tending your home garden or for those with landscaping businesses.
It’s not recommended for small jobs such as leaf mulching. We definitely recommend using a leaf mulcher for that. This is because forestry mulchers are efficient ways to clear land for smaller projects such as fencing, deck or garden building, and building of sheds or other small outdoor structures.
Clearing these areas using a forestry mulcher also creates mulch or wood chips that can be reused for the small projects you cleared the land for in the first place like in gardens to prevent weeds and protect the soil or as a decorative layer in garden beds for landscaping.
Another fact about forestry mulching is that it is zero waste. The use of a forestry mulcher turns invasive species, dead vegetation, etc. into wood chips or mulch which can be beneficial for feeding the soil, but it also eliminates the need for disposal of vegetation by way of burning or other more carbon-intensive means.
Things to Look for in a Forestry Mulcher
When researching forestry mulchers and whether or not you should buy one it’s helpful to focus on a few key areas. Here are some of the main things you should be looking for when researching forestry mulchers.
Type and Purposes
There are a few types of forestry mulchers each with different purposes. First, if you are looking for a forestry mulcher for your small home garden or for small to medium-size landscaping projects you may want to look at portable home chippers/mulchers (we’ll give you a rundown of some of the best home forestry mulchers below).
On the other hand, if you are looking to tend a larger plot of land, use your mulcher for farming purposes, own a building or construction company or large-scale landscaping operation, then you may want to invest in a forestry mulcher attachment for a skid steer or other piece of heavy machinery.
Second, when you’re looking at larger forestry mulching attachments, in particular, you also have to look at the differences between disc and drum mulchers.
Drum mulchers tend to be better for doing large areas of brush and small trees, offer better visibility for the operator, and are ideal for work in residential/urban/suburban areas where there may be a lot of power lines or other obstacles.
Disc mulchers can cut through thicker trees, may be easier to use in more compact areas, and are best for rural areas.
Heating and Cooling Times
Heating and cooling times are important to consider as they will contribute to how long it takes for you to clear an area using your forestry mulcher. As a general rule of thumb, you should be using a forestry mulcher that is the appropriate size for the amount of land/vegetation you want to clear. If you have a large property and try to use a small garden mulcher you will quickly face overheating issues as these are designed for low-capacity mulching.
Similarly, when using a forestry mulcher attachment, consider the size of land and type of vegetation when choosing your type and size of mulcher – if you’re clearing a large plot of remote land with lots of larger trees, then a smaller drum mulcher is more likely to face stalling and overheating issues and require more time to cool between jobs.
Some mulchers, such as gas-powered portable home mulchers, may come with a built-in air-cooling system to help lower the risk of overheating and extending the amount of time you can use it for a job.
Capacity is another important thing to consider. If you are mostly doing at-home yard work and would like a mulcher that mostly helps with small twigs, leaves, etc. you are going to require a much smaller (and cheaper) mulcher.
However, if you’re looking to get into mulching larger trees, high volumes of brush and other vegetation you need to ensure you are getting the proper type of mulcher (disc vs. drum for skid steer attachments) and the correct size.
As we mentioned above, drum mulchers are better equipped to handle areas of brush and small trees whereas disc mulchers have the capacity to mulch trees of anywhere from 8-14 inches.
Of course, price is an important factor in deciding on the best forestry mulcher for you. The age-old adage – “you get what you pay for” – certainly applies when it comes to any type of machinery whether it’s a small portable at-home mulcher or an attachment for your skid steer.
The best way to approach price when buying a forestry mulcher is by balancing your needs and your budget. This means determining what you absolutely need in your forestry mulcher, such as the capacity to mulch larger trees, and balancing that with being okay with a job taking longer to avoid overheating of the machine.
This allows you to stick to your budget and maybe settle for a mid-range forestry mulcher vs. a high-end model. However, if you’re planning on using a forestry mulcher regularly you may want to consider investing in a more expensive model, especially if it comes with a better warranty and quality.
The quality of forestry mulchers varies greatly, and as with many things, it’s always a good idea to compare reviews before purchasing, if at all possible. In many cases, spending a bit more may get you a high-quality product, especially when it comes to capacity and longevity. Whether the quality is important to you tends to depend on what you will be using the machine for, how often you will be using it, and your overall budget.
Warranties on forestry mulchers often depend on the brand, and unfortunately, price. You may notice that some of the more budget-friendly portable home mulchers do not offer warranties, but warranties tend to become more common with a price increase.
The length of warranty on your forestry mulcher will often depend on the type of mulcher. For example, a small home mulcher may have a 2- or 3-years warranty but larger forestry mulching attachments can have upwards of 5–10-year warranties depending on the brand, price, etc.
The Best Forestry Mulchers You Can Buy Online
With all the information, you’re ready to invest in a forestry mulcher, but which one do you buy? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are five of the best forestry mulchers you can buy right now:
SuperHandy Leaf Mulcher Shredder
The SuperHandy Leaf Mulcher is a great electric waste management mulcher. Equipped with a 50-gallon water-resistant waste bag to keep your output contained. This mulcher is ultra-quiet meaning you can use it any time of day without the risk of your neighbors making a noise complaint! The machine itself is water-resistant and is fixed with a circuit breaker to avoid any unnecessary damage due to weather.
What is it Best For?
This mulcher is best for leaves and small branches and twigs (up to 0.5in) making it the perfect eco-friendly solution to your home garden waste.
- Brand: SuperHandy
- Type: Electric Belt, 15AMP 1800-Watt 120VAC 60Hz
- Best Feature: Super quiet operation
GreatCircleUSA Mini Wood Chipper/Mulcher
The GreatCircleUSA Mini Wood Chipper/Mulcher is a gas-powered mulcher with a built-in air cooling system. With all-terrain tires and an adjustable discharge chute, this portable mulcher is perfect for most home and landscaping waste management and mulching projects.
What is it Best For?
As a mini version of common mulchers, this one is ideal for gardens, landscaping, and waste management. It can handle up to 3 tree branches and is great for brush, twigs, and leaves.
- Brand: GreatCircleUSA
- Type: Unleaded Gas – RATO 7HP, 212cc, Single Cylinder 4-stroke OHV
- Best Feature: High volume chute that can handle up to 3 branches
Landworks Heavy-Duty Wood Chipper/Mulcher
The Landworks Heavy-Duty Wood Chipper/Mulcher is a gas-powered 3-in-1 portable wood chipper/shredder/mulcher with a leaf vacuum. The discharge chute comes with a bag attachment to keep all mulch and discharge contained and easy to transfer to the desired area or storage. The tow bar kit allows the unit to be transported using your ATV, lawnmower or small tractor for easy portability.
What is it Best For?
It’s definitely best for gardens, landscaping, and waste management but can also be used for small forestry projects. It has a capacity of up to 3in making it a great choice for clearing areas with a lot of brush, leaves, and small twigs/branches.
- Brand: Landworks
- Type: Unleaded Gas – 7HP 212cc 4-stroke cylinder OHV
- Best Feature: 3-in-1 capability, making it a handy and versatile garden machine
SuperHandy Ultra Heavy Duty Wood Chipper/Mulcher
The SuperHandy Ultra Heavy Duty Wood Chipper/Mulcher is a 3-in-1 gas-powered shredder, chipper, and leaf vacuum. With all-terrain tires and an easy push handle, this mulcher is exceptionally portable and easy to maneuver. The optional discharge chute bag will keep your mulching contained for easy transferring.
What is it Best For?
We love that this forestry mulcher can handle up to 3in tree branches making it perfect for gardens, landscaping, waste, and small forestry projects.
- Brand: SuperHandy
- Type: Unleaded Gas – 7HP 4-stroke cylinder OHV
- Best Feature: Great portability on all terrains
SuperHandy Ultra-Quiet Electric Wood Chipper/Mulcher
The SuperHandy Ultra-Quiet Electric Wood Chipper/Mulcher is a quiet, smog-free eco-friendly electric wood chipper. It features a sturdy handle, wheels and frame, and 50L discharge bin making it a hassle-free garden helper. The machine is water-resistant and equipped with a circuit breaker switch to keep you safe in all weather. The large hopper makes your job quicker and easier.
What is it Best For?
With a max capacity of 1.9in branches and twigs, the SuperHandy Ultra-Quiet Electric Wood Chipper is best for gardens, landscaping, and small projects where you have access to electrical outlets.
- Brand: SuperHandy
- Type: Electric – 1800 Watts, 4100 RPMs, 15AMP
- Best Feature: 50L collection bag for easy waste containment and disposal
Side by Side Comparison
|Name||SuperHandy Leaf Mulcher||GreatCircleUSA Mini Wood Chipper/Mulcher||Landworks Heavy-Duty Wood Chipper/Mulcher||SuperHandy Ultra Heavy Duty Wood Chipper/Mulcher||SuperHandy Ultra-Quiet Electric Wood Chipper/Mulcher|
|Type||Electric Belt, 15AMP 1800-Watt 120VAC 60Hz||Unleaded Gas – RATO 7HP, 212cc, Single Cylinder 4-stroke OHV||Unleaded Gas – 7HP 212cc 4-stroke cylinder OHV||Unleaded Gas – 7HP 4-stroke cylinder OHV||Electric – 1800 Watts, 4100 RPMs, 15AMP|
|Features||No smog, quiet, eco-friendly||High volume chipping/mulching, extended hopper chute||3-in-1 chipper/shredder/mulcher with leaf vacuum, tow bar kit (sold separately).||3-in-1 chipper/shredder/mulcher with leaf vacuum, tow bar||50L collection bin, large hopper, no smog, quiet|
Question: Who makes the best forestry mulcher?
Answer: We’ve listed above some of the best portable home mulchers but overall, the best forestry mulcher depends on the type of machine you are looking for – portable home mulcher or forestry mulcher attachment. It’s best to assess your needs and budget to determine the best forestry mulcher for you.
Question: How many acres can a forestry mulcher clear in a day?
Answer: The number of acres a forestry mulcher can clear in a day depends on a variety of factors including the density of vegetation, size of the land, if there is uneven terrain and/or lots of obstacles, etc. However, on average, a forestry mulcher can clear between 1 and 4 acres per day.
Question: How big of a skid steer do you need to run a mulcher?
Answer: The most important part of matching a skid steer to a mulcher is ensuring it’s heavy enough to handle the additional weight of the attachment without tipping. Additionally, horsepower is important, and it is typically recommended that your skid steer have no less than 70hp.
When purchasing a forestry mulching attachment, it can be best to consult a professional to help you match your attachment to the correct size/power of skid steer.
Question: Is forestry mulching profitable?
Answer: Forestry mulching can be very profitable. It’s an eco-friendly, cost-effective way to clear land, manage invasive species, help prevent forest fires, and more. As an alternative to less eco-conscious means of clearing such as burning or bulldozing, the benefits of forestry mulching are making it an increasingly popular choice for land clearing projects.
If you own your own forestry mulcher, there is little overhead for providing the service and you will typically be able to charge per hour or acre with additional charges for complex landscapes, etc.
The Bottom Line on Forestry Mulchers
All in all, for portable home mulchers I’d recommend the Landworks Heavy-Duty Wood Chipper/Mulcher for its versatility, high capacity, and 3-year warranty. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve found this article helpful and feel free to leave us any questions! And check out our guide to the best cordless pole saws.