This ain't yer mama's whole tree shredder.
April 19, 2006 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Whole Tree Shredding. This is not your average rotary mulcher. Watch the "SLASHBUSTER"® HD 480B chew through 10-14 inch diameter trees with ease. No auxiliary engine is necessary. Horsepower-for-horsepower this is the highest performance tree shredder available.
posted by Falconetti (62 comments total)
 
Somebody's been watching the Discovery Channel.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:54 AM on April 19, 2006


This is cool.

More super-shredding goodness.
posted by brain_drain at 7:55 AM on April 19, 2006


why do I want one?
posted by philcliff at 7:56 AM on April 19, 2006


philcliff: oh attach one of these to your lexus and watch other drivers flee you !
posted by elpapacito at 7:58 AM on April 19, 2006


Holy crap. That's amazingly awesome.
posted by fet at 8:01 AM on April 19, 2006


But this is the mother of all powertools pr0ns (NSFW, video audio)
posted by elpapacito at 8:03 AM on April 19, 2006


Supply creates demand.

Yesterday, I had absolutely 0 interest or desire in a tree shredder.

Today, I am if I have time before dinner to swing by Home Depot on my way home because I want one.
posted by dios at 8:05 AM on April 19, 2006


They really ought to have a service where you can go play with one of these on the weekend.

It would be a great stress reliever to go out for an hour and tear down some trees with one of those.
posted by dios at 8:10 AM on April 19, 2006


dios: try a belt sander, they seem little and cute they are hungry beasts
posted by elpapacito at 8:13 AM on April 19, 2006


Why shred a 10 to 14 inch tree? That would be big enough to to do something with other than mulching.
posted by Keith Talent at 8:15 AM on April 19, 2006


It is so easy to destroy, and humans seem much enamoured of it. I expect it is leftover from early mammalian needs to mark territory, or perhaps residual adolescent drives to prove that one Matters because one can affect the world.

A shame, really. I would much rather see a machine that could build something so intricate as a tree so quickly.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:22 AM on April 19, 2006


Why shred a 10 to 14 inch tree? That would be big enough to to do something with other than mulching.

Seriously. You know there's an entire industry based around dismantling old barns and what's left of the framework due to the scarcity of decent sized construction timbers. Yet here we have someone who's not only amazed, but inspired by this video to go out and mulch some perfectly healthy vegetation as a "stress reliever".

*sigh*

Be careful with these things, there are a lot of accidents related to standard capacity limb shredding devices - mostly the contractors that own them getting sucked in and ground out. They're called "tools" for a reason - you don't play with them.
posted by prostyle at 8:22 AM on April 19, 2006


I liked that tree stripper linked to earlier much better, even if it was just as depressing watching it uproot, debark and delimb a tree that's probably 100 years old in 10 seconds. This just seems wasteful.
posted by odinsdream at 8:25 AM on April 19, 2006


From 1992 to 2002, 31 people died on the job from injuries associated with mobile wood chippers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

posted by prostyle at 8:26 AM on April 19, 2006


Sad, but awesome.

Now the car getting ground up at the bottom of the page is just cool.
posted by Ryvar at 8:27 AM on April 19, 2006


I'm partial to bale processors myself.
Sure you're saying, "Hey! That's just for hay, man!" but a neighbor once put a bale that had a huge chunk of railroad tie frozen to it through his machine, and it didn't even hiccup.

And then there's the wonder of hydraulic post pounders, and...

Ah, memories of a bored rural childhood, where there was nothing to do but think of new and horrific uses for the machinery...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:29 AM on April 19, 2006


I'll echo prostyle's objections that a tree this big doesn't need to be shredded. But I bet some of those trees were just asking for a shredding with their bad attitudes. And if you shred one or two, the others stop causing trouble.

That's how you break tree unions, folks!
posted by fenriq at 8:33 AM on April 19, 2006


TECKNO TYEKNO TEKNO TEKNO DESTROY TREES HULK WANT NEW TOY CAN I HAVE CRUISE MISSILE NOW TO DESTROY AY-RABS?
posted by lalochezia at 8:40 AM on April 19, 2006


/me goes to clear brush on his ranch
posted by trondant at 8:46 AM on April 19, 2006


I'll only get one if the soundtrack comes with it.
posted by OmieWise at 8:53 AM on April 19, 2006


Why not do something useful with the tree: according to a friend of mine in the industry, trees that are not on proper plantations frequently contain nails and whatnot so that lumber mills do not want them. It does seem a terrible waste, though.
posted by nowonmai at 9:05 AM on April 19, 2006


Why shred a 10 to 14 inch tree? That would be big enough to to do something with other than mulching.

Seriously. You know there's an entire industry based around dismantling old barns and what's left of the framework due to the scarcity of decent sized construction timbers.


It looks like this would be used to shred runty, scraggly, crooked, often softwood trees. Reducing those puppies to mulch and increasing the open distances between mature trees will greatly improve the health of a forest. A 12" diameter 30' high tree looks nice in the yard, but in the forest, it's a weed. If I owned/managed forest, I think that this would be a big time saver.

I've actually worked in the timber salvage, a while ago. Old house/barn timbers are usually 12" square hardwoods (cherry, walnut), that have been seasoned for 100 years+. They're not the same thing as the stufff been shredded in the videos.
posted by carter at 9:13 AM on April 19, 2006


And if you shred one or two, the others stop causing trouble.

pour encourager les autrees.
posted by atrazine at 9:13 AM on April 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Fargo would have been a whole different movie with this bad boy.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:23 AM on April 19, 2006


Sometimes its a good idea to shred trees rather than using them to build or burn. They tend to move along in the carbon cycle faster, and the newly opened canopy allows for greater species diversity. Or something.

"Decent sized timbers" -- I helped take a barn apart a while back. The roof beam was ENORMOUS- 24 inches at least. The guy in charge told me there was ablsolutely no reason to build anything with a beam that size these days, that beams like that command a high price because 'yuppies have seen too many episodes of "This Old House." He called them vanity beams.

Sure liked that guy.
posted by merelyglib at 9:31 AM on April 19, 2006


Crap. You know, what Carter said.
posted by merelyglib at 9:33 AM on April 19, 2006


Couple some Slashbusters to a squadron of John Deere's Finnish Forest Walking Machines, add a more glamorous (and better dressed) tree-sitter, throw in a platoon or two of Monkeywrench Gang insurgents, and you just might have a Hollywood movie...
posted by cenoxo at 9:50 AM on April 19, 2006


A shame, really. I would much rather see a machine that could build something so intricate as a tree so quickly.

Amen to that. Problem is some people like to relieve frustrations or obtain satisfaction from destroying. It would be better if they took the same satisfaction from building, but they evidently appreciately mostly instant-gratifications.
posted by elpapacito at 10:06 AM on April 19, 2006


satisfaction from destroying.

Most of the time these fine, upstanding citizens don't stick about to clean up their messes either.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:11 AM on April 19, 2006


I find this sick. I am now slightly more likely to vote for Al Gore than before. Enthusiasm over cutting down trees is sick. I know it's often necessary, but it should not be viewed as entertainment.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:16 AM on April 19, 2006


This is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with humans.
posted by kuatto at 10:39 AM on April 19, 2006


This video rocks.

Slashdot linked a video, a couple years ago, from a Japanese company that built a "walking" machine to maneuver heavy-equipment through forests. I don't remember the purpose of the machine (cutting, digging, dragging, whatever), but it was basically like watching a low-grade fuchikoma lumber around. Very cool.
posted by cribcage at 11:01 AM on April 19, 2006


Yet here we have someone who's not only amazed, but inspired by this video to go out and mulch some perfectly healthy vegetation as a "stress reliever".

We obviously can't have respectful discussions about whole tree shredding.
posted by 3.2.3 at 11:18 AM on April 19, 2006


I don't understand the purpose of a machine like this. If you need to cut down some small trees, just hire a guy with a chainsaw and a truck. It would be hell of lot cheaper.
posted by jefbla at 11:25 AM on April 19, 2006


Ding! We have a winner! Carter is spot on what this is for. Keep in mind also that a device like this leaves a smaller footprint as it does its operations from a single location and reaches out rather than several different machines and men carrying out the same functions.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:27 AM on April 19, 2006


Why am I reminded of the movie FernGully
Hexxus: [singing] I see the world and all the creatures in it / I suck 'em dry and spit 'em out like spinach / Cause greedy human beings will always lend a hand / with the destruction of this worthless jungle land / And what a wonderful machine they have provided / To slice a path of doom with my sweet breath to guide it.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 11:38 AM on April 19, 2006


I don't understand the purpose of a machine like this. If you need to cut down some small trees, just hire a guy with a chainsaw and a truck. It would be hell of lot cheaper.

A 3-4 man crew, an industrial grade wood chipper being hauled around the forest, and at least 30-min-1 hour/tree (cutting, limbing, feeding through the chipper, cleanup, repeat...)

Vs.

1 man with this beast, doing the job in ~1 minute/tree.

The damned thing pays for itself in less than a year, I'd imagine.
posted by Chrischris at 11:44 AM on April 19, 2006


Incredible ! Finally Paris is agreeing with me

Enthusiasm over cutting down trees is sick. I know it's often necessary, but it should not be viewed as entertainment.

Well said !
posted by elpapacito at 11:59 AM on April 19, 2006


A 12" diameter 30' high tree looks nice in the yard, but in the forest, it's a weed.

Um. How do the non-weed trees in the forest grow up if they never pass through a stage where they are 12" in diameter and 30' high?

What you said makes no sense. Even giant redwoods have a growing-up phase before they reach full height. If you destroy all trees that size, eventually the bigger ones die and you have nothing to replace them with....
posted by beth at 12:09 PM on April 19, 2006


okay, after seeing it in action, I can think of a whole bunch of really useful scenarios for it. And yes, it would be great, great fun to as a toy. And it would be very hard not to give in and destroy things until you ran out of gas. Which would be wrong.

As others have said, forests need cleaning, either manually or with a flame. Its part of the process as well and the end result is the return of nutrients into the soil and clearer growing space for healthier and stronger trees and plants. Using this machine instead of the, um, less precise, burn method seems alot more practical, safe and cost effective.

With that said, can I have one of these grafted onto the turret of my tank? Maybe with an electromagnet to draw in cars to be shredded? Pretty please?
posted by fenriq at 12:13 PM on April 19, 2006


Um. How do the non-weed trees in the forest grow up if they never pass through a stage where they are 12" in diameter and 30' high?

That depends on the numbers of and density of the smaller trees. A few small trees spaced widely apart, that can grow into big trees, are necessary. Lots of small trees, spaced a 10-20 feet apart, or less, that have not been naturally thinned out (e.g. as a result of forest fire prevention), are detrimental to the overall health of the forest.

For example, according to this, "old growth ponderosa pine forests historically had only 20 to 30 trees per acre. The absence of fire has allowed a dramatic increase in the number of trees, mostly white and grand fir. Some forest stands now have more than 1,000 tree per acre." What you see as 'natural beauty' when visiting National Forests is very artificial. Ideally, you could gallop a horse through old growth forests. You couldn't do that in the forests in the videos.
posted by carter at 12:23 PM on April 19, 2006


Blame the user, not the tool.

The tool itself is very cool, and I can indeed see several very necessary scenarios for its use (thinning, dealing with dead trees unsafe to easily fell, etc.)

When we start considering its use for "riot control," then I'll be worried.
posted by FormlessOne at 12:26 PM on April 19, 2006


beth writes "What you said makes no sense."

I can understand why people would be aghast at this if they don't understand forest management, which is necessary for healthy and big trees, I understand less the lack of a sense of humor exhibited, but I guess that's ok too. If you're having trouble understanding how a forest grows best, go look at the back of a pack of garden seeds. Do you see where it indicates that there's an appropriate spacing for said seeds? If you look at different kinds of plant seeds you'll find that the recommended spacing is larger for larger plants and smaller for smaller plants. Now scale up.

There are a lot of different reasons to manage a forest: lumber production, pulp production, wildlife promotion, recreation. All of them involve some form of tree thinning. Even trees which grow in your backyard do best if trimmed. (Oh, the horror of cutting off a branch which is growing perfectly well!) It takes literally centuries for forest trees to reach huge sizes. The only thing which permits it at all is the natural tree fall associated with disease, lightning, etc. Thinning small trees is actually a way to promote attaining large tree sizes most quickly.
posted by OmieWise at 12:27 PM on April 19, 2006


Arboriculture, people. look it up.

Jesus H. Christ, the ignorance displayed here is appalling. This thing is a tool. It does a job, which actually benefits the forest so many folks in thread are frothing over. That it does its job in a particularily graphic manner which may or may not generate a certain childish delight in seeing big things smashed and destroyed by other big things is really beside the point. Quit conflating the innocent wonder how this thing does its job with some sinister desire to denude the planet of trees--it's unseemly and ignorant.
posted by Chrischris at 12:29 PM on April 19, 2006


Removing the smaller trees also has the effect of lessening the devastation during a forest fire. The scrub adds fuel to the fires which can actually get hot enough to damage and kill the larger trees rather than simply charring the outermost layers of bark.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:32 PM on April 19, 2006


If you'd indicated you meant thinning, that would have been more clear and I would not have been confused. From the way you stated it it sounded like you thought of *all* trees of a certain size as weeds, not merely *some*.

I am not an idiot. I know what optimum spacing is, and what purpose thinning serves.
posted by beth at 12:40 PM on April 19, 2006


MAN VS. NATURE: THE ROAD TO VICTORY
posted by quite unimportant at 12:43 PM on April 19, 2006


I didn't mean to be condescending. I was mostly responding to the tone of a broad range of comments here which seem to treat tree thinning as a horrible misunderstanding of the joy of nature. That tone seems both humorless and based on a misunderstanding of how forests actually work.
posted by OmieWise at 12:54 PM on April 19, 2006


This [post] is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with humans.

That's funny. I'd say this thread is a perfect example of what's wrong with most 20-something tree-hugging college hippies: Their shallow, fanatic beliefs are based on zero knowledge or expertise; yet they are (1) absolutely convinced of their position's moral superiority, (2) eager to leap into discussions with their ignorant and unfounded arrogance, and (3) quick to condemn the character of anyone who disagrees. (And then they turn around and criticize religious fundamentalists for doing the exact same thing. Grab a mirror.)

Get a clue, and come back to the table when you know what you're talking about.
posted by cribcage at 1:32 PM on April 19, 2006


The Top Ten Environmental Benefits of Forestry from the Society of American Foresters founded in 1900 by Gifford Pinchot (photo.) This SAF position letter explains the need for thinning, particularly in southwestern states.
posted by cenoxo at 1:43 PM on April 19, 2006


I hear they added the soundtrack to cover up the sound of the trees screaming. True story.
posted by Crash at 2:18 PM on April 19, 2006


If you have had to have dying Douglas firs cut down in your yard, raise your hand. Yes, the resulting timber was sold for a few hundred dollars, but the removal cost a few thousand dollars.
Forestry experts:Do the reforesters plant anything but Doug Firs? Is there any variety of species? Or just the obnoxious Doug fir?
posted by Cranberry at 2:53 PM on April 19, 2006


Thank you, elpapacito. That was a truly great video. :-)
posted by five fresh fish at 6:59 PM on April 19, 2006


OMG. That tree shredder rocks my balls. Mount that puppy on the Japanese six-legged thing and you could maintain an absolutely huge tree farm with excellent results: low impact re: soil compaction, ability to maintain minimum distances between trees,selection of only the best trees for retention, and returning tree nutrients back to the earth. Awesome, simply awesome.

I'm not convinced of its utility in brush-cutting ditches and the like; up here in BC we've got machines that must be using a similar sort of system, but they have a much wider cutting path, are side-mounted to an industrial tractor (Cat), and are used by driving down the shoulder of the road; this shredder looks like you have to park face-in to the ditch and swing the arm.

Finally, it also looks like the exact tool I need to create parking spots whereever I wish. Sure, I'm sure it'll have difficulties with some of the newer Subarus (they have a ton of hardened steel in the B pillars, proving to be quite the challenge to the Jaws of Life operators), but most every other car would be a piece of cake.

With one of these, I could rule the world!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:08 PM on April 19, 2006


Wow, I sure am glad humans roam the earth managing forests. How else would forests grow up to be healthy? After all, they certainly wouldn't be fine without our help.
posted by odinsdream at 7:52 PM on April 19, 2006


It's a choice between logging virgin forest, odinsdream, or logging plantation forests. Parks or plantations, your choice. If you choose the latter, you need to manage it if you wish to maximize production.

Do you really not understand this, or are you just playing thick?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:12 PM on April 19, 2006


Didn't ANYBODY scroll down to watch the thing mulch the Dodge Caravan? It puts the whole "poor defenseless trees" thing into much better perspective.
posted by yhbc at 9:45 PM on April 19, 2006


Hey, either you're for killing Mother Earth, or for protecting that elm tree you see on your hour long commute and that copse of dead poplars outside your office window, man.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:58 PM on April 19, 2006


When we start considering its use for "riot control," then I'll be worried.
[posted by FormlessOne]

Seriously. I thought the same thing, and what an image that conjures up.

/wipes red mist off face.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:10 PM on April 19, 2006


five fresh fish, I'm still standing by my assertion that forests of all kinds would do just fine without us. While the management might make it easier to get to certain parts for our purposes, this assertion is inevitably used to justify logging of natural forests.
posted by odinsdream at 11:01 AM on April 20, 2006


I'm still not following you. Of course natural forests get along just fine on the whole (pine beetles notwithstanding). I fail to see what that really has to do with anything, though, as this is a tool meant to be used in managed forests in order to maximize productivity. The one has nothing to do with the other, at least as I view it.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:09 PM on April 20, 2006


Man, I want one.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 4:23 PM on April 20, 2006


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