Chipper photos

The Powerking  PK903  Chipper has been working so much better now that I know how to run the right material.

Spent some time clipping Salal (will be a constant defensive battle) the Huckleberry and Salal has been allowed to grow and needs to be pushed back. So 2 hours of clipping created about 2 sq yards of  yard waste. This took about 30 minutes to run through into the green stuff and started digging into the existing debris pile. Ran it for an hour and cleaned up about 3 sq yards into 3 x 64 gallon trash cans load. That is the pile with the tree trunk shadow.

From the pictures you can see it does not mulch and does not grind up the Salal or the bamboo. But most of the  clippings are pretty finely ground and can be  used as a base for composting.  This is the area where we are thinking of the fire pit and gabion walls.

Now considering a staging area right by the front yard. A place to store yard debris to chip,  Or store a chip drop or a rock dump. Where we can get it off the driveway and out of sight. We could have a fair amount of rock drops for the gabion walls etc.

California Poppies and Lupines

Can not get away from loving California poppies, We spread a lot of seeds behind the orchard and along the street side north of our driveway. Along with the  poppies we added alpine lupine  as a  back drop. Will be interesting to see if this work and they flower or turn up as food for the rabbits and deer.

Be nice if the poppies and lupine could self propagate.

Ivy in the Trees

Tuesday we had James Moore come and prune our fruit trees. He was very knowledgeable about the garden and a great arborist. He noticed ivy growing on the trees and said if we do not do something about that or else the ivy will kill the trees.


This is an ivy stalk, just under 3 inches.

Little did I know, that the ivy has been growing up the trees for years. I went to go clip the root with a pair of pruning shears. I ended up bending the blade and going back for a pruning saw. One ivy stack was the size of my arm, Ending up being a work out and did about a dozen trees.

Two cuts on the ivy about 50% could be cut with shears the other cuts done with a pruning saw. One high the other low.  Leaving a big gap in showing now ivy stacks on the trunk. Now I guess we will live with dead ivy in the trees for a few years.

Ideas for Yard Projects

  1. Single slope shed work area behind studio.
  • Link  $2000.
  • Pavers for 400 sq ft apps $1400 for sand
  • Then Electrician to add light and power.  $2,000

2. Material staging  area by driveway

  • Pavers for 600 sq ft apps $1800,
  • Support timbers. 6″ x 6″ x 8′  $25.00. 2 x 8 x 10′   $29.00

3. Fire pit.

4. Bridge

5. Gazebo


Weekend March 3-4

Did a fair amount of  chain sawing and chipping and debris pile moving this weekend. We had good weather On Saturday afternoon, changed out the chipper blade for a new one boy what a difference had to chip the top part of the fallen tree and it just ate them down. Made 3 trash cans full in about an hour. Loved the branches.  Then later doing some smaller stuff and I think a rock got in and went to from self feeding got need a shove.  By the end of Sunday after about 3-4 hours of running over the weekend was going slow and needing to be pushed through.  But did 6 Trash Cans of chips over the weekend and completely removed the Debris field from the Green House Area.   Did  a fair amount of chain sawing and clearing the Fallen tree area to make it safer to walk through. Plus some of the branches are to thick for the chipper so cut into fire pit size. Have made a fairly good stack of fire pit wood.

The Chipper has been moved  to the Fire Pit area, South of the the firewood stack. Mardi came up with the fire pit idea and looking forward to making it happen. Trying to envision  some sight lines to add details.

Got radical on a few HuckleBerry bushes, I consider them weeds.  Cleared out 3 behind the Studio, will do more as time permits, uncovered 3 stumps the are far more interesting than the HB bushes. Plus there is a creeping ground cover that is slowing taking over that has to go. Will be hard to get all the roots dug out, but we have nothing but time. Just need to start playing defense and start pushing back this creeping unchecked growth.

Started pricing out gabion for a few sound wall, etc. Have started getting quotes for 3 x 3. 9ga  wire mesh in Stainless and hot dipped galvanized steel, Should be interesting to see the cost.

a 36 ” by 36 ” x 48″ base.,  with a  12″ x 48″ x 48″ wall on top. needs  30 linear feet of 48″ mesh. Need qty of. 3  of 48″ x 120″ panels wire panels  from Wilcox  $32 and  52 cubic feet of rock. Say 2 yards $80 for 2 yards. Then labor and clips and some posts   adds $20.  so a 4 ft section  7 ft tall is about  $150 or 80 ft is about $3,000. We will see

Gabion Calculator

Links to Gabion Suppliers



back to work

For my B-day Mardi and I went to Kauai for a nice 8 day rest and recharge, Got back to snow and a fallen 80′ tree that took out part of the back dog wire fence while we were away.  Good thing we invested in a  STIHL chain saw. Came in handy for Nick to clear the tree from the fence line so the dog wire could be secured to keep Ellie from escaping her area.

On Sunday  Feb. 25  ran the chipper for about 2 hours and almost completely cleared the debris from the Green House pile.  Just in time to start on all the fallen tree branches.  Ordered a new set of chipper blades from Power King. only like $23.00 each. Hopefully will ship so I can run some material this weekend.  The chipper ate a rock and is now is not cutting, basically smokes and nothing gets passed through.  So new blades are the only solution. We see about sharpening this blade.

Went to cut up the fallen tree. Took about  90 minutes with the chain saw to get the trunk and branches cut up so we can get into the area, Now we have room to move and can replace and tightening up that section of dog wire fence. The fence was put in Nov 15th so in less than 4 months needs to be fixed. Go figure.

Mardi has become very concerned about other trees falling in a wind storm, probably with good reason.  This tree was standing all alone in the leach field, and not sure but it looks like it was trimmed to remove some  branches to keep it from becoming a wind sail. But the job was poorly done and left the branches as torn not cut which might have weakened the tree. This tree had zero roots to stabilize it from the wind direction. The one root was healthy but had termite damage around it.

Thinking of make a totem pole out of the tree. Get a tracked back hoe and drag it down to outside the studio. Make a Chinese new year of all the families animals. on it.  Who knows.

The PWN and this property is different than another we have had in less than 4 months have had 2 trees come down that I needed to  to deal with.  The first was a small birch about 40′ tall then this one, a 80′ pine tree.  Starting a collection of logs from these two.

All in all we have tons of down trees of all shapes and sizes. Some by nature the others by man to clear out the forest so the original owners could have sunlight on the back yard.  We just have a lot of property and forest and blackberries and things to do.

Sunday Yardwork

Ran  about 40 minutes on  the chipper and it started smoking and no longer chipping.

Something got into the material and dulled the blades and I think moved the drum away from the feed edge. where the blade on the drum  chomps down on the material. It seems the material runs under the drum and no longer being touched by the blade.

No more wet leaves into the chippers. I think a rock got into that material and now it it not working. I also noticed that chopped materials was loading up on the feed side.

Need to figure out how to flip the blade, And figure out how to align and measure the blade distance.  I like the machine but only an 1+ hour of run time and a dull blade. Need to figure out  a way to keep it running.

Bought a chain saw, Small Stihl  toro do limb and  down tree clean up. Worked great. Felled my first tree in the yard  about 8″ in diameter.  Some kind of birch? Was falling down at about 45 degrees.  Plus cleaned up a small down tree on the leach field, Move all the debris to the  north pile by the studio.

Will need to get the chipper running we are making more debris thank we  processed today.

First Run of the Chipper

Yard waste is a big issue so having a way to remove it outside of burning the pile we purchased a chipper.

Got a   PowerKing 903,  mainly because of the feed rate and industrial weight power. 6 ft per minute compared to 50 ft per minute.


  • Need to keep feed material low do not pack the feed chute. Material rides up over the cutting drum and starts blocking new material
  • Gravity is not enough had to push material into the cutting drum with a branch.
  • Does not do well with wet leaves or matted material
  • the kill bar is annoying only about a 1/4 inch  of movement cuts off the engine.
  • pull starting it is awkward and requires a very strong pull.  Electric starter in its future

The output is very fine, which probably means the blade needs to be adjusted to do more material per cut. Will run it a few more days.

I was worried it would be loud and disturb the neighbors, but is a not loud and the cutting sound is not high pitched so we can run this all day long.

We probably have close to  100 square yards of debris to run through so it. If we can do a yard every 15 minutes which reduces it to about a 64 gallon. 0.4 yards.    4 yards  reduced to  .4 yards

Off to do some more chipping.


Sunday January 28th

Chipper.  This is a heavy beast, good thing leverage  was enough to do it by myself. Finished assembly today.   Bought it from Home Depot.  PowerKing 903

  • Wiggled it out of the crate and onto a cart Harbor Freight Dolly.
  • Titled it back enough to get the rear wheels one.
  • Rotated it on the cart so the wheels where on the ground. Then tilted it up added a block to put the front  bracket on.
  • The exit chute was aligned with a screw driver
  • The feed chute is heavy  needed to tilt it up on some crates to get it aligned
  • Filled the motor with oil  Ready to add fuel and start.


  • The north east gutter was clogged with pine needles and cause water to accumulate under the patio cover. Removed the top portion and removed the debris.  I added a strainer and replaced the missing screw that allowed the drain portion to pop off.
  • Then went to the next drain to the west. It too was clogged, repeated the process.
  • Then the next drain to the west. it was not clogged, added strainer.

Notice alot of moss on the roof. Getting stuff to spray on.