Special Feature: Biomass Use

Where the wild things are

 

It could develop into one answer to control wilding conifer as well as producing wood chip for a variety of uses. At least this would be the long-term aim of Brad Coleman and his chipping team if the current trials are successful.

 

The owner of Canterbury Woodchip Supplies, Brad has been in the woodchip business for more than a decade and lately invested in a 50/48 Morbark chipper, capable of producing up to 80 tonnes of chip per hour. In mid-November 2020, the 865 hp machine demonstrated its capabilities on a four-hectare stand consisting of mixed age (15 – 25 years) Pinus Contorta, near the Meridian canal at Lake Pukaki. This combination of excavator/chipper is manoeuvred along the site, with the chipper being remotely controlled by the excavator operator.

 

It took 12 hours to process the four hectares (under two days including stoppages) says company Sales Manager Sam Lees, which indicates the extent of areas that could be cleared over a 12-month period. Speaking at a chipping demonstration, he says at this stage the chipped material is evenly spread back over the area in order to create a mulch blanket for an alternative land use.

 

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