The tree shredder on full display at Harderblog earlier this month attracted record views for a single post (see Clear Cutting, 12 Aug. 2014). A comment received today suggests the dramatic images of whole trees being reduced to pixie dust demand more information. “Why are they chipping instead of logging, which is the highest and best use?” the reader asked, pointing to environmental concerns. Good question. I decided to phone Denis Cimaf, the industrial brushcutting company profiled in the video, to find out.
Owner Laurent Denis answered the phone. His YouTube video in question has gone viral – over 1.5 million hits. “We’ve made lots of videos,” explained Denis, “but that one blew up on the internet.” He explained it was a land-clearing job for a new housing development in the middle of Sherbrooke, Quebec. He acknowledged this particular operation was extreme, an opportunity no doubt to record the excavator mulcher’s full capabilities. With little merchantable value for lumber, a number of trees (“half a dozen”) were chipped. Denis was well-versed in forest stewardship, noting in the past that wood waste was piled up and burned, releasing stored carbon. Chipping, on the other hand, preserves the stored carbon benefit while amending the soil. As to biomass, it was interesting to learn that transporting the wood fibre “over 30-35 miles” makes it difficult to recover value at the mill, according to Denis.
We’re told at their website that Denis Cimaf is “a family-run company that adheres to the core values of respect for the environment, innovation, and customer service. Well established in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Chile, and Japan as a leading manufacturer of vegetation control equipment.”