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Creating Mulch for Erosion Control

Reducing erosion is an important issue during road construction, road removal, site restoration, and fire rehabilitation. Soil slumping onto roads (making them impassable), plugged culverts and ditches, loss of critical topsoil, and increased sedimentation in streams are just a few of the problems caused by erosion. Meanwhile, trees cleared from road rights-of-way need to be burned or chipped to reduce fire hazard. Could small-diameter trees cleared from road rights-of-way be shredded and used as mulch for erosion control? Engineers at MTDC were asked to evaluate this possibility.

[photo] Mulch spread out on a forest floor in order to prevent erosion.

The tech tip, Shredding Small Trees To Create Mulch for Erosion Control (0471–2335–MTDC), presents information on three shredding and grinding machines reviewed in the Missoula, MT, area: a Bandit 3680, a Rawlings Manufacturing Grinder, and a Universal Refiner PDR-80-63. Each machine is portable and can be mounted on tracks to reduce the pressure on the ground, limiting soil compaction.

For more information on these machines, contact Scott Groenier, project leader (phone: 406–329–4719; e-mail:

USDA Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management employees can view this tech tip on the Forest Service's internal computer network at:

Others can view the tech tip over the Internet (Username: t-d, Password: t-d) at:

To order the tech tip, contact Cailen Hegman, MTDC publications (phone: 406–329–3978; e-mail:

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