Your are about to make a large purchase and you probably have a lot of questions. We have done our best to answer a few frequently asked questions in discussion style. We believe in transparency and honesty up front and want to be your best friend when there is work to begin!
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE?
We have been clearing trees and land since 1994 and practice often on our family ranches. We formed Yellow Dog in 1997. We only utilize experienced climbers, if needed, on oak or other difficult take-down jobs and use experienced hand crews, when necessary on clearing jobs.
The owner is a long-time member of the ISA and is preparing to take the certified arborist exam. The owner has also completed the study of the national oak wilt symposium and continues education in arboriculture, horticulture, and land clearing best management practices.
HOW LONG DO WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE WORK TO BEGIN?
Due to nature of heavy equipment and weather, delays can and do occur but we can generally accommodate smaller jobs within a couple of days to a week's notice unless we are booked on a large job. We can't do much when it rains so we try and stay off a wet property. We stay busy year round and sometimes it takes a few weeks to schedule a site visit since the owner is also on site on every job.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR EQUIPMENT?
We utilize state of the art, powerful high-flow machines, a tree chipper, a top of the line mulcher, heavy duty trencher attachment, a powerful stump grinder, and numerous high performance attachments as well as experienced chain saw helpers and experienced climbers when needed. We own our own equipment and it's rare to take on a job where we need to rent or borrow equipment.
DO YOU CHARGE FOR TRAVEL TIME?
We generally charge an hour's labor for very local travel and setup built into an 8 hour day. Haul charge dependent upon machine's price per hour for that job but generally built into our day rate.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM "BY THE DAY" CEDAR CLEARING?
You can expect about 7 HOURS of machine time and an hour of hauling/setup included in an 8 hour, by the day job. We are generally on-site for about 7.5-8 hours on a day job. You do not pay for our "down time" for repairs that aren't caused by hazards on your property. We work fast and efficiently and do not take many breaks.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MULCHER AND A CHIPPER?
A mulcher is an attachment that mounts on the front of a specialized, custom, and very powerful type of Bobcat and uses carbide-tipped teeth to strip and pulverize the trees, stumps and logs.
The mulcher leaves shreds which lay flat on the ground.
The chipper pulls tree limbs, trimmings, and small logs through it and spits out generally uniform wood chips. The chipper reduces brush volume by a ration of approximately 10 to 1.
WHAT DO THE SHREDS FROM THE BRUSH MULCHER LOOK LIKE?
Please look at some of the pictures of the shredded brush piles. Our style of mulcher produces some of the smallest shreds of any brush mulcher currently in use in the rocky Hill Country. Mulch thickness will depend on the density and size of the trees or piles being shredded. Grasses WILL eventually grow through the mulch as it breaks down despite what some people claim. You can see grasses during the growing season in as little as a few weeks to a few months to several years depending on pile thickness, type of mulch, time of year, and moisture available. Oak tends to look chunky compared to cedar shreds. Mulching is an EPA certified "Best Management Practice" and can be used as an activity on wildlife tax valuation properties for erosion control, habitat building, and restoration.
CAN YOU MAKE MY PROPERTY PARK-LIKE?
Anyone can take a backhoe and push all your trees into the corner of your lot or make big piles in the middle of your field. We are different and believe we can make your property look good. Most park-like properties are the culmination of clearing, trimming, mowing, and spreading chips. This process can take a few days on smaller tracts to a few weeks on larger properties. Each property is unique and we are happy to discuss the alternatives. Please keep in mind that spreading "fresh" cedar or wood chips can act as a weed or grass blocker in the short term. The best prescription is to let any chip piles cure and compost naturally for a few months before spreading, however, this is up to the customer.
There is no perfect solution. Even landscaping needs maintenance. Mulching isn't perfect, either, and there can be limbs and logs that get buried or are partially mulched under the shreds and chips but we try and get a complete mulch. Brush piles are more difficult to "get to the bottom of" if they are dense, very tall, full of dirt, etc. We can flip over and remulch our shreds but that takes extra time and most of our customers are satisfied with the way we leave things.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TREE SHEARING AND BULLDOZING?
Tree shearing literally snips the tree off at ground level leaving the tree stumps intact at or below the surface of the ground/ Ground disturbance is minimized, too, since we are not pushing the roots out of the ground. Less disturbance means faster recovery of grasses and native plants.
Bulldozing, as an alternative, literally pushes roots, rocks, and trees into big piles along with the dirt, seed, and anything else in the way. While dozing is necessary on some properties there are alternatives such as tree shearing, hand work, and brush mowing. Tree Shearing is an EPA "Best Management Practice" for erosion control while bulldozing can lead to more erosion if not done properly. It is generally more expensive to mulch piles that are bulldozed due to the dirt, rocks, and size of the piles.
WILL YOU BURN IF WE RATHER NOT CHIP?
We have burned on occasion. We will assess each job on a case by case basis to see if it is safe to burn. We have a spray rig to assist us should we feel burning is a safe alternative. Of course, we will set up piles should you decide to burn. It has been difficult to burn anything over the last several years due to the extended drought and dry winds.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU AND OTHER CEDAR MULCHING COMPANIES?
Our equipment is smaller and more maneuverable than forestry sized machines and we specialize in smaller tracts. We follow TCEQ, EPA, and ISA "best management practices" for erosion control, oak wilt prevention, and tree trimming work. We also operate a mulcher with a hydraulic door and rubber tires where many competitors use steel tracks which can tear up your property. Many competitors can't re-mulch the shreds because they have no mulching door installed and their shreds are more coarse, stringy, or chunky. If you allow us to, we will consider the overall health of your property and offer advice so that your property stays healthy and enjoyable and can recover faster. We are stewards of our own Hill Country acreage and we love trees!
CAN YOU MULCH IN ROCK?
While the mulcher can work around some rock, it is both expensive and requires more maintenance to mulch in very rocky terrain. It might be that hand labor or tree shearing is a better choice for rockier areas. Each job site is different and we are happy to recommend an alternative service or another company if your property would benefit from it.
ON DRIVEWAY AND ROAD REPAIR:
Does Yellow Dog offer a warranty on road work?
This is a difficult question. While we will do what we can to keep you, the customer, happy, it is difficult for us to offer a warranty when we live in an area where there are so many flash floods and heavy rain events. It is not uncommon for the hill country to receive 2, 3, and 4 inch rains over a couple of hours. Short of concrete and some asphalt jobs, it is nearly impossible to build a flood proof gravel road when even the largest culverts and drains are overwhelmed in a flash flood. We will work with you, though, to provide repairs as inexpensive as possible should a flash flood or extremely heavy rain cause ruts on your gravel driveway. We understand that frustration and have our own gravel roads that we have to maintain.
A GUY On CRAIGSLIST IS ADVERTISING cheap or free CEDAR CLEARING--Is that a good deal?
You literally get what you pay for in this type of work.
Please be wary of free or "for the posts" cedar choppers or you may end up with a big mess of tangled wood and stumps. Watch our for the "bait and switch" services offered on places like Craigslist. Remember, you get what you pay for and if the contractor has a rented machine, how much experience does he really have?
We are also fully insured with liability and workman's comp and have a sales tax permit to do business in Texas. We are members of the ISA and Ranchers and Landowners of Texas. Please ask any contractor to provide proof of insurance before starting a new project.
If you have questions that weren't answered here or on the website, please email us at Yellowdog@brushchipping.com and we'll do our best to answer them or point you in the right direction.