Masticating Willows

People living near a riparian area or irrigation ditch are familiar with overgrown willows.  Willows are a great habitat for wildlife, but if left unattended, willows can encroach onto ones property and swiftly get out of hand.  The chore of removing willows can quickly become a daunting task.  The process of cutting and hauling away or chipping willows is both time consuming and costly.

A more efficient and ecofriendly way of removing willows is to masticate/mulch* the willows with masticating equipment.  Another benefit to mastication is erosion control and ground cover left behind by the end product mulch left behind.  The mulch left onsite helps to keep weeds down and future fire fuels growth.  Once masticated the area becomes more manageable and can be maintained to prevent overgrowth in the future.

As you can see in the pictures below, the area we masticated was roughly 20 feet wide by 300 feet long and was completed in about four hours.  This work performed by hand would have taken 3-5 days. 

*masticate – to chew