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Mowing, Masticating and Mulching
These are all terms that apply to vegetation control, or de-veg as some people call it, and may be part of a "Fuels Reduction" project. The terms refer to different tools and processes, as well as different end results.
Typically, if you are dealing with steep terrain and a years of inattention, our machine and associated implements may be the solution you are seeking.
Mowing is pretty straight forward, tall and/or unwanted vegetation that you would like to control. It is an expense, but is often cheaper than dealing with the consequences of not doing it.
If you operate a ski area, not mowing means it requires more snow to open a trail. If you have a pond, it may mean your overflow doesn't flow water fast enough to prevent overtopping. Or as a home owner, your roadsides are overgrown, impacting snow removal, or water movement in your ditch line.
Our solution to 3" material and smaller is a KMT Canada 52" mower. This mower is purpose built for the stresses imposed by spider excavators and rapidly cuts vegetation above the ground surface.
The process of Masticating involves reducing standing material, in this case typically small diameter trees (<6 inch diameter) and brush to chips and large woody debris.
We use a Promac LDM 40 with steel chipper knives to facilitate this process. The forest floor is left largely untouched which minimizes disturbance to the topsoil and mycorrhizal networks.
Up to a point, adding woodchips to the forest floor retains moisture and can help slow underbrush growth.
This process alleviates the risk of fire escaping from pile burning operations, as well as the need to mitigate invasive weed outbreaks the year after the piles are burned.
The process of Mulching utilizes the same equipment in conjunction with carbide hammers and a more invasive technique. The same standing material, in this case typically small diameter trees (<6 inch diameter) and brush is shredded on to the ground and then mulched into the soil.
This process may leave a "neater' look, but it is more expensive and I feel it is more damaging to the natural soil structure - which is very thin on most sites in NW Montana. I no longer offer this type of service, though it is offered and advocated for by others.
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