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Garden shredders - Preparing cuttings for compost: Blade and roller shredders

Have you thinned the crown of your fruit tree, shaped your hedge with the hedge trimmers or trimmed your shrubs with the shrub shears? Now there is a huge amount of cut branches and twigs on the ground all over your garden.

Now the powerful garden shredder comes into play in order to add the cuttings to the compost heap to decompose, as mulch for the beds or to ensure that it does not take up too much space in the organic waste bin.

The blade shredder chops the tree and hedge cuttings into short and small pieces (ideal for use as mulch). In the quiet roller shredder the cuttings are crushed quietly and with no recoil through the high-quality roller system and shredded into small pieces there (perfectly suited for compost). All IKRA shredders are equipped with powerful high-performance motors.

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Garden shredder

Shredding cuttings from shrubs, hedges and trees

After thinning the crown of a tree with the pruners or cutting a hedge with the hedge trimmers, there is a great deal of tree and hedge cuttings, such as branches and twigs, left lying around the garden. A garden shredder can easily shred the cuttings. The sharp blades or the powerful rollers and the powerful high-performance motors of the shredders chop up branches and twigs with no difficulty at all.
Blade shredders create a particularly clean cut. The shredded material is then very good as mulch for beds and hedges. This can help to retain the heat in the ground during the cold months. This is a great advantage for the roots of the plants. Such mulch layers also prevent evaporation in the spring and summer months. This means that less watering is required. Water is better retained in the ground. This also prevents the ground drying out in the heat.

Crushed cuttings with broken fibres from the roller shredder can be added to the compost throughout the year for further decomposition. Micro-organisms can now ideally convert the cuttings into valuable humus. Micro-organisms can only decompose the material well if it has been well crushed and the fibres broken.

If you do not have a compost heap in your garden, for example if there is not enough space, you can also put the finely shredded cuttings into the organic waste bin without them taking up so much space. The cuttings are actually far too good to put in the bin. If you have space for a compost heap in your garden, you should consider starting one. This is very ecologically beneficial and will save you money. Valuable humus is formed in your compost heap from kitchen waste, grass cuttings and hedge trimmings. This natural fertiliser can now be used for fertilising your vegetable beds for example. The humus can be easily worked into the ground with a tiller. This enables you to look after the environment and your wallet by being able to manage without chemical fertilisers.

Further informations:


There are two different types of garden shredders

Blade shredders

So-called branch-shredders are equipped with cutting blades in the interior of the device and cut branches and twigs into very small pieces. These pieces of wood often have a rather smooth surface structure due to the sharp cutting blades in the shredder. This results in them being harder to decompose on the compost heap. However, the small chippings yielded by such shredders are ideally suited for use as mulch for your beds and plants. Cover the soil in your vegetable and plant beds sufficiently with this mulch and the roots will be protected from freezing so much in the winter. The mulch covering ensures that the soil remains warmer and is not cooled down so quickly. Mulch is not only a useful ground cover for the winter. You can also use it in the summer. For example, you can spread a ground covering of mulch under your hedge or under your bamboo bush. The mulch layer prevents the evaporation of water. This means that less watering is required. The water is better retained in the ground. Nonetheless, the water will still be able to trickle into the ground during watering or rainfall. The mulch layer also prevents the ground drying out in the midsummer heat. Simply make your own mulch from your own twig and branch waste after hedge and shrub trimming. You can see the advantages this provides for your garden. This also saves you from having to buy expensive bark mulch. A blade shredder is particularly advisable with rather soft green cuttings, e.g. from bushes, perennials and shrubs.

Uses - quick overview:

  • Creation of cuttings with rather smooth surface
  • Perfect as mulch for beds - the soil does not cool down so quickly in the winter
  • Also ideal as mulch for the ground under hedges
  • Particularly worthwhile for soft green cuttings
  • Cuttings must be pressed into the cutter (plunger)

Roller shredders

Quiet roller shredder with roller system crushes branches, twigs and shrub cuttings with ease. The rollers break the structure of the timber and render it fibrous. The cuttings are completely crushed and shredded between the rotating cutting roller, which has gear-like teeth, and the counter-plate. The devices that use the roller method are ideal for creating shredded material that can then be left on your own compost heap for further decomposition. The wood fibres are crushed by the roller system such that micro-organisms can more easily penetrate the structure. This results in the branch cuttings decomposing gradually into valuable humus that you can use on your garden as fertiliser. Thicker branches and hard branches can also be easily drawn in and crushed with the quiet roller shredder.

Uses - quick overview:

  • Wood is powerfully crushed and rendered fibrous
  • Ideal for further decomposition on the compost heap
  • Creates valuable humus
  • Particularly worthwhile for thicker and more solid branches
  • Draws in automatically: Pulls the cuttings in itself slowly and gradually thanks to the rollers
  • Particularly quiet


What can a shredder chop?

  • Hedge trimmings (e.g. from thuja and laurel hedges)
  • Branches and twigs from deciduous trees (e.g. from fruit trees)
  • Branches from coniferous trees
  • Stems from bushes, perennials and shrubs (e.g. bramble stems)
  • Stems from climbing plants (e.g. ivy)
  • Plant roots (remove soil residue before shredding)
  • Miscellaneous plant material
  • Pine cones
  • etc.

Do you want to shred leaves for the compost heap? A leaf shredder is better for this. This is integrated into our combination leaf vacuum and leaf blower IBV 2800 E. Vacuum up the leaves with this. These are finely shredded with a ratio of 10:1 and can then be put on the compost heap to decompose. Do not put large quantities of foliage into the blade or roller shredders.

Calendar for using shredders

Thinning fruit trees in spring, for example trees with stone and pome fruit (apple trees, cherry trees, etc.), will result in branches and twigs for shredding. Many hobby gardeners cut their deciduous hedges back as early as February. At this stage, the birds have not yet built their nests in the hedge. The hedge cuttings arising from this can now be easily shredded. Coniferous hedges are normally trimmed just once per year, ideally in May. Boxwoods can be trimmed and shaped with the shrub shears several times per year. This also causes cuttings for the shredder.

The shaping of deciduous hedges creates a large quantity of cuttings for the shredder. When shaping the hedge only the projecting branches are cut back and the hedge is bought back "into shape". Traditionally, hobby gardeners usually trim their hedge on "St. John's Day" - June 24th. Deciduous hedges can also be trimmed into shape once again at the end of August. Many fruit trees only now require a trim to thin the crown of the tree - summer trim - for example, young trees, espaliers or trellises, but also walnut trees. Boxwoods can be trimmed and shaped with the shrub shears up until the late summer. This also causes cuttings for the shredder.

Hedge cuttings arising when a hedge is completely cut back, can be shredded on a grand scale in the autumn. There should be no radical cutting back of hedges in the period from the start of March through to the end of September. This is to protect fledging birds. If it is planned to clear a hedge, the months of October and November are advisable. You can also shred the autumn foliage with the blade shredder in the autumn. Make sure that it is not too wet and add the resultant shredded material to the compost heap for decomposition.

There is no cutting back or shaping in the winter, but branches or twigs may fall from trees, for example if these have died. You can shred these immediately or set them aside for the spring. Many hobby gardeners shape their deciduous hedges as early as February. At this stage, the birds have not yet built their nests in the hedge. When trimming at the start of the year, there should be no frost as if it is -5 °C or colder, the plant can be damaged as their shoots are brittle and fragile at such temperatures.