Common Questions

These are some of the things we get asked on a regular basis. If you have any more questions you're welcome to send us an email.

Shelterbelt trimming FAQ - McDonnell's Tree Trim
  • Why are Tree Trim’s truck based trimmers so much better for trimming my shelter belts?

    They're custom-built to maintain steady boom control for a better finish in quicker times. The 3-axle base and custom set length allows for efficient and smooth terrain crossing, stability despite long reach and ultimately better finishes.

    Combined with our optional super fat flotation tyres, we have superior traction with less ground pressure significantly reducing our impact on your property. Great for getting through dairy farms in the winter!

    The cab is positioned high so our operators have excellent visibility above the slash, maintaining unparalleled sight of the machine’s perimeters and to fences, gateways and other property. And our tilt cabs combine with the cab height to allow perfect vision for power line clearance operations.

  • How often should I trim my shelter belts and hedges?

    Every 1 or 2 years. Typically, experienced property owners do their trimming annually or bi-annually. This keeps the volume of material for cleaning up to a minimum. The debris hasn't gotten woody or developed pinecones that potentially fly further from the cutter, creating a wider spread mess and greater hazard during the trimming operation. 

    It is easy enough to cut and clear older regrowth but it's messier, slower and can be a bit overwhelming with regards to the volume of debris needing cleaned up. A lot of our customers do it yearly and deem there to be no clean up necessary.

    1 & 2 year maintenance trimming is cheaper, tidier and comes up looking better.

     

  • I don’t like the messy flail, what are the options?

    We always like to consult with you prior to starting work and ascertain your preferences, present the options and offer suggestions. We can quickly point out the pros and cons of our cutting options so you can make informed decisions.

    The slasher cutting head is a powerhouse for fast, crisp maintenance work. It clears debris from the tops of hedges better and minimises 'pop-ups'. For maintenance trimming of 1 and 2 year regrowth, it is unbeatable for efficient work times and good looking finishes. Coupled with our mess minimising processes developed over the years, it's the best option 9 times out of 10. Yes, an inexperienced or untrained operator can cause devastation with this cutting head but that is simply poor management and you won't get that with us.

    For very tight areas, close proximity housing and buildings, sensitive stock etc, we often use the saw cutting head. This significantly contains the spread of trimmings and hazard of the operation. The saw is also utilised to trim back heavier regrowth and big old limbs. Trees up to 400mm diameter at the cut are quickly topped and trimmed up with this cutting head.

    Typically there are 3 option for general, maintenance work:

    First - Cheapest Possible: Flat out with the slasher cutting head; the mess is thrown far and wide, the risk of collateral damage goes up and the finish is rougher. The bill from us is at minimum, the site takes a lot more sorting out after we’ve gone.

    Second - Super Fussy: A quiet running trim up that absolutely minimises the mess and spread of trimmings. Achieves smoothest possible finish, crisp cut lines and well cleared tops. This can take up to twice as long, cost twice as much but is often the preference as you factor in the bigger picture.

    Third – The Intelligent Average: Nice and tidy around the house, drive and yard areas, quick out the back. Mindful of mess minimisation but still an eye hard on the clock. This third option is a sensible middle ground and balance of variables that we generally run to as default. It is based on the years of feedback we've received and sees most people happy, but, as the old saying goes, "the person who pays, says", so please let us know your preferences.

  • What about cleaning up the trimmings?

    Yes! We have a clean-up crew. Our loader tractor is equipped with a forestry grapple to quickly push up piles and shift debris as needed. Alternatively, our forestry mulchers are an awesome solution to get the whole job sorted without the annoying pile mess to deal with later and the problems of smoking out neighbours etc. The trimmings are reduced down to a tidy mown like finish to rot back into the ground alongside the shelter belt where they fell from the trimmer. Usually grass quickly grows back through the mulch for things to carry on as usual. In some cases, the debris just has to leave the property or be chipped which we can also arrange.

  • I have power lines and a busy road with shelter belts/hedges underneath and alongside, is this a problem?

    No problem. We have extensive experience trimming around power lines and have procedures to handle any of the problems associated with it. Putting up signs for road works is a part of everyday work for us. To avoid downtime and minimise the cost we have extensive gear to cover the compliance temporary traffic management.

  • In the past we’ve had hedges half trimmed by other operators who couldn’t reach the top of the shelter belt, will you be able to reach it all?

    Yes. Our machines are very versatile in how they can be configured for operation. They have a long reach and can get the tops of the tallest regularly maintained shelter belts 99% of the time. We can reach for metres over the top of implements or even sheds parked alongside your trees, or tuck right in to trim down a tight lane way.