There are many answers to this question depending on a many variables.
- I would start by separating out all of the hard wood that can be cut for firewood. Many of our customers have separated this material and leased a small plot of land to a third party and charge a fee for the wood. This normally works well for both parties.
- If fuel prices are high and the wood is located within a reasonable distance from a power plant that burns wood, I would consider chipping/grinding the wood to sell it for fuel. This market fluctuates drastically though, so I would definitely have an alternative market for this material.
- Landscape Mulch is a good option if your material is within 150 miles of a heavily populated area or close to a large mulch producer. To produce mulch, you will need to grind your wood waste. (See our other guides for which grinder and wear parts are best for the job)
- Many composters and waste water plants are in need of ground wood to be used as a bulking agent for their wet sludges, wet food waste, and manures. You must be relatively close to these sites as freight is expensive. This is an excellent outlet for your material once it is ground.
- Another recommendation is to see if there are any OSB, pressboard, or artificial log manufacturers nearby.
The most important factor among your options will be distance to the end user. Freight is a very expensive component of your decision making and you must calculate each option to see which yield the highest profit. Be cautious when relying on fuel as the best option since the demand can stop overnight. Be prepared if you go this route to have a backup home for this material.
If you also have a lot of fines to deal with, see our article on "What Can I do with All my Mulch Fines?"