We have chopped down a long willow hedge on our allotment and thus have lots of wood / woody stems to burn. There is a strong prevailing wind, and I'm wondering what is the most efficient way to build a fire to burn it quickly. I've heard of techniques like lining up the branches in the direction of the wind from friends in the conservation volunteers.

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    Is it at all important that the branches and such be burnt, or do you just want them gone?
    – GardenerJ
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 1:28
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    Can the wood be stacked and then used as a fuel instead of simple disposal? Green wood for carving willow - both of which you may be able to sell or ask someone local to take this away for you, leaving you with much less to dispose of. Wait until the wind drops and it's a calm day, evening, but not a good washing day (neighbours will grumble) Lay your pile for burning away from your main stack and away from overhanging trees
    – user13638
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 8:45
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    Rather than burning that wood, I advise you find a place for it to be reused as mulch, compost, life hosting thing.
    – J. Chomel
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 14:00
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    How big is your allotment? Is there no way you can bury it and let it feed the soil as a hugelkultur? If you burn it on site, it will be very inefficient with lots of particulates unless you can dry it out, and either give it away as kindling, or burn it in a rocket stove. Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 21:44

2 Answers 2


I know someone who used regular firewood to get the kind of fire needed to burn a bunch of fresh tree branches. It seems to work. While maybe not the most efficient method in some regards, you should save a lot of time over most methods.

I understand there's not always room to compost, and you may not have a truck to haul the branches away. And, you may not have a wood chipper sufficient for your branches. But, if you can chip and compost, you might try that.


The most efficient way for disposing cuttings and avoid to disturb neighbors with the smoke is to use a shredder for the smaller branches. You can then use it mixed with mulch to fertilize you trees or garden.

Then you can keep the big ones to dry and burn in your BBQ or for the bonfire.

I also read that you could bury the branches and plant directly on the top of them, but it requires lots of energy.

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