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Crawlers, Dozers, Loaders & Backhoes Discussion Forum

Re: Need to clear some trees, what should I use??

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Billy NY

02-10-2014 10:45:18

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At least its not been let go farther, so with the suggestions you already have, definitely some options.

I would be concerned with topsoil erosion, dozer blade could make a mess, even a 6 way where you use the corner, tilt and or angle down, ok for small areas, but 10 acres, too time consuming. I have run large crawlers, D8K with a Fleco or similar style root rake, on forested areas, cleared with a buncher feller, and stumps removed, it does a nice job, so I would imagine a smaller crawler with a root rake would be effective, as long as its stout enough to handle the trees, which are small from what you say.

If this is not a sloped area, maybe soil erosion is not a concern, but when you pop the roots you will want that soil to stay put, so dry conditions might be ideal, and this is if you will need to be able to use the area soon after. Even if it sits, eventually you will use tillage implements and have the same risk, so maybe its not really an issue, seems it would be hard to prevent, around here it takes some heavy prolonged rains on slopes, we have a 30 acre field next to us on a slope and the BTO put it all in corn and it was in sod, before that strips, never can figure why some people do the things they do, last year it washed but good with all the rain, nice rut and or ditch formed in the middle, he should have put a buffer in. Lost that whole side of the field anyway, crop failed, he certainly lost soil, it was sod and hay grasses, that were let go, geese ruined the stand.

I like the idea of cutting, there are rotary cutters/mowers that will handle that, as well as the attachment shown in the link below, or similar, main concern here is stubble or projecting stubs that can puncture a tire. If there is a way to cut it, and eliminate that problem, whereas you can keep it cut for a few years, the roots will decompose, small stumps will come out easily, no soil erosion, until you disturb it the next time. I've done some of that here and have seen areas cleared that were kept cut until such time it was ok to go back and use tillage implements. I think it was 77-82 or so, this entire place was let go, I cut all of it, at least 50 acres tillable, our long time friend and dairyman back then just stopped using it, and like so many other places, nothing got done, I'll bet it was about the same, maybe not as many trees, but it certainly was not all weeds, staghorn sumac, birch and similar. In '82 I did cut all the fields so the farmer could use them again, and he went in with a moldboard plow, spring trip reset, I don't remember it being trouble, and he followed after I was done, it did not sit. Years later it all went back again and is forest now, but I have cleared areas of various degrees of growth, hardwood trees, 3"-4" and worked around stumps, in a few years they all popped out. Sure I've hooked onto some and stopped the tractor LOL, but going slow was no trouble.

I would have to believe a root rake on a medium size crawler would be effective, and if you want to go all the way, there will be some risk of erosion until you plant and get root structure anyway. Your conditions will vary, soil, moisture and all that, I'd want to rake that in dry conditions, let that soil fall out of the roots, but that is just me.

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