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Land clearing
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 Posted: Wed May 22nd, 2013 11:50 AM
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SKami
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Hi guys/ gals, hope some of the seasoned experts can help me here. I own about 50 acres, mostly wooded ( plantation style, mostly pines and spruce). Recently I had a lumber company come in and cut about 5 acres, leaving the stumps behind. They are all about 6-8 inches tall and all 8 inches or less in diameter. The problem: I need to clear them! (Want to do a food plot) What do you suggest. Stump grinder would take the better part of the rest of my life as there are probably in excess of 300 stumps, maybe 500. I've looked into the rotary drum mulchers, but no one near here rents them and costs for a new one are prohibitive. Bull dozer might be an option, but still leaves a mess. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as no one in the area has any definitive answers, not even the lumber co that took the trees. Incidentally I do own a gehl skidsteer, and a number of full size antique john Deere tractors that are not afraid of a little muscle flexing.
Thanks for your input!



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 Posted: Wed May 22nd, 2013 12:10 PM
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fishinginflorida
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A bull dozer or a good size loader like a cat 960 or better with a root rake instead of a blade or bucket? Either way it will take money and time to get it pasture like. My brother just cleaned 10 acres like that here in the Florida flatwoods, I'll ask him. If the stumps are inline can you plant between them?



 Posted: Wed May 22nd, 2013 12:24 PM
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SavageShooter
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What about setting up burn barrels and burning the stumps down? Before doing so, you'd have to invest in some herbicide that you can treat the stumps with that will kill them DEAD, and then the follow year burn them out.



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 Posted: Wed May 22nd, 2013 12:36 PM
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SKami
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I've looked into the dozer with the root rake, so far it's on the top of the list. The mess left behind is the problem, it would be quite a " brush pile" to burn, or dispose of. And yes, they are planted in rows, about 5 ft apart. I'd prefer to clear at least some, to make soil prep easier. We are a fire fill station as well, maybe the fire dept would do a drill and have a controlled burn, I just don't know if that would do it or not.



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 Posted: Wed May 22nd, 2013 12:41 PM
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RobertMT
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A lot of it would depend on how deep the soil is. How far does the roots go in soil. Up here, most roots are in the top foot or less. How do the roots look on a blown over tree? If they're fairly shallow, a midsized excavator with a thumb, should be able to roll them out and knock off extra dirt, before piling them to burn.

With only 6" high stumps, unless cat is at least a D6, it'll take a bit to get stumps out. If they're in rows, they should be able to rip, alongside of stumps, with subsoilers and follow with blade and windrow them. It doesn't take much to push tree over, it takes a lot to push stump out, without the weight of the tree for leverage.



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 Posted: Wed May 22nd, 2013 12:47 PM
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RobertMT
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SKami wrote: I've looked into the dozer with the root rake, so far it's on the top of the list. The mess left behind is the problem, it would be quite a " brush pile" to burn, or dispose of. And yes, they are planted in rows, about 5 ft apart. I'd prefer to clear at least some, to make soil prep easier. We are a fire fill station as well, maybe the fire dept would do a drill and have a controlled burn, I just don't know if that would do it or not.
Don't do big piles, it's much easier and safer to burn multiple smaller piles.  Any way you look at it, 300-500 stumps will be piles.



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 Posted: Wed May 22nd, 2013 12:47 PM
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fishinginflorida
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SKami wrote:
The mess left behind is the problem, it would be quite a " brush pile" to burn, or dispose of.

That's how we do it, make two, three or more piles and burn it. Also you could plant food plots around it until you get a chance to burn it, this month, next month or next year. A lot of timber companies squish the piles down and leave them.



 Posted: Wed May 22nd, 2013 05:51 PM
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Some trees will regenerate from the stump and will require a chemical kill.  I don't know about spruce but most pines will not regenerate from a cut.  If regeneration is an issue I would cut them off at ground level with a chainsaw.  Then treat each cut with Tordon.  It will kill the roots but won't leach into the soil.  Then you can burn the remaining stump out with a charcoal fire.  Pile a couple of bags onto the stump and light it just like a BBQ grill.  The charcoal burns slow and hot and will burn the stump to below ground level.  Otherwise, you can plant around the stumps and let nature do its thing.  A food plot doesn't have to look like a row crop to be effective.



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 Posted: Wed May 22nd, 2013 08:32 PM
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bstark
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Spruce trees won't regen after being cut. 500 stumps is too many to burn but 8 inch dia is fairly small. Have you tried hitting one with the bucket on your skidloader? Depending on the soil you might be able to pry them out. It sounds to me like a job for a dozer if they all have to be removed. But if it's just for food plots, plant around them.



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 Posted: Wed May 22nd, 2013 10:04 PM
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SKami
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I have not tried the skid steer yet. I certainly will. I was hoping someone here had experience with a hydra ax, I know it's used out west to clear land, unfortunately no one around here has, and to buy one is upwards of 20,000.00 or more. I think a dozer with root tines on the blade is going to be the best I can do.........



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 Posted: Thu May 23rd, 2013 01:26 AM
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Wait till the ground is saturated with rain and hit them with your skid steer. Never can tell--bit some will pop right out. According to the sub soil they may be tough or easy. Would think that the dozer w/root rake will be the fastest way. Do not tell anyone but if you "lose" some tires in the pile it will really heat the stumps up and the pile will probably completely burn. Just do it at night so the smoke does not show.



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 Posted: Thu May 23rd, 2013 02:27 AM
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Charley



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Wouldn't be cheap, but cheaper than grinding...potassium nitrate stump remover. It greatly accelerates woodrot, helping on the breakdown of the lignin that holds the cellulose together.
You can also blue guns with it...



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 Posted: Thu May 23rd, 2013 03:30 PM
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HuskyPups
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My $.02, find some one in your area that does foresty mowing. They can take the stumps down to the ground leaving the root structure intact so there's less soil erosion in bad weather, really amazing machines. TVA ran them down the power line right of way behind my house a while back and all they left was mulch on the ground.


http://www.brokenoakhill.com/forestry_mower.html

http://www.forestrymowing.net/index.html

The second link has some good before/after pics if your interested.

Have a good one

David



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 Posted: Thu May 23rd, 2013 08:08 PM
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drinks
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I have had good results using ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate fertilizer, take a cordless drill with a 1/2" bit, drill a hole or 2, put enough fertilizer on to cover the stump about 1/2", put a piece of plastic wrap on and toss a shovel of dirt on to keep the plastic from blowing off.
Come back in a year, brush off the top, squirt some charcoal lighter fluid on and drop a match.
Mine often burned well into the roots as the wood was pithy quite a ways.I was mostly doing hard woods, oak, sweet gum and elm, you may get different results.

Last edited on Thu May 23rd, 2013 08:09 PM by drinks



 Posted: Thu May 23rd, 2013 08:25 PM
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SKami
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Husky- thats what i'm talkin about. The hydra ax is on of those rotary drum mulchers that takes stuff to 1 inch below ground level. It will even cut down trees in its path. None of the local lumber companies use them, and short from buying one new, I can't seem to find one to rent or use in this area.



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 Posted: Thu May 23rd, 2013 08:47 PM
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SKami wrote: Husky- thats what i'm talkin about. The hydra ax is on of those rotary drum mulchers that takes stuff to 1 inch below ground level. It will even cut down trees in its path. None of the local lumber companies use them, and short from buying one new, I can't seem to find one to rent or use in this area.Check with your local oil and gas pipeline owners.  They sometimes contract out right of way maintenance, and the maintenance outfits will surely have one.  They just might do it for you "inexpensively" if they have a major contract coming up and don't want to lay off their operators.



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 Posted: Fri May 24th, 2013 01:20 AM
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Call the local tree service folks. Bet they know who has what.



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 Posted: Sat May 25th, 2013 12:37 PM
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fishinginflorida
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SKam, let us know what you do, this is interesting to me.

Thanks



 Posted: Sat May 25th, 2013 07:58 PM
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When a friend had the same problem several years ago, he bought a used doser. Spent the summer clearing his land, then sold it when done for what he paid for it. Only cost was the fuel he burned.

kls44



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 Posted: Sun May 26th, 2013 03:38 PM
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HuskyPups
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SKami:

The top link in my post has a link in the story to the company that did the mowing. I think they are in Madison, might be worth checking into. I have about 30 acres here that could use it to get rid of deader tree in the pasture but no one is close enough to make it cost effective. Guess I'll just have to win the lotto :lol:

Please let us know what you end up doing.......



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