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Large scale rough ground broom cutting options

 
pollinator
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Location: Victoria BC
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So, I have a lot of Scottish broom. Like, acres.

Some is 5-6" thick at the base. This is mostly chainsaw work.

Some is 7-8ft tall dense thickets coating half acre burnpiles, featuring remnant stumps and a couple thousand pounds of scrap metal per pile. This is excavator work, since the piles need torn apart to remove the unburnt wood and scrap from my best soil.

Some is dense 4-7ft tall thickets mostly under 1.25" at the base, in high spots in the old fields and along my road where the ground is reasonably even and there aren't too many rocks. This is brush-hog work, and now that I've done all of the accessible stuff once, it will be much quicker to knock down again this coming year. The brush-hog is great for this as less of the broom survives being mashed to ribbons vs a clean cut, it would seem.


This leaves plenty more:
The new fields, stumped before I bought the place but never finished.. about 7 acres with 2-5ft broom heavily sprinkled. The tractor can handle the ground, but the rocks take a heavy toll on the brush-hog. The alternative here is to rip up the half-done fields, rockpick, discs etc... but I fear this will allow a lot more time for it to spread as that's not gonna fit into 2019.

The remnant forest: several more acres right between the fields where broom has a heavy presence in fairly open undergrowth. Rocks, some overly steep side slopes, and concern for my only mature trees make the tractor unnappealing.

The margins: field edges, logging road edges, and isolated patches through the remaining couple hundred acres of clearcut and swamp where broom has found a foothold, all impractical to access with machinery. Some of this 2-3" at the base.



I've done the lopper thing. It's just too slow. My scythe can't handle the broom, it's too tough... I think my best bet is a brush blade on a heavy duty gas weedwhacker.


I don't love this implement at all, and didn't want to buy one, but I see no practical alternative.

Does anyone have an alternative to suggest?

How much power do I need for this task, if I do buy one?
 
steward
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Do you have a neighbor with a tractor and bush hog? I'm gonna guess hiring a neighbor will cost less than buying a new weed whacker and you'll have the time spent doing it yourself leftover for other things.
 
D Nikolls
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I have a tractor and a brush hog.. as noted in the details in my perhaps excessively long post, it's the best tool for the broom, on ground that allows use of it!

The broom where tractor access is impractical, unsafe, or damaging, or rocks are trashing the brush-hog, is still a multi-acre problem!
 
pollinator
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Dillon Nichols wrote:I have a tractor and a brush hog.. as noted in the details in my perhaps excessively long post, it's the best tool for the broom, on ground that allows use of it!

The broom where tractor access is impractical, unsafe, or damaging, or rocks are trashing the brush-hog, is still a multi-acre problem!



Buy or rent a 2 wheel tractor with sicklebar mower. They excel at going where a tractor cannot go.


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D Nikolls
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Hm. Will have to look into that one further. I am not yet acquainted with sickle mower/rock interactions.

If it can handle the rocks it looks like a possibly faster option for maybe 40% of the remaining broom. The rest is only accessible to man-portable equipment, ie there's a ton of logs and stumps to go over just to access the areas..
 
Travis Johnson
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Dillon Nichols wrote:Hm. Will have to look into that one further. I am not yet acquainted with sickle mower/rock interactions.

If it can handle the rocks it looks like a possibly faster option for maybe 40% of the remaining broom. The rest is only accessible to man-portable equipment, ie there's a ton of logs and stumps to go over just to access the areas..



Rocks are not a problem because there are guards in front of the blades. Because a sickle bar mower cuts by reciprocating action and not rotary action it does not fling debris around making it far safer then a bush hog type of cutter, but they make them for a two wheel tractor as well, and they too can be rented.
 
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