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Forums > Active Threads > Home and Garden > Garden and Landscape

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lots of downed trees

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chrbranic1
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 16 Pittsburgh PA
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2010-11-22          175297


My land was logged, now i have lots of tree tops and limbs on the ground. i would like to deal with the stuff to make the area usable but are unsure how. Approxmately 100 tops that are scattered around 35 acres some are easy to get to with a chain saw to delimb and burn the small stuff, alot of tops are piled onto one another. Right now i do not have any equipment to move the heavy stuff. i am shopping for a tractor and not sure how big to get, i do not want to over buy yet get one too small either. i was offered a D-6 dozer to do some dirt work, not sure if that would be any help with the trees or stumps. I am wondering is it worth my money to hire a skid steer to pile the trees into a pile and later on pick thru with atractor and slowly burn the waste or what else do can i do. I see chippers as attachments on tractors how well do they work as opposed to burning? So far i put four days of honest work with a chain saw, truck and chains into the trees. This will destroy my truck and is way to labor intensive. I gotta plan carefully i am the only free help and dont want to kill myself with these trees. Any suggestions?

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____________________________________________________________________________________
lots of downed trees

View my Photos
kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2010-11-22          175303


On much smaller acreage scale but many more tree count, I am near finishing what you are beginning.

A lot depends on the size of the stumps and tops left. Do you have to remove the stumps or you just want to. How are you planning on using this land? What kind of time table do you have?

If you will be replanting the stumps my be fine to leave and so may tops if you can cut them flat to rot. If you want this for pasture then the tops need to go and stumps might be okay to allow to rot. If crop land then all must go along with roots (major ones any way). Again depending on your use some will pile the tops and allow them to rot or to burn. Tops normally are good to burn but stumps can be real problem getting them to.

100 tops over 35 acres is not many tops only about 3 per acre. Depending on the size of them you might could take tractor and just pull them into a much smaller area and then bring in equipment to mulch or pile for burning or even to saw them and pile for burning. (my suggestion) Depending on the size and type of tree an excavator with a thumb on it would work great for such work and often will break such as tops to save need for sawing.

I'd make up my mind what I need done and get me at least two prices on it. If you have only 100 tops to deal with and are able to pull them near each other an excavator (with thumb) in a day should do what you want in piling for burning.
....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
lots of downed trees

View my Photos
yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2010-11-22          175306


Guess it all depends on how old you are, what shape you are in, as well as how fast you want the job done. Money also matters. Also don't know the area of the country you are in and plans for the future. My ancestors 150 years ago did it with a couple of horses, walk behind plow, axe and hand saw. They also cut down the trees and did it all.

Some suggestions:
1. cut out what you can of the stuff left behind that is easy to remove (i.e. larger stuff). Cut it up and stack face cords to sell along the roadside if it is hardwood. Or, if you have a wood furnace or boiler use it for free heat.
2. Start at one corner of the property and work a distinct grid. When you have a section completed, you will have a good sense of accomplishment that gives you a desire to keep going. If the tree debris can be grouped, work on two or three at a time and make a single pile from them. I wouldn't haul it far. Burning these piles is cheaper than buying/renting a chipper and slowly feeding it. Some of the burn pile will not burn complete. Take that stuff to the next pile. If it is green, it won't burn well. Save up some used motor oil as a starter, mixed with a hint of gas. Stand back when igniting. Once a pile is lit and burning you can keep adding to it. It is sometimes hard to get a good, hot fire going. It is surprising how quickly it will burn down. If you have some waste grass clippings, or fall leaves they also help to get a good fire started.

If you are a "tree hugger", by all means chip it and use for bedding around plants, shrubs, etc. This stuff makes a good weed barrier around raspberry plants and tree seedlings to hold moisture for future growth.

Once you have completed removing the top stuff. I'd get that D-6 in one time to do all the stumps. Lots of dirt is going to cling to the stumps. Attempt stump removal when it is dry out, so as little clings as possible. Shake and roll them as much as possible to build piles again. Burn piles, and again scoop up leftovers for the next pile. In Northern climates, we usually attempt to burn in winter months. Fire won't get out of hand and catch other things on fire. Being colder weather, you won't get overheated as much.

You can beat on a skid steer much harder than a 30-35 HP compact utility. A 30-35 HP tractor may have more uses later on. The skid steer and compact tractor don't have a very large bucket usually about 60" wide. A 45 HP utility tractor will have a 72" wide. A used 50-80 HP farm tractor with loader has much more height to stack branches with maybe an 84" wide bucket. If the branches are intact you have a tough time compacting them. Stack a few on top of each other and then squash them with downward force of the loader bucket. Build a grille protector. Watch out for punctured tires with loader tractors. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
lots of downed trees

View my Photos
earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2010-11-22          175307


Yooper buckets like skid steers come in many sizes. The minimum that I can or should put on mine is 72"(if I'm using tracks which are 16" wide I would need an 8' bucket). At 8,000GVW my machine is one down from the largest, which will take an 8' bucket. The smallest full-size machine I believe is 36". HP wise, mine is turbocharged 78HP. It will out perform any 35HP tractor.

I've done a fair share of land clearing. Get a 25-40,000 GVW excavator with a thumb and use it stack and sort and dig stumps. A dozer is good after the lot is cleared to fill holes. Don't use a dozer to pile wood---it'll be a dirt filled pile which is harder to burn. A skid steer is nice to run around to pile ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
lots of downed trees

View my Photos
chrbranic1
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 16 Pittsburgh PA
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2010-11-22          175310


Thanks for the suggestions. Sounds like i need to continue what i started, saw, stack and burn. The stumps will not be a problem, replanting trees is the idea. Thats about all that will be in this area. I contacted the Forestry Dept and will be meeting with someone to help establish a long term plan. I do have two more questions 1) errosion control, some sloped area exists that has not seen direct sunlight in a long time. Is planting some type of grass a good idea? What kind and where to get it. 2)Chain Saw blades, what is the best method to keep them sharp other than not sticking it in the dirt. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
lots of downed trees

View my Photos
AbbasChild
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 72 Western Pennsylvania
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2010-11-24          175332


Regarding your first question--my preference is to plant something. Leaving the stumps on the sloped sides can help retain some of the dirt. If not or over time you will not have any top soil on those slopes. Depending on how you plan on reforesting/planting in the future may factor into what you plant. A good Conservation Seed Company can be helpful, specifically with erosion control and what grasses and plants will establish fast to prevent erosion--likely depends on your area. Hang onto that topsoil! ....

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