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  1. #1
    New Member
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    May 2013
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    8
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    Southern Indiana
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    Default Clearing small trees

    I just purchased a lightly used kubota L3940 with FEL and a 54" Howes rototiller, 60" Woods brush cutter, and a 6' box blade. Eventually I'll need to clear more, but my initial project is to clear about an acre of what was once pasture 20-30 years ago (maybe less time, don't know for sure). It's now fairly clear, but has some mainly 1-1.5" diameter trees growing in it. Maybe a handful of 2" diameter trees. I'd like to till it up grow grains on it again, but I'm wondering on what is the best route to remove the trees. I don't know if it's possible, but the best case scenario would be to cut everything off with the brush cutter, then grind what's left up with the rototiller. I have zero experience with a tractor mounted rototiller, so I have no idea of this is realistic. In searching the forums, I couldn't find much advice on this topic, but I did find one post where someone suggested setting a box blade tines to their lowest setting to use them to rip out some of the roots. While I'm game to try that, on further investigation with the box blade I got, they won't go much more then about 2-3" below the box; so I question how much good they'll do.

    So, my question is, can a rototiller/and or box blade handle the small root balls, or do I need to pull them individually? I'm sure the best answer is to pull them individually, but my land is about 1:20 from home, and time at it is at a premium (lots of short two legged creatures roaming the house), so if it's a question of breaking a few tines ($) vs. actual time, I'll opt for the $.

  2. #2
    Elite Member schmism's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,927
    Location
    Peoria IL
    Tractor
    New holland TC(33)

    Default Re: Clearing small trees

    Id brush hog it with an HD cutter (will handle 2" trees fine) then rip with BB teeth.

    Id pass on the rototilling.
    Steve - TC33D 4x4 FEL, dual rear remotes with toys

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    162
    Location
    Michigan
    Tractor
    Landini 85F Deere 5425 Ford 1920

    Default Re: Clearing small trees

    You'll be fighting a nightmare of bound up tines, and a smoking PTO clutch. Tillers suck at chewing up green wood, and get stuff stuck in the tines with maddening regularity in poorly cleared ground. Keep a set of short handled loppers, and a folding pocket saw handy for the first couple times, you till up new ground.

    Get a set of teeth for the FEL, and grub out the rootballs, or drop a plow and turn them out, and rake them up.
    Old two bottoms can be had for a couple hundred bucks, if you can't borrow one.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    707
    Location
    Staunton, VA
    Tractor
    John Deere 3038E

    Default Re: Clearing small trees

    Tillers are not chippers. Simplest thing is to get the trees and roots out of the ground, piled and burned. Your L3940 is heavy and powerful enough to pull most out of the ground. My smaller JD pulls up such trees with my ratchet-rake when the ground is not bone dry. I have literally made a run through small saplings and pulled almost all of them up. You can make other passes at those left, or hitch a chain around them and pull them up that way. If you get the trees us, you can then till fairly easily.

  5. #5
    Member msch2112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    43
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Tractor
    JD 5105m

    Default

    Brush hog cut it, then dig roots out. Then go rent a chipper

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    2,359
    Location
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: Clearing small trees

    Wait until after a good rain before going after the roots.

    I recommend a Ratchet Rake for your bucket for pulling out the roots. A great tool for $300. Available from T-B-N store and most Tractor Supply stores.

    Softwood roots will likely come out of moist soil easily.
    Hardwoods, especially oaks, may be difficult by the time they reach 2", but you can spray the hardwood roots with Roundup/Glycophosphate 2-3 times, with a week between applications, then drag them out with a Ratchet Rake after a couple of months. When dead, root clumps "release" in a couple months, at least in Florida.

    An L3940 is about the ideal weight tractor for a $400 bucket spade to function optimally, however I think a Ratchet Rake will handle your tasks.....in moist soil.

    I would recommend against using your tiller. Not the correct tool.

    I have a Ratchet Rake and a heavy rollover box blade. For what you want to do the Ratchet Rake will be effective, the box blade marginal. For an acre it would be worthwhile to buy the RR. A Ratchet Rake will also pile up your roots for burning.

    LINK:

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/a...using-fel.html
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_0606-jpg   -img_0428-jpg   -img_0469-jpg  
    Last edited by jeff9366; 05-17-2013 at 06:54 AM.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member deezler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    560
    Location
    Southeast MI
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet 7305

    Default Re: Clearing small trees

    Don't brush hog it first! Leave the trees intact as leverage for popping out all the root balls.

    A ratchet rake or tooth bar for the loader edge is going to be the most effective way to quickly get the trees AND their roots out of the ground. As everyone else has mentioned, you don't want to try to till your way through root balls. So, you need to get the roots out. If you simply brush hog and cut off the trees, it will just make it harder to get the roots out. So leave the trees intact, and drive forward, push them over, get the ratchet rake or toothbar hooked on the tree trunk or some low branches, and it will drag the roots out.

  8. #8
    Member DeereRack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    49
    Location
    MN
    Tractor
    Massey 1643

    Default

    Bush hog it, and set your teeth on your bb down all the way and shorten your top link on your 3 pt all the way so your blade doesn't even touch ground. That should rip the roots out.
    Massey Ferguson 1643
    FEL with QA 72" bucket and pallet forks
    SpeeCo QH
    6' Kodiak tiller
    4' Howse rotory cutter
    6' back blade
    Old 9' pull disc

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    239
    Location
    S.W. Missouri
    Tractor
    LS U5030C w/FEL

    Default Re: Clearing small trees

    You might want to consider a BrushGrubber | Home. I have a middle sized one and a big one. Works best with a helper to take it on and off while you remain in the tractor seat.

    My experience with my RatchetRake is that it works better smoothing out dirt and gravel than it does removing small trees and bushes.
    LS U5030C w/FEL, Bush Hog 307, Modern 7' industrial grade box blade w/hydraulic rippers, Rhino SPHD PHD, 48" Wildkat grapple, 72" Ratchet Rake, 6' King Kutter II tiller, 10' International Disk with hydraulic lift, 7' Vulcan double axle cultipacker, 76" W.R. Long bucket tooth bar.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Xfaxman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    2,650
    Location
    Meridian, OK
    Tractor
    Bobcat V417 Toolcat 5610 F TORO+Loader

    Default Re: Clearing small trees

    Quote Originally Posted by Missouri Pioneer View Post
    You might want to consider a BrushGrubber | Home. I have a middle sized one and a big one. Works best with a helper to take it on and off while you remain in the tractor seat.
    I also have the big Xtreme Plus, 35 pound one, it is stronger than I am! It works great on roots or short stumps that are hard to get a chain on.

    Right click the pictures to open in a new tab.
    -p2180003-jpg -p2180007-jpg -p2180008-jpg -p2180009-jpg -p2180010-jpg

    Be sure to carry a prybar to get it off the root, notice how far the teeth are sunk in.
    -p2180018-jpg
    Last edited by Xfaxman; 05-18-2013 at 01:12 PM.

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