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  1. #41
    Platinum Member the old grind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    790
    Location
    Mid-Michigan
    Tractor
    NH T-1520 HST, JD 5210 2WD, Terramite T5C

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Heh, wanting a tractor is as natural as us 50s kids wanting Lionel trains back then. Looks like you'd be flat enuf to use a SCUT, but I'd want to rent a mini-ex for big chores, since with a sub-framed BH on a CUT or SCUT you might lose ground clearance and/or come up short on raw digging power. What I mean is just choose based on o'all battery of attachments you plan for.

    Sometimes a small gen & sawzall beats a chain saw for cutting vines/roots 'out back', with less time spent changing blades vs dulled chains. 'Brush Grubber' gets small stuff out roots & all, pulls vines down from standing trees once cut-off at the base. Chip all while green ... or burn later. Push piles with a ratchet rake or similar and just bundle onto bucket with tie downs to haul out vs using/buying a grapple.

    btw: Don't wait to put up bat houses, Summer's coming. Habitat mgt is a fun 'hobby' in itself. As time goes by you do less & enjoy the results more, nice as you get 'up there' in age, too....

  2. #42
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    33
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Tractor
    Craftsman YTS4000; Hustler Fastrak SD 60" ZTR

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quite a few items while I "work from home" today:
    - Tried to talk to a conservation agent, they are the ones who do not really exist in this area. Their primary focus is erosion and overall watershed, they said they might have time in about a month and will call me.
    - Talked to the local forester and scheduled an appointment for next week. While they do not provide detailed written plans, they do review the property and give verbal recommendations while onsite. They also recommend resources for creating a plan myself or through a paid agency, and will have those during my site visit. They will also review the plans once written and provide sign-off or feedback.
    - My Goals: 1.) Make sure the area is healthy and will continue to survive as a wooded area. 2.) Create a set of walking trails to enjoy the area.

    These goals seem fairly simple but executing them may be difficult and require some equipment. I am particularly interested in the non-native invasive species of plants and keeping some trees, I do not want the vines to take over as they seem to be doing in certain areas. Other than that as some have mentioned the "hobby" of just enjoying the maintenance and the benefits of all that comes naturally is what I want.

    Thanks again and keep the thoughts coming, I still think a tractor is in my future, just what and when I still have to figure out.

  3. #43
    Super Star Member TripleR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    17,051
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    I have always liked vines, left over from my childhood, but I sure cut everyone I come across as they do mess up your trees.

    You should be able to find information on the Internet from other state agencies or universities on forest and wildlife management. We have planted seedlings and saplings on our farms and the management is pretty much ongoing.

    Having a tractor sure makes it easier and we also rent skid steer, excavators as needed rather than spending the money on buying them.

    My brother bought a good used tree mover for one of our tractors and used it for several years and got his money back when we were done.

    There are lots of ways to get where you want to go.

  4. #44
    Gold Member BuilderML's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    456
    Location
    Tolland, CT
    Tractor
    CCY SX3100

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    The only vines that are good are the ones that produce grapes to be turned into a good wine. Napalm the rest.

  5. #45
    Super Star Member TripleR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    17,051
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by BuilderML View Post
    The only vines that are good are the ones that produce grapes to be turned into a good wine. Napalm the rest.
    MP903 Quail-Friendly Plants of the Midwest | Page 21 | University of Missouri Extension

  6. #46
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    12,795
    Location
    nowhere, md
    Tractor
    Hanomag

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    I have four concord grape vines that produce grapes every year. Nothing eats them, the clusters hang there until winter, all shriveled up. We have ruffed grouse, not quail, and the vines may be too far out in the open for grouse. It has always surprised me that the grapes don't get eaten. You'd think turkeys, fox, coyotes, or something would eat them.

    The Japanese beetles do like the leaves.

  7. #47
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    12,795
    Location
    nowhere, md
    Tractor
    Hanomag

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by PSUTundra View Post
    Quite a few items while I "work from home" today:
    - Tried to talk to a conservation agent, they are the ones who do not really exist in this area. Their primary focus is erosion and overall watershed, they said they might have time in about a month and will call me.
    - Talked to the local forester and scheduled an appointment for next week. While they do not provide detailed written plans, they do review the property and give verbal recommendations while onsite. They also recommend resources for creating a plan myself or through a paid agency, and will have those during my site visit. They will also review the plans once written and provide sign-off or feedback.
    - My Goals: 1.) Make sure the area is healthy and will continue to survive as a wooded area. 2.) Create a set of walking trails to enjoy the area.

    These goals seem fairly simple but executing them may be difficult and require some equipment. I am particularly interested in the non-native invasive species of plants and keeping some trees, I do not want the vines to take over as they seem to be doing in certain areas. Other than that as some have mentioned the "hobby" of just enjoying the maintenance and the benefits of all that comes naturally is what I want.

    Thanks again and keep the thoughts coming, I still think a tractor is in my future, just what and when I still have to figure out.
    Those sound like reasonable goals. It should be enjoyable, and it won't happen in one or two years. You will be making changes to something that is slowly changing all the time, with or without you.

    Ground and cover disturbance can open the door to invasives, so you're right to keep watch for them.

  8. #48
    Super Star Member TripleR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    17,051
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1949 View Post
    I have four concord grape vines that produce grapes every year. Nothing eats them, the clusters hang there until winter, all shriveled up. We have ruffed grouse, not quail, and the vines may be too far out in the open for grouse. It has always surprised me that the grapes don't get eaten. You'd think turkeys, fox, coyotes, or something would eat them.

    The Japanese beetles do like the leaves.
    I'm surprised as well, we only have wild grape vines and something eats hm as a couple of years ago a tree blew down and the grapes disappeared pretty quickly.

  9. #49
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    33
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Tractor
    Craftsman YTS4000; Hustler Fastrak SD 60" ZTR

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    I spent the morning with the forester, walking around our wet woods (rain for the last two days). Some things I knew and some were a learning experience:
    - We need to control our deer population, we have almost no native small trees as a result of too many deer eating them
    - We have a major undergrowth problem, almost all of it is invasive species in some places
    - We have a major vine problem with the Japanese Honeysuckle
    - We have a decent "new growth" forest that if the above are taken care of will continue
    - We have a large number of Ash trees which will be gone in about 10 years due to the emerald ash borer

    My rough plan based on her semi-joking comment of "nuke it":
    - Continue the manual removal of vines (except the smaller Virginia Creeper, which is native, but large ones will be removed) from the trees, focusing on the non-ash trees first
    - Start a manual removal of the undergrowth and a spray program to start to battle against the honeysuckle, wild roses, and other non-natives
    - Start a planting program of native trees (my goal today which may change is to try and "fix" an area by the the spring to plant 25 new trees and repeat each year)
    - Create a trail network through the property to enjoy what we have and also make it easier to get into the woods and keep it under control

    I still feel a tractor would be good to help with:
    - Undergrowth removal (grapple, ratchet rake, toothbar, RC)
    - Movement of the debris from above and the existing debris
    - Creation of and maintenance of a trail network
    - Some light tree work, cleaning up hanging branches and helping process some trees to firewood
    - Garden installation
    - Fence maintenance
    - other DIY property maintenance

    So now I need some more thoughts on size, brand and implements. My revised thoughts are still around that small CUT size of a Mahindra Max 28XL or kubota B and I definitely need to get over to the local Deere dealer and see what they have, but want to continue to hear thoughts from you guys. I am now really wavering on the BH, while it would be nice it is a lot of money for an implement that can be rented and that rental will have greater capabilities. For other initial must have implements: FEL, ratchet rake or tooth bar, pallet forks, RC, and a box blade. I need some thoughts on those and prices. I also want some input on local dealers if anyone knows them, PA north of Philadelphia near Doylestown zip 18901.

    Thanks again.

  10. #50
    Super Star Member TripleR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    17,051
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: To buy a tractor or not?

    It sounds like a good plan, we have various tractors and still rent a min excavator or tracked skid loader when needed. Last year we rented a tracked skid steer for a week and did in that time what would have taken weeks to do with our tractors and no doubt resulted in some flats and maybe equipment damage. My son drove the skid loader while I bush hogged and directed him via radio as it was too dense to see anywhere and he sat so low. We have a combination of woods and open areas with native warm season grasses.

    Even with the right equipment what you are doing is a long term proposition, but well worth it.

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