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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Feb 2012
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    Dripping Springs, Texas

    Default Getting Rid of Prickly Pear in Central Texas

    Hello, Have 90 acres that I need to clear the prickly pear off of. Have heard of spraying, but wondering if anyone has had any luck using a rock bucket to slide under the pear and get the pads and root? Would be cheaper than spraying, and I have good soil so getting under the root shouldn't be to hard. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    37,737
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    Texas

    Default Re: Getting Rid of Prickly Pear in Central Texas

    Welcome to TBN, Tim. I'm certainly no expert, but I'd be very surprised if your idea of using a rock bucket will work because I think you'll leave some of the root and it'll come right back up. But keep in mind that's only my guess as to what will happen. Prickly Pear and Mesquite are tough to get rid of.
    Bird

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    3
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Mustang 2109

    Default Re: Getting Rid of Prickly Pear in Central Texas

    Here's what "Great Minds" say.

    Pricklypear Texas Natural Resources Server

    I was at a seminar last summer and speaker stressed the importance of not leaving any of the pads or pieces of pads in the pasture; each pad or piece of pad will take root and create a new plant. After removal, he recommended piling and burning.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2007
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    832
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    S. Central TX Hill Country

    Default Re: Getting Rid of Prickly Pear in Central Texas

    I'm not too far from dripping springs. I have had really good luck with a bucket and tilt tatch on a big bobcat. Have also used a mulcher to obliterate it but that's an expensive way to remove cactus.

    Need a hot fire to burn it up but you can also put it in piles where it will partially decompose especially if you spray it. Uprooting cactus doesn't necessarily kill it but if you get most of the ears, it won't easily grow back from where you dug it up.

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    52
    Location
    Central Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota L2402; JD 5205 MFWD

    Default Re: Getting Rid of Prickly Pear in Central Texas

    Tim,
    I have 200 acres about 75 miles north of you, bad infestation of pear. My dad "burned" the pear back in the 60's for cattle food during a drought & it came back with a vengeance. What yellowdog & creekbottom are saying is good advice. I went the skid-steer/rock-bucket route and cleaned up a lot of pear quickly, only problem is you get around 25% regrowth. From roots & dropped pads. After a year the piles must be pushed around or sprayed or it will come back there as well. I have a regular bucket on my tractor, it's just no good for pear-they slide underneath the bucket. I did buy a Rachet-Rake attachment to try buy haven't yet. A skid-steer is a lot quicker than a tractor obviously.
    Now the spray: I tried Tordon-it came in one gallon containers and is over 100 bucks a gallon. But it makes over a hundred gallons of spray. You need to add a dye marker & a emulsion (soap) agent to make it stick to the pads & see what you've sprayed. Both of these are cheap. It takes about 2 years to work. And you get around a 70-90% kill rate. So you have to go back. Then Remedy hit the market, same company (Dow) and it's cheaper (I paid 165.00 for a 2 1/2 gallon container last fall) and it works A LOT quicker with a better kill rate. Not quick like Round-up but you will start seeing results in a month or so. Total kill in 6-9 months for me, at a 95% kill rate. You will need to wear PPE and a good respirator when spraying, it's wicked stuff. To buy Tordon or Remedy you will need an applicators liscense, available through a one day course-check with your county agent. If you get it around any desirable trees like say spraying pear under a live oak, that tree will die in a month. Just be warned.
    Lastly, I think a multi-pronged attack is the best way to go. Scrape some, spray some and stay after it. I just hired a guy to spray some of mine from a 4-wheeler-75.00 bucks an hour & I buy the spray. If you find a better method-PLEASE let me know. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member kfvintx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    68
    Tractor
    JD 4105

    Default Re: Getting Rid of Prickly Pear in Central Texas

    A little further north than y'all in Stephenville and needing help with this as well. I've heard spraying is best in regards to kill rate. Been trying to source Tordon and Remedy in smaller quantity than 2.5 gallon which seems to be standard. No problem getting it..... just don't need that much.

    Question -- do you still have to go back after spraying and dead to remove them or can they be left to decompose? This would mostly in pasture used for hay production so thinking removal of some sort is needed.

    Interested in hearing about other methods and success stories.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    832
    Location
    S. Central TX Hill Country

    Default Re: Getting Rid of Prickly Pear in Central Texas

    The spines will be left for a long time after decomposition. Haying that field would expose cattle and horses to the spines.

    The bucket method works good. I am anti chemical. My neighbor's sprayed a fence line for small cedars and some cactus I purposely put along fence. The overspray killed good trees, grass, and my cactus.. jerks.

    The key to using a bucket is a tilt bucket. tilting it up to 15 degrees to get under the plant. A skeleton bucket would be good, too, if there wasn't an abundance of small ears. I also think a rockhound would sweep the entire cactus into the hopper but would be messier and is heavier. Pile the cactus high. Not sure if salting it would work but it might. If you had enough, you could bury it or obliterate it with a mulcher and make a gooey soup over a rocky area. If you were to pile it up and mix brush with it, then grind, it would be beneficial to areas with poor soils, rocks, etc.

    Poison should be last resort but may be necessary if machinery is cost-prohibitive.. but geez, I only charge $90 hour for a 2 speed 90 horse machine with a tilt bucket. Maybe I should be using my 4 wheeler?

    Oh, one last idea... 4 n 1 tooth bucket works great.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Apr 2011
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    Location
    St. Cloud MN
    Tractor
    Deere 4100

    Default

    I'm an ignorant northerner. Why not just use Round-Up?

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    127
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota M5040

    Default Re: Getting Rid of Prickly Pear in Central Texas

    Prickly Pear laughs at Roundup.

  10. #10
    Gold Member rmully's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
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    Location
    North Carolina
    Tractor
    YM 2020

    Default Re: Getting Rid of Prickly Pear in Central Texas

    You could can it ...very tasty
    Experience is what you have left after you have lost everything.

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