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  1. #1
    Elite Member Piston's Avatar
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    Default Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    Hi Guys,
    My wife and I are in the process of getting 25 acres of land in NH (the GRANITE state ) and it is currently all forested. It's been family land since the '60s and we plan to clear about 8 acres of it, and have about 4acres of lawn/field (not golf course manicured lawn) and about another 4 of dedicated field (possibly horses or miniature cattle down the road)

    I will be doing the initial clearing of the trees (mostly 12"-16" dbh pines and small hardwoods) with a John Deere 410 Backhoe and my kubota L4610 with Grapple. Next, I will bring in my neighbors 100hp skidsteer and mulching head to mulch up all the brush and small trees.

    My question is what should I do for the next step? Since it's the granite state there certainly is a lot of rock, however I don't see that much but I know it's there
    I want to go from that mulched state, to get ready to plant grass (or some other field grass or something, not sure yet and open to suggestions)

    I have read a lot about Harley rakes and can rent one for 200 per day. Will a Harley rake be able to take virgin forest land that has never been lawn, and was just mulched, to get ready for seed?
    I understand that is the intent of them, but does it work that easy? I know the soil isn't crazy packed down but it's not exactly fluffy either. Should I buy a box blade and rip as much up as I can with the scarfiers, and then harley rake it?

    I guess the main question is, when the heck can I go out and rent that Harley Rake that I want to use so bad!

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    2007 Kioti CK20 & 1981 Iseki TU1700

    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    I would not mulch up anything if possible. Use your grapple and make burn pile. If you mulch the fresh cut wood, it will be a few years before any grass will grow. There is a lot of acid in fresh cut timber.

    Eddie
    08 Dodge (Cummins) 2500, 2007 Kioti CK20, FEL, Finish Mower, 4' Howse Bush Hog, Landscape Rake, 52" Woods Tiller, 5' Rear Blade, 4' Box Blade, 5 horses, 2 dogs, 1 fat cat, 1981 Iseki TU 1700 for grass mowing.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member Putter's Avatar
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    Central Alberta
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    JD L120 looking @ LS i3040

    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    You'll have a lot of stumps to deal with won't you?

  4. #4
    Super Member Scooby074's Avatar
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    BX 25, ZD 326

    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    Maybe through a post over in the land clearing forum. One of the commercial guys there has a current project just like this. Hes mulching up old roots and slash to make pasture. He's just "tilling" the material into the ground.. then theyre supposed to plant.

    This may or may not go over with the ground conditions you have, at least not with a conventional mulcher. Some companies make a "rock mulcher" that could take your ground and till it, rocks and all, to end with a decent bed on which you could use the harley rake for finishing. http://www.fae-ap.com.au/content.asp?L=3&idMen=314

    http://www.fae-ap.com.au/content.asp?L=3&IdMen=446

    http://www.fae-ap.com.au/content.asp?L=3&idMen=312

  5. #5
    Elite Member Piston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    Quote Originally Posted by gilbertmsg View Post
    I would not mulch up anything if possible. Use your grapple and make burn pile. If you mulch the fresh cut wood, it will be a few years before any grass will grow. There is a lot of acid in fresh cut timber.

    Eddie
    I think although there is a lot of acidity in the timber, there are also a lot of beneficial nutrients that would be added to the soil if I mulched it up?
    I'm not positive so correct me if I'm wrong.....

  6. #6
    Elite Member Piston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    Quote Originally Posted by Putter View Post
    You'll have a lot of stumps to deal with won't you?
    Weeelll, I shouldn't but most likely.
    My plan is to knock the trees over with the backhoe, so the stump will come right out with it. This will work for 90% of the trees as they are mostly medium sized pines with shallow roots. It works quite well as I've done this many times.

    I think the bigger problem would be filling in all the holes left by the stumps, not sure how I would do that? Maybe just drag some dirt from other places using a box blade or FEL?

    This of course is my 'plan' and most likely won't work as planned, my projects rarely do

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    I would lime the snickers out of it first. Apply 4 ton per acre. Maybe more depending on how acid the soil is under the mulch. The wood fibers will break down much faster if limed. After 6 months, cut the weeds, test it, lime it again, fertilize according to the test, till it in good then seed. You may have to spray for broad leaf weeds until the grass really takes over. Depends on how bad the weeds are.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Piston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    Scooby,
    Those rock crushers look pretty impressive! I'm trying to do this with the heavy equipment I already have available, which I think should be more than sufficient. So does it seem like I'm on the wrong track with clearing out the large trees, then mulching, then being ready for the Harley Rake?
    I prefer not to cut everything and pile it as it is a lot more of a mess that way and will take considerably longer.

    I'm hoping to have the land in my name by the end of summer or so, and then start clearing shortly after that and have it clear by fall.

  9. #9
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    ChuckinNH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    Your project is ambitious given the time schedule, and amount of land involved. I wouuldn't have thought that you could push a 16" pine over with your backhoe, but it would sure help with the stumps if you could. Be careful out there!
    B2620,Loaded R-4's , Wallenstein BX42 chipper, Bush Hog SQ148 RC, 4' x 8' chain harrow, Blizzard 54" 3PT snowblower, Tirechains. com v-bar duo grip chains (hate them), Simplicity Legacy with 48"mmm, turbo collector, Country Line carry all, Countryline Middlebuster, Woods 48" BB, Kubota QA for loader, Kubota forks, Kuhn EL23 rototiller, and more to come...

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Gordon Gould's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    When you start pushing trees over you will see what you have for subsurface rocks. Lots of NH is quite sandy. It is not all granite. 8 acres of downed trees will make for an awful lot of mulching. The mulch does have nutrients but not until it decomposes ( along time for softwood ) The mulch will lock up the available nitrogen in the soil as it decomposes. Grass makes its own nitrogen once it gets going. Fertilize it good to get it started because there will be little nitrogen available.
    "If you're not making any mistakes then you're not doing anything"

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