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  1. #1

    Default New trails cut with forestry mulcher - what to do next?

    Hi Guys,
    I had a new trail cut on my property recently, the guy brought a skid steer and basically a really heavy-duty brush hog out front. Now I have a 12-15 foot wide path, covered in 2"- 4" of very rough "mulch". The pieces range from as fine as 1/2" to as long as 2 feet, and some are pretty chunky.
    Haven't measured the total length of the trail yet but I am guessing it'll be around 1/2 - 3/4 mile, mostly pretty hilly terrain.
    I'll keep the mulch on the ground for now to prevent erosion, but I am trying to decide what to do longer term (next spring)?
    Scrape the mulch aside, lime, disc and sow native grasses? (Could be problematic on some steep hills due to erosion danger)
    Leave it as is and let nature take it's course and only brush-hog when needed? (Doesn't look all that great).
    Path will be used for forest access with tractor, for walking the dogs and also for hunting.

    Has anybody dealt with a similar situation, any good suggestions?

    Thanks, Big Guy

  2. #2
    Silver Member
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    Jul 2010
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    Huntsville AL
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    BX200D w/FEL, B21 TLB, KX91-3SS. F700 Dump Truck

    Default Re: New trails cut with forestry mulcher - what to do next?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigGuy View Post
    Hi Guys,
    I had a new trail cut on my property recently, the guy brought a skid steer and basically a really heavy-duty brush hog out front. Now I have a 12-15 foot wide path, covered in 2"- 4" of very rough "mulch". The pieces range from as fine as 1/2" to as long as 2 feet, and some are pretty chunky.
    Haven't measured the total length of the trail yet but I am guessing it'll be around 1/2 - 3/4 mile, mostly pretty hilly terrain.
    I'll keep the mulch on the ground for now to prevent erosion, but I am trying to decide what to do longer term (next spring)?
    Scrape the mulch aside, lime, disc and sow native grasses? (Could be problematic on some steep hills due to erosion danger)
    Leave it as is and let nature take it's course and only brush-hog when needed? (Doesn't look all that great).
    Path will be used for forest access with tractor, for walking the dogs and also for hunting.

    Has anybody dealt with a similar situation, any good suggestions?

    Thanks, Big Guy
    I have a a similar situation but only about two acres, not a trail. My short term plan is to pick up and burn the big chunks, knock down the root balls from long ago downed trees, and run a landscape rake over it to fluff it a bit. Then bush hog once in a while. For the first year or so, many of the cut trees and vines stumps will sprout, so I'll tend to those with Roundup. If I start scraping off the mulch, then I'll have many ground level stumps to contend with. In a few years I may try something else. This weekend, I plan on working on the root balls so I'll try to get some pictures.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2004
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    Bancroft, Ontario
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    JD4300

    Default Re: New trails cut with forestry mulcher - what to do next?

    If the trailbed was constructed with a crown, and the hills are ditched, you might be ok with just the mulch. If the water is running downhill in the middle of the trail (even under the mulch) you will probably wind up with washouts, mulch, grass or whatever....
    If you are able to repair washouts, then I would leave things as is until troubles appear, then jump on them ASAP

  4. #4
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
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    Default Re: New trails cut with forestry mulcher - what to do next?

    If the original soil is not disturbed, erosion will not be much of a problem. Give it a year or two and native weeds will take over. Mowing it a couple of times a year will keep them under control.

    You could just hand pick the bigger stuff or maybe take the tractor through with a scraper blade angled to push some of the stuff off to the side. Go lightly.

    Ken

  5. #5
    Super Star Member brin's Avatar
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    Default Re: New trails cut with forestry mulcher - what to do next?

    That's funny....indeed one man's junk is another man's treasure....I had trails in my woods and finally found a tree service company that needed to dump some shavings...mulch from trees they had mulched so I had them dump in on my farm and I used my tractor to spread the mulch all over my trails about 4 to 6 inches deep...If I were you I would keep the mulch..it makes excellent cover for trails and is maintenance free for years and years - all you have to do is spray some roundup if weeds start to penetrate...If you take the mulch up you will have grass and weeds and create a bush hogging job you will have to do on a regular basis and that gets old as the years roll by.
    Bob

    WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES, it takes away today's PEACE.


    NH - TC-29 , FEL, Bush hog, Bush hog brand finishing mower, Post hole digger, 6' Back blade, sub-soiler, Pallet forks, 20KW PTO Generator , 21 hp Murray Mower
    JD -3020 with FEL and a 16 HP. K-Grow Lawn Tractor (bought from K Mart 1994) and runs great !
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  6. #6

    Default Re: New trails cut with forestry mulcher - what to do next?

    Thank you all - I appreciate the input.
    Will leave well enough alone, I guess. Though I do like the looks of a nice grassy path through the woods, the work to get it done and then the upkeep is probably not worth it. And some spots are steep so I would have serious problems keeping the seed on the hill until the germinate. I might spend some time cutting some of the longer stumps and strands flush with a weed-eater with a blade.
    And now that I have access to some semi-secluded areas, incl. some nice flat bottom land that would make an excellent food plot, I am sure more work will come my way.

    Which brings me to my next question:
    The guy did a really good job and I am considering using him again to clear the food plot(s). Am I creating a headache here, with all the stumps in the ground? (majority is 1"=5", mix of pine and hardwoods, lots of poplars)
    Do you think if I push the mulch to the edges, I can just disc a few times and then seed clover, alf-alfa, brassicas, etc.? Or do I need to tear up the ground, maybe with boxblade rippers, to get the stumps and roots out?
    Thanks, Big Guy

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Wise county Texas
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    Kioti DK 35 now

    Default Re: New trails cut with forestry mulcher - what to do next?

    BG, If you have a FEL on your tractor, I would dig as many of the stumps as possible since they are small, then disc, no point chancing a bent or broken blade. In the long run, I think you would enjoy the food plot more with fewer obstructions as possible, also some of those stumps will want to "sprout", so no point dealing with them twice.
    Dennis


    "Winter 2013 a majority of the country is setting new cold records, Colorado is setting new record HIGH's"

    "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you."

  8. #8
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
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    Default Re: New trails cut with forestry mulcher - what to do next?

    I think a ripper tooth on a box blade would be more effective for digging out small stumps (under 4") than an FEL.



    Ken

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