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  1. #1
    Member miltrade's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    42
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    Virginia
    Tractor
    JD 4200

    Default My third post: Best way to clear brush

    I'm new here, so if I ask too many questions, forgive me. I own a horse farm in VA, about 13 acres or so. The previous owner did nothing whatsoever to clear brush from the areas outside of the horse pastures (we are about 1/2 cleared and 1/2 wooded). I have a JD 4200 tractor with brush mower, finish mowers, Front end loader, forklift attachment, and blade.

    I am trying to clear brush and debris from the wooded areas just outside my pastures and around the house in order to cut down on insects (flys, mosquitoes, etc) and to create a generally better appearance.

    I borrowed a neighbors yard rake attachment to try to do some clearing and it worked ok, but it was difficult to make piles because the 3point hitch will only lift the rake a couple of feet and I can't get enough clearance. I have also tried to use the FEL, but it doesn't work that well. I have no teeth on my FEL. The neighbor said that the best way to clear brush is to get teeth on the FEL and drag it backwards.

    While I have pretty much figured out that the only way I am going to get the fallen trees is to cut them up by hand, I can't figure out a way to then clear all the brush and debris effectively. Also, I can't run my brush mower through there to cut down on the summer growth, insects, and snakes because of all the fallen debris.

    Can somebody please tell me what is the best method? You can make out the kind of area I need to clear of debrish and brush if you look BEYOND the pasture in this photo. Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2003
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    1,969
    Location
    Kansas
    Tractor
    2003 BX2200

    Default Re: My third post: Best way to clear brush

    If you don't keep a mid mower on that unit, make sure the belly does not have exposed senisitive parts, such as hoses and plastic fans, etc.

    Our kubota's have sensitive undersides, and driving them through brush is an excellent way to mess up the Bota tummies, unless you have a skid plate deal to protect it.

    ron

  3. #3
    Banned HomeBrew2's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
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    1,896
    Location
    Dunlap, CA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX23

    Default Re: My third post: Best way to clear brush

    This may not be a viable solution for you but, I just hired a local guy with a machine like this to rid my creek area of the types of brush you describe. He'll charge me $500 and save me at least a couple weeks (straight) of work that would be pretty tough on my BX. It shreds loose brush and downed trees to a mulch. The BullHog.
    Cheers!

  4. #4
    Member miltrade's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    42
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    Virginia
    Tractor
    JD 4200

    Default Re: My third post: Best way to clear brush

    That is one awesome machine. The question would be how do I find somebody that has one of those?

  5. #5
    Veteran Member LarryD's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    1,105
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    Whidbey Island, WA.
    Tractor
    TC33D

    Default Re: My third post: Best way to clear brush

    There's lots of wasy to attack that job, right up to bringing in a bulldozer and striping everything down to dirt, probably more impact that you're looking for.

    I would probably just tie on to the down trees and drag them to a burn area. You'll be surprised how much other stuff will reveal itself, by this I mean things bad for a brushhog. Once you've cleared in a few feet, brushhog that section and start over.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    May 2005
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    954
    Location
    Farwell, Michigan
    Tractor
    JD 2010

    Default Re: My third post: Best way to clear brush

    I have found that by dragging the downed trees out, a bunch of brush gets cleared in the process. A grapple hook or a boat anchor fastened to a chain or strong rope pulled through the brush helps as well. I also use a brush whacker (a weed whacker with a saw blade attachment), this is not tractor time but will help clear things until you get the big stuff out so you can use the brush hog.
    A bulldozer will finish the job faster than anything else but I agree with the impact may very well be more than you want.
    Farwell

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Dec 2003
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    811
    Location
    eastern panhandle of WV
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800 with loaded R-4s

    Default Re: My third post: Best way to clear brush

    I did what Farwell said to do. I hooked to down trees and while dragging them up they pulled out alot of other stuff and what it didn't drag out it crunched up pretty good. I then used the landscape rake to clear it out. To solve the problem of the pile, I just pulled the piles and left them lengthwise then pushed them together with the loader.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2001
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    1,776
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    Southern Maine (now)
    Tractor
    '05/'06 L39 TLB

    Default Re: My third post: Best way to clear brush

    I agree with Larry, Farwell and Steve. Sometimes you'll simply need to get off the machine and tackle the big stuff manually. Brushsaw and chainsaw sound good, then use the landscape rake to drag and clean up. A chain tied to your bucket or drawbar to pull the bigger brush is a good idea. Pulling is better than cutting IMO, but it's also more work. Eventually you'll be able to use your brushhog without worry and you'll get the know the terrain pretty well from having to walk it.

    I'm quite familiar with the neglect aspect.....I'm still trying to clean up my place two years later of the most random stuff one would think should be taken to a landfill/transfer station, not dumped in the back yard!

    You could also try one of these for your machine (attached picture). Don't think they are out of the question $$ wise. Worth looking into for your size property. Basically it's a hydraulic root rake with grapple.

    http://www.addingtonequipment.com/

    BTW Mil....nice place!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Member miltrade's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    42
    Location
    Virginia
    Tractor
    JD 4200

    Default Re: My third post: Best way to clear brush

    Thanks, these are good suggestions. I will try the log-pulling method of getting some of that stuff out. It's tough with turf-tires, but I'll still give it a go. Also, sometimes it's difficult because there are many 4 inch diameter saplings that block the path so I can't just go cruising around. My intention is to try to push those all over with the tractor and then drag them out as well. I want to clear the brush and saplings out, but leave the large hardwoods, so I have to conduct this whole operation amongst the trees, most of which are 80Ft plus, some about easily 130+. Another complicating factor is that I have to drag each log up, out, and around the fence to get it it any sort of area to burn. It's a real pain in the ****, but I don't see that I have any other choice.

    Another problem with using the yard rake is that it didn't only gather up branches, leaves, etc. It also brought up a lot of soil. So the "brush" piles I made seem to be half dirt, half brush, which is difficult to burn.

    Whose idea was it to buy a farm anyways?? Oh yeah, it was mine.

    BTW, the leafless bushes that form a crescent shape in the photo mark the location of a Confederate field house from the civil war. I'm always digging up mini-balls, tent stakes, ceramics, and other stuff when I mess with the soil in the field just on the other side of the fence from those bushes.

  10. #10
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: My third post: Best way to clear brush

    A toothbar would be nice... helps you pick up that debri.. etc.

    Some hand cutting to make pieces small enough to fit your bucket may be needed.. or you can skid the smaller ones out.. etc..

    Soundguy

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