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  1. #1
    Silver Member TNTractor1's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Jackson, TN
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    2011 JD2520

    Default Thinning out pines

    I have a section of my property that is overgrown with small pine trees... probably half an acre. The trees are right on top of each other. It's so thick you can't walk through it. Tree height ranges from 3 ft to 10 ft tall, with the average being 6 or 7 ft. There's a lot of them! I'd like to thin them out quite a bit, but am not sure of the best way to do it. The only tools I have are some big limb loppers and my JD 2520 with FEL. I thought about just doing it by hand with the loppers. I'd like to end up leaving one tree about every 10 feet. Appreciate any advice.
    JD 2520, 200CX FEL, 62D MMM

  2. #2
    Gold Member vic4news's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    286
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    Merrimack County, NH
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    Kubota B3030

    Default Re: Thinning out pines

    I suggest that you add a small chainsaw to your tools. It will come in handy down the road as well.

    Vic

  3. #3
    Silver Member TNTractor1's Avatar
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    Jackson, TN
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    2011 JD2520

    Default

    Actually, I failed to mention I do have a chainsaw, but it has a 20" bar, so it seemed like overkill for these green saplings. I also want to cut them as close to the ground as possible or pull them out? Thanks
    JD 2520, 200CX FEL, 62D MMM

  4. #4
    Gold Member PossumHound's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    North Carolina

    Default Re: Thinning out pines

    I don't think you need to root the pines out completely. Generally speaking, pines do not send up shoots from cut stumps or roots. If your loppers are massive enough to cut the 10' trees then it would be a good tool for cutting the trees level with the soil, but I suspect you'll need to use the saw for at least some of the larger trees.

    PH

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Apr 2011
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    147
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    Central Massachusetts
    Tractor
    L3800 HST

    Default Re: Thinning out pines

    I'd suggest using your tractor w/ a chain and "brush grabber" type tool (see Harbor Freight) and pulling them out roots and all. Pines that size will pull right out. If you have a helper then you stay in the tractor seat and he/she can keep reattaching to the next tree after pulling. It'll go much quicker then you might think and then you won't have to deal w/ stumps and/or roots in the future. I bet you could do a 1/2 ac in one day. Good luck w/ it!
    L3800 HST, Landpride 72" rotary cutter, Wallenstein BX42 chipper, FEL, BH77, 42" pallet forks

  6. #6
    Elite Member smstonypoint's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    4,062
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    SC (Upstate) & NC (Piedmont)
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    NH TN 55, Kubota B2320 & RTV 900, Bad Boy Outlaw 61" ZTR

    Default Re: Thinning out pines

    Another alternative -- a brushcutter equipped with a brush or chisel-tooth blade, depending on the diameter of the pines you are cutting. You can cut the pines close to the ground without stooping/kneeling. Here's a recent discussion of the relative merits of various brands:http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/g...ml#post2431523

    Steve

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
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    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: Thinning out pines

    Quote Originally Posted by TNTractor1 View Post
    I have a section of my property that is overgrown with small pine trees... probably half an acre. The trees are right on top of each other. It's so thick you can't walk through it. Tree height ranges from 3 ft to 10 ft tall, with the average being 6 or 7 ft. There's a lot of them! I'd like to thin them out quite a bit, but am not sure of the best way to do it. The only tools I have are some big limb loppers and my JD 2520 with FEL. I thought about just doing it by hand with the loppers. I'd like to end up leaving one tree about every 10 feet. Appreciate any advice.
    You should be able to push over those trees and pop them out with your FEL if they are that small, I would think.

    Just make a row through them, leave a row standing, make another row, leave a row. Then go back on at a 90 degree angle and make perpendicular rows, like a checkerboard. Eventually, you will end up with trees 10' on center.
    MossRoad

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  8. #8
    Super Member clemsonfor's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    Greenwood Co., SC
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    Yanmar YM2000

    Default Re: Thinning out pines

    Forget the tractor unless you do like moss road said. I would rent a big @$$ weedeater, those massive stihl ones and get a bever blade for it. This is what the pros use to pre-commercial thin (which is what your doing). The blade looks like a circle saw blade with a chainsaw chain along the perimiter of it. Or the plain ole sawblade for them will work too. You need the big weedeater or you will cuss and think its a waste of time. You will be done in no time. You want to just pic the best tree every 10 feet or so, if its 8 feet fine you just want the biggest tree. Your chainsaw is overkill and will kill your back. Trust me i know i have done some of this and it hurt me and i was in my early 20s then.

    You dont say were you live but if your in the south talking about southern yellow pines, you can use a chain saw and just make sure you cut below the lowest branch even if thats at waist height. This keeps you from bending over and the rest will rot out in 1-2 years to nothing and you wont know it was there. Of course more will replace it or sweetgums will so unless you bushhog it every year or spray herbicide every 2 there is not much point on a 1/2 acre. Just the nature of the beast.

    Im a southern forester. We contract a good bit of this stuff out on our failed plantations, and reforestations where we get thousands of trees per acre.
    YM2000. MF dirt scoop,4' Jbar bushhog,boompole, LMC 12-16 disk harrow, 4' Atlas boxblade (with rippers). 1980 chevy K10,1990 ford ranger 2wd (285K miles),1997 saturn SL2 (twin cam!!),2001Toyota Higlander
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    Troybuilt 4 cycle & Echo 2 stroke,cold natured(need carb rebuild),MS390 Stihl, Northern tool pressure washer, mixes water into the oil in the pump(now dead, motor on a tiller). 5000 watt generator.

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    Wise county Texas
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    Kioti DK 35 now

    Default Re: Thinning out pines

    Quote Originally Posted by MossRoad View Post
    You should be able to push over those trees and pop them out with your FEL if they are that small, I would think.

    Just make a row through them, leave a row standing, make another row, leave a row. Then go back on at a 90 degree angle and make perpendicular rows, like a checkerboard. Eventually, you will end up with trees 10' on center.
    X's 2, Shouldn't be any problem for your FEL.
    Dennis


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  10. #10
    Veteran Member hunterridgefarm's Avatar
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    Western NC
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    Kubota L3130DT, Kubota L185DT, JD LX277

    Default Re: Thinning out pines

    Some good suggestions above.

    I have done this several times on sections of my property. I bought a couple of saw blades for my weedeater and it worked great, for the larger pines I used the chainsaw. I start at the back of a section and work towards the front so the tops of the pines are laying on the bottom of the pine I just cut. They don't get all tangled up that way. Then I rent a chipper, pull it behind the tractor and chip them up. Starting at the front and working my way back. In the past I would cut all down one day and rent the chipper the next week for a day. A half acer should not take long to complete. Hire you a teenager to help with the chipping!

    Just another option.
    I suffer from MPD...Multiple Project Disorder

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