Field clearing

jeff9366

Super Star Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
10,545
Location
Gilchirst County North-Central Florida
Tractor
Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3,700 pounds bare tractor; 5,400 pounds operating weight ~~~~~~~~ 37 horsepower
You never want to invert soil so subsoil is turned up.

Therefore compact tractor plows come in 12", 14" and 16" widths, which turn soil to a depth of 6", 7" and 8".

The larger roots likely lie deeper and can be ignored. If the trees associated with the larger roots are dead, the larger roots will decay over time. I apply an herbicide, usually Cross Bow (2-4d + Triclopyr), to fresh tree stumps to insure rapid death of stump and roots. Others avoid herbicides.

A subsoiler catching a deep 4" diameter root will stop a compact tractor. To be safe, engage Draft Control if your tractor has Draft Control or use a subsoiler with shear bolt or "trip" protection, the same as if plowing.
 
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BackRoad

Gold Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
431
Location
Rural PA
Tractor
Kubota MX6000, MF 35
It looks like 80 to 90% of what you have in your pictures could be easily removed with a root style grapple.

It's fairly easy to dig out clump brush and smaller trees up to 6 to 8 inches with that style grapple on my 60hp MX6000, which might be a similar sized tractor as yours.

Typically clump brush have spreading roots, rather than deep tap roots, so easier to pull out enmass.

Get the grapple down about 4 inches under the surface and just move forward in low gear against the clump to pop it out. If they are large clumps, you may need to start higher up to push them to loosen the roots...but they generally pop out once you get them loosened slightly.

For the smaller trees, you can use the weight of the tractor (your MF looks to be a solid, mid-sized utility tractor - maybe 4000# (+) if loaded) to push against the trees at about 6' up...

Once the tree is leaning, use the weight of the tractor to ride the tree down, leveraging out the roots. Occasionally you may need to dig/pry at the roots to finish getting a tree out, but they are generally loose at that point and not too difficult.

Only caveate is to be aware of the root mass when you are riding it down. I occasionally find Maples may have a fair sized mass that magically appears under your tractor...since the tractor underbelly can be exposed.

Use the weight of the tractor and tree to your advantage, rather than trying to just apply brute force prying at the roots with the grapple.

One last suggestion, it's significantly easier to use the full tree as leverage rather than cut down the tree, and then try to pry the stump/root out!

One of your photos looks like you are using a tow strap and maybe chain for pulling brush.

My experience is a grapple combined with the tractor weight to push and leverage against the target is ALOT faster than getting off and on the tractor using a chain to pull out brush and trees...at least on the 15 acres I've cleared.

I had one small area that I had to do that way...and even with my wife driving the tractor and me just dedicated to chaining...it wore me out quick!
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#13  
OP
rockmalenfant

rockmalenfant

Bronze Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
52
Location
northern Ontario Canada
Tractor
2076E Massey Ferguson
It looks like 80 to 90% of what you have in your pictures could be easily removed with a root style grapple.

It's fairly easy to dig out clump brush and smaller trees up to 6 to 8 inches with that style grapple on my 60hp MX6000, which might be a similar sized tractor as yours.

Typically clump brush have spreading roots, rather than deep tap roots, so easier to pull out enmass.

Get the grapple down about 4 inches under the surface and just move forward in low gear against the clump to pop it out. If they are large clumps, you may need to start higher up to push them to loosen the roots...but they generally pop out once you get them loosened slightly.

For the smaller trees, you can use the weight of the tractor (your MF looks to be a solid, mid-sized utility tractor - maybe 4000# (+) if loaded) to push against the trees at about 6' up...

Once the tree is leaning, use the weight of the tractor to ride the tree down, leveraging out the roots. Occasionally you may need to dig/pry at the roots to finish getting a tree out, but they are generally loose at that point and not too difficult.

Only caveate is to be aware of the root mass when you are riding it down. I occasionally find Maples may have a fair sized mass that magically appears under your tractor...since the tractor underbelly can be exposed.

Use the weight of the tractor and tree to your advantage, rather than trying to just apply brute force prying at the roots with the grapple.

One last suggestion, it's significantly easier to use the full tree as leverage rather than cut down the tree, and then try to pry the stump/root out!

One of your photos looks like you are using a tow strap and maybe chain for pulling brush.

My experience is a grapple combined with the tractor weight to push and leverage against the target is ALOT faster than getting off and on the tractor using a chain to pull out brush and trees...at least on the 15 acres I've cleared.

I had one small area that I had to do that way...and even with my wife driving the tractor and me just dedicated to chaining...it wore me out quick!
thanks, for the tips and yes I have a 60Hp, the weight is about that as well and that's what I have been doing pulling on them with a tow strap and choker and yeah its not fun … can you share what type of grappler you have and what type you would advise me to buy? I am interested in the rock grappler since I would be able to use it for a lots of different application but I know it wont be as effective as a roots grappler or brush grappler.
 
   #14  

BackRoad

Gold Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
431
Location
Rural PA
Tractor
Kubota MX6000, MF 35
There's many grapples out there...and lots of opinions on every grapple ever made!

I've got an Everything Attachments 60" Wicked Root Grapple...my favorite and most produtive tool on the tractor, and would buy it again without hesitation.

You'll find many feel that same way about their own personal favorites.

Some designs seem to be efficient for logging, others like their double lid closures.

I like the overall usefulness of the EA, its root digging and rake capabilities, strength of materials, lightness, and build quality...unfortunately, it's very popular and has a wait list for delivery.

Search on TBN...lots of good threads with strong opinions on which grapple might be beneficial for your needs.
 
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   #15  

leonz

Super Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
5,840
Location
NE USA
Tractor
JD LA115, WH 244, Troy Built Horse 8 HP
A single shank subsoiler is all your mule is going to be able to handle.

One of the titan subsoilers from the dealer in Ontario will work as long as you have traction and loaded tires.

if you remove the toe/shank you should have no issues as all your doing is breaking and bringing up roots anyway
 

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   #16  

Wyobuckaroo

Platinum Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2010
Messages
612
Location
NW BC CANADA
Tractor
John Deere 2032R
Turned up, roots will die in the sun.
+ + + +
If your bush is anything like the bush here... It is not going to hurt to paint all the cut ends of bush stumps and root ends you can with Round Up, right from the bottle, even if you eventually turn most of them under..
Good luck...
 
   #17  

JethroB

Platinum Member
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
957
Location
Really Deep Southeast
Tractor
Kubota L5460 HST
You never want to invert soil so subsoil is turned up.

Therefore compact tractor plows come in 12", 14" and 16" widths, which turn soil to a depth of 6", 7" and 8".

The larger roots likely lie deeper and can be ignored. If the trees associated with the larger roots are dead, the larger roots will decay over time. I apply an herbicide, usually Cross Bow (2-4d + Triclopyr), to fresh tree stumps to insure rapid death of stump and roots. Others avoid herbicides.

A subsoiler catching a deep 4" diameter root will stop a compact tractor. To be safe, engage Draft Control if your tractor has Draft Control or use a subsoiler with shear bolt or "trip" protection, the same as if plowing.
I don’t understand how Draft Control could help when encountering a large root or other immovable object. How would it react fast enough to prevent shearing the bolt, tripping the implement, or stopping the tractor?
Thanks
 
   #18  

jeff9366

Super Star Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
10,545
Location
Gilchirst County North-Central Florida
Tractor
Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3,700 pounds bare tractor; 5,400 pounds operating weight ~~~~~~~~ 37 horsepower
I don’t understand how Draft Control could help when encountering a large root or other immovable object. How would it react fast enough to prevent shearing the bolt, tripping the implement, or stopping the tractor?
Thanks
When implement encounters an obstacle, pressure is applied to the top link. A sensor then triggers hydraulic system to raise the implement instantly. Sensitivity of the lift is adjustable.

Draft Control was one component of the Three Point Hitch developed and patented by Harry Ferguson in Ireland and England during post WW1 years. Then, everyone plowed and tractors regularly toppled over backwards. Few or none had ROPS and there were regular fatalities.

Ferguson licensed his patented Three Point Hitch to Henry Ford in 1939 and Draft Control has protected operators in USA ever since, WHEN ENGAGED.
 
   #19  

JethroB

Platinum Member
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
957
Location
Really Deep Southeast
Tractor
Kubota L5460 HST
I understand draft control. I asked as the draft control I’m familiar with doesn’t respond that quickly. I’m more likely to be hung up & stopped or spinning tires by a root or stump before it responds. A subsoiler is too much of a fishhook.
 
 
 
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