Saplings and brush around pond banks. Suggestions?

Hay Dude

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It took a lot of work but I used a stihl 131 Combi-system with Australian brush cutter blades (Best I’ve ever found) and I zipped right thru all the brush and saplings around my pond as my wife followed with some 2-4D and a paint brush. She brushed the 2-4D On all the freshly cut saplings and brush and they never came back. After they were dead, I again used the brush cutter and zipped the stubs right down to the ground and now I only have grasses and wild flowers around the pond. Watch Anton Visser Brush Destructor blades on You tube. He has several videos. The things are a bit pricey but totally amazing.
THIS^
 

bluecanoebrewer

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Feb 25, 2019
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mahindra
It took a lot of work but I used a stihl 131 Combi-system with Australian brush cutter blades (Best I’ve ever found) and I zipped right thru all the brush and saplings around my pond [...] Watch Anton Visser Brush Destructor blades on You tube. He has several videos. The things are a bit pricey but totally amazing.
It looks like that's https://brushdestructor.com? $160 to $240 depending on if you want replacement/maintenance parts as well.
That website is a train wreck and probably works well for Aussies since he's close, but it seems to me he'd do himself a big favor by giving Amazon.com a call and sell his wares that way.

@devodad, how long did it take to get your product shipped to the US? (me, an American, arrogantly assuming you're an American as well)

It's the same price of another weed eater, but if it's working great, has lasted a long time and is maintainable, I'll join that bandwagon. I doubt the squareish metal blade i just got from Lowes for $20 will do what i think it will.
 

broadsword6

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Lanark County, Ontario
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Branson 6640 and Branson 3510i
New tractor owner looking for some advice. I have an issue around my pond with some plant I can't recognize that likes to grow right on the water's edge. They can get quite large if left unchecked. I let them get a bit out of hand last summer and had to spend many hours with the chainsaw addressing the issue over the winter. Now there's small stumps and the freaking buggers are starting to come back again. I'd rather not have to back a bushhog up and down the bank over and over and larger the batwings seem like a bit much for my needs. Anyone have any suggestions? would a flail work well?

Note, my tractor doesn't have remotes or a 3rd function, but I've considered adding them, if needed.

Also, I'm aware of the laneshark, but I'm seriously wondering if it's worth the price. For most of my cutting needs, a bushhog would work very well. I only need something like this for the pond banks.

The pond is roughly 5 acres. Some of the bank edges have a ~1 - 2' drop to the water.
I don't want to come off as a tree hugger here, but a few things come to mind. First, a riparian barrier between field and water encourages beneficial insects and birdlife, which in turn enhance the pond life. Fish have some shade to hide in, as do the amphibians they feed on (depending on species obviously). In my experience with 3 ponds on 100 acres, riparian barriers are a good thing. But if they are interfering with access to fishing, then selectively cutting back access portals makes sense.
This brings up the question of herbicides for the control of riparian plants. No matter what formulation is used, using it introduces toxins to the water column, and that will have negative consequences for pond life. Selective removal with a backhoe or periodic cut back with the brushcutter seem to be the best solutions in my case and may work for you. Admittedly, I do have a backhoe attachment for my tractor, so that is easy for me to say. Even so, it seems to me that as land stewards we have a bit of an obligation to ensure all our land management decisions enhance the ecosystems we are looking after and that we pass them on to the next generation in better condition than we found them. Not sure the liberal application of 24-D at the waterline fits that criteria. Just a thought and no doubt a controversial one, for which death threats will seem the only reasonable response to many.
 

EddieWalker

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Several, all used and abused.
... for which death threats will seem the only reasonable response to many.
No death threats from me, even though I disagree.

By leaving those areas to grow wild, you are creating an un natural habitat compared to what would be growing there if humans had never been part of the equation. Most of our habitat has been modified to the point that it's very hard to comprehend what it was like 500 years ago.

One of the biggest misunderstandings is that super thick forests and understory are not natural!!! Mother Nature cleans out the understory with fires. She chokes it out with old growth trees. The same with pasture and prairie land.

For me, the biggest issue with plants growing along the shore of a pond is how thick it can get with snakes. Water moccasins love it!!!!!
 

bluecanoebrewer

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mahindra
I don't want to come off as a tree hugger here, but [...] Just a thought and no doubt a controversial one, for which death threats will seem the only reasonable response to many.
I hope one of your trees die.

...maybe an invasive species that you've been having trouble getting rid of.
Dang brother, what kind of forums are you used to? Death threats? geez.

Those are good points to bring up that haven't been yet. Except for maybe that one reply about the copper sulphate (?) in the now forever deadly crystal clear pond.
Sometimes we get pretty frustrated and just want the thing magically gone, and if not used smartly, chemicals are an easy quick fix with some bad consequences we don't find out about.
 

the old grind

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Just right for trees too well rooted to be grubbed (3"-4" dia here, some smaller willows) or that would disrupt banks to much to dig out with the BH.
 

Creamer

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NE Indiana
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I have an M18 Milwaukee Pole saw and a Stihl MS110 brush cutter, Makes good paths for the tractor and getting around the larger dead trees to take them out.
Tractor with toothbar to rip up honeysuckle and other woody brush by the roots. Backhoe if needed for the bigger stumps.
I try not to spray much except the stiltgrass which just starting taking over any disturbed soil and open space in the area.
Sorry but my tractors clear their own paths or I wouldn't have them.
 

Creamer

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I don't want to come off as a tree hugger here, but a few things come to mind. First, a riparian barrier between field and water encourages beneficial insects and birdlife, which in turn enhance the pond life. Fish have some shade to hide in, as do the amphibians they feed on (depending on species obviously). In my experience with 3 ponds on 100 acres, riparian barriers are a good thing. But if they are interfering with access to fishing, then selectively cutting back access portals makes sense.
This brings up the question of herbicides for the control of riparian plants. No matter what formulation is used, using it introduces toxins to the water column, and that will have negative consequences for pond life. Selective removal with a backhoe or periodic cut back with the brushcutter seem to be the best solutions in my case and may work for you. Admittedly, I do have a backhoe attachment for my tractor, so that is easy for me to say. Even so, it seems to me that as land stewards we have a bit of an obligation to ensure all our land management decisions enhance the ecosystems we are looking after and that we pass them on to the next generation in better condition than we found them. Not sure the liberal application of 24-D at the waterline fits that criteria. Just a thought and no doubt a controversial one, for which death threats will seem the only reasonable response to many.
When I first bought my place I asked the County Extension Agent for suggestions to clean up the edge and reduce the weed growth in the lake. His only suggestion was about 2 gallons of 2,4-D aqua per acre for the lake and 2,4-D and some other chemicals for the edge. All I am thinking is that there was no way I was swimming or eating fish out a lake with that much 2,4-D in it. So we got sterilized grass carp for the lake itself and I cleaned up the edge of about 1/4 of the perimeter which is about 3/8 of a mile. I tried string trimmers, bush hogs, and various other techniques including manual cutting and decided I did not have enough time for that tom foolery.

The other thing I really like about the sickle bar mower for this is the nice clean even look it leaves and it extends out into the lake and cuts underwater leaving a very clean pond edge. You do not want to hit he water with any type of rotary mower. Take a look at this video I made a few years back.
 
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Creamer

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Can you post photos of the tree's your sickle mower has cut?? Some of us are skeptical. :unsure:
I understand the skepticism as I had it as well. If you read the description of the mower you will notice it takes a certain type of guard and section - this is called experience. I also specified that I cut off up to 3" cottonwood or willow but I wouldn't take it into a 3" hard maple or oak - I have cut off 2" diameter saplings of these hardwoods though. My mower is a NH 455 trailer type. I did not want a semi-mounted with a bunch more weight hanging off the low side of the tractor - the mower balances itself. I also cut with the loader off - partially because I use the same hydraulics and partially because that front end weight is less stable on the front axle.

I like the sickle bar because it does it does reach out and I do not have to get close to the pond edge. I will try to find a some trees I have cut with the sickle bar but it has been a few years. maybe I will go cut a few because it is about time I cleaned up some field edges.

Here is a video I made a few years ago of trimming some of the pond edge. You can see the how the cutter bar floats with the contour and there are some small saplings that are getting cut. You can see how evenly it lays the material down. You will notice that mine is not a pitman stick model which I would not recommend.
 
 
 
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