Saplings and brush around pond banks. Suggestions?

homesteader13

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Mine is on a FEL for the Summer. (y) Pulled half a dozen olives from shore last weekend and tossed 'em on the fire.
It has quickly become one of my favorite implements out of a dozen or so I've got.
I can use it to move small boulders without having to put the rock grapple on as well.
 

Smokeydog

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Danuser Intimdator makes easy work of olive, privet and rose. Willows have root systems larger than their crown. Tend to take a bit of the shoreline with them. Roots break pretty easy. Once clear the cutter of your choice will maintain.
 

Creamer

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Old school sickle mowers clog up fast with bullrushes and saplings. I will sell you my old school sickle mower if you want to try it for yourself. I don't use it because I waste more time unclogging it than cutting stuff.

I'd buy an offset flail mower.
I strongly recommend a sickle bar mower. I use it all the time for pond edges and keeping saplings back along treelines. I have cut cottonwood saplings up to 3" (15 ft tall or so) with it but you have to slow down and give it time to chew thru whereas 1-1.5 inch you can just mow. It does a nice job of reaching out under the water and cutting off the vegetation below the waterline leaving a nice very smooth edge. I maintain about a 1/4 mile of pond edge and I sure as HE__ am not going to do it with handheld weed wacker or brush cutter - tried that and am never going back. Once you get it cleared the sickle bar mower does a nice maintenance job as well. Some points I need to note though:

  • Do not use the swather type guard on sickle bar mower for cutting saplings - they are not tough enough and you break the tops off. If you are not sure what i mean the swather type guard is a double guard that is slimmer and does not have a ledger plate under the sickle. The old style single guards with the serrated ledger plate are necessary.

  • Use serrated sickle sections which have the teeth to chew thru the woody material.

  • Use a stump killer like Tordon within 15 minutes of cutting the stumps. I use the squeeze bottle that I can buy at a Farm and Fleet for $14 a quart and lasts me 5-10 years.

  • Cut the stumps short so you do not have to mess with them again, i.e. lower your cutter bar for the cleanout and then raise it 1/2" or more for your normal cutting so you only cut them once.
I also use my sickle bar mower in the verticle position to cut back shrubs and bushes along my driveway. Note: You need to have a non-pitman stick type sickle bar mower for this.

I do not like rotary - either horizontal or vertical - mowers for along water because usually you are on a pond bank and when those blades hit the water you are in for a ride. Been there, done that as well.

I do find that I need to spray some willows as just cutting them off will not kill them but 2,4-D will with a couple of spot sprays. Also, I can cut them off above the water level and spot Tordon on them and then come back later and cut them off below the water.
 

Creamer

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View attachment 699710
Danuser Intimdator makes easy work of olive, privet and rose. Willows have root systems larger than their crown. Tend to take a bit of the shoreline with them. Roots break pretty easy. Once clear the cutter of your choice will maintain.
Doesn't that tear up the pond bank and allow erosion of edge?
 

lman

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I remember when I was a kid, we used a sickle mower to cut hay and if a stick got in the cutterbar, the pitman would break. I'm sure new sickle mowers are better than one built 70 years ago, but I wouldn't try to cut small trees with a sickle mower.
 

Hay Dude

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Depending on how steep, Pond edges are tricky. There are less options for “escape” should you get too close. Running a tractor close to the edge can result in disaster. You also have to watch for ruts and soft areas where you can get tippy fast.
My dad put a small tractor in the pond trying to get too close 40 years ago. Luckily everything was ok, but scary moments.
Make sure your equipment is insured and don’t get “greedy” and get too close. If it’s a steep slope, cut by hand with brush cutter. If it’s a gentle slope, maybe tractor. I would not wear a seat belt for this task....
 

Smokeydog

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Doesn't that tear up the pond bank and allow erosion of edge?

My point about willows. You have to be judicial when pulling trees. Cut and kill sometimes the best option. Big advantage with the Intimdator is the ability to excavate and break/cut roots prior to pulling trees leaves less ground disturbance. Made to back drag filling the hole. Expands the ability of low hp tractors.

Just one of many options.
 

oosik

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Hay Dude - just picked up on your question - RE: cliff diving. Both side of the lake have high cliffs. The ends shallow out. Anywhere along the cliffs, on either side - you jump - hit the water - it will be at least 40 feet deep. My son's favorite spot - the big cliff - diagonal across the lake - down at the far end. Use to drive my wife crazy.
 

oosik

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Smokydog - looks like your tractor is trying camouflage. How has the Intimidator been working for you. Went to local dealer web site to see how it works. If you don't mind - what was the cost? Thanks - Oosik.
 

Gord Baker

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Carlisle Ontario
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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.
ROUNDUP™
 
 
 
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