how would you clear trees for a pasture?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by marisal, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. marisal

    marisal Well-Known Member

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    The house we are buying has 30 acres, all woods. I will need pasture for pigs, and goats eventually, about an acre for gardens....How should I go about getting the trees and stumps out?

    The trees are not to big, about 10 in diameter? Maybe smaller..I don't know what kind of trees they are...We can use use all the wood for the woodstove, so we'll use that, but how would we get the stumps out? I really would want to use the area ASAP, but not have any chemicals used (I've heard of that stuff you put on stumps to make them deteriate faster, I don't think I want that,) We don't have a truck or tractor yet. We can probably rent something, (But what?)

    The ground is clay if that makes a difference.

    Thanks for any and all advice!

    :)
     
  2. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Cut the trees fence it and turn the critters loose for a few months.cut the trees waist high so a dozer can get leverage to knock them out. Have the dozer stack them up and let the critters at them some more. Plant the garden with a 10' high fence to keep the deer out or don't bother planting it.


    mikell
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...............Before you start clearing any tree(s) , You should first determine WHAT species of tree they are . If they are white Pine , someone will PAY YOU to take them out for you and you might want to save some wood for heat , etc . ...fordy... :eek: :)
     
  4. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Hey Mikell,

    What type of fencing are you using for the 10' high stuff? How costly is that?
     
  5. Melissa

    Melissa member

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    My brother rented a stump grinder last week. He brought it here and ground about 10 stumps (huge trees) down in less than an hour. It really ate up the wood. He went below grade a bit and we just smoothed out the dirt over them. It was awesome. He said it was about $100 for 8 hours of use. If you have only small trees it would grind them down very quickly. It is loud, so ear protection is a must, but it was quite simple to operate.
     
  6. Melissa

    Melissa member

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    This would work best for the pasture area, in the garden area it would not work unless you are putting in raised beds.
     
  7. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Yes, very true, you also can not plant another tree where you just had one ground up if you leave the woodchips there. I think your best bet is the bulldozer if you have a lot to do. I really like the idea about letting the animals clear the underbrush for you also, if you have the time and the animals!
     
  8. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    2 rows of cattle fence@ about 120$ for a 330' roll. I havent bought in a few years.

    mikell
     
  9. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    :confused: :confused: Being as they are small trees and you are wanting Goats,Hogs and a Small Garden.Why not just Fence the area in,Fence in your Garden area.Clear off for your Garden with a Chainsaw,then turn the Hogs in there.They will root up the stumps and kill everything.Put the Goats out in the other area,they will love the Browse.Cut your Firewood as needed.The Goats will kill all sprouts.Soon you will have a fairly open woods that you could broadcast Grass Seed,it gets going then you can have some Cattle.

    You can Cross Fence as needed.Bulk of the area will be for the Goats,Hogs don't take that much room,plus they don't mix well with Goats.

    big rockpile
     
  10. Ariel

    Ariel Active Member

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    Just a word of warning on cutting stumps waist high:

    The ex did that several years ago to thin out some pecan trees in the horse pasture. One of my darlings, my favorite to be exact, must have gotten spooked in the night and ran across one of these stumps and cut herself open horribly. It almost killed her. She is fine now and he is the EX.
     
  11. george darby

    george darby Well-Known Member

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    if its pasture fields cut the stump as low as possible to the ground . with moast species they rot out faster than you would think, a dozer is great if you can afford it ...... and often there are small time operators who will work for a reasonable fee ,you can grubb them out if its only a fw in a small area like a garden dig down and cut the roots on one side tye a cable up high for leverage on the oposit side and hook to a truck or tractor and pull....... you can deaden trees like the pionerrs did just cut a ring around it girdling the bark and leave it stand till you need it for wood . i will also state that you should learn some forestry basics and in the pasture area leave the valuable trees stand examples would be walnut and other nut trees nice strait oaks and fruiting trees if you are girdling its a chioce easyer than when you have a dozer in , remove weed trees and open things up a lot not a clear cut often the trees can be worth more as a crop than what you would try to raise take some time and think as you go alonge there are some nice walnut reees here that were not very big 25 years ago when we were clearing hawthorns and honey locust and amure honey suckle trees, not done yet ............... but there is always so much to do
     
  12. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    The quickest and cheapest way is to push them over with a cat. Then have the cat pile them with a “piler” blade or “dozer” blade, if they don't have a piler blade (piler blade puts less dirt in the piles - it has “teeth” at the bottom instead of a flat dozer edge).

    Then use the wood, sell it, or burn it. Then plow or deep disc, depending on your ideas about that.

    Any other manner of getting rid of stumps is silly, dangerous, very time consuming, and expensive.

    However, if you have marketable timber, then you have to listen and deal with them. If it is a good deal to sell the wood, ask them to cut waist high like said before. Then the cat can still push the stumps out economially, instead of fouling around with digging, chewing, blasting, etc, bad, etc.

    Push the trees over, and be done with it. Within one year you can start to crop your land. It will still take two or three years to be in top notch production, because of picking roots, sticks, rocks (if you have 'em - we have none - fortunately).

    On our quarter, a logger had logged about 100 aceres, this year we had a Cat cut off at the ground, the reamining 10 or 12 inch stumps, then cut thru them with a 24 inch braking plow pulled thru some wet spots with double tractor in some bad low areas. This was expensive for us, compared to push-over and brake or disc method. Also with the push over, there are less huge roots to remove from the field - the ones which don't get rolled under by the plow (if you do plow).

    Good luck - push them over.

    Alex

    [​IMG]
    Alex Picking Roots on New Land (55 acres)

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    After Disced

    [​IMG]
    Piler Blade

    [​IMG]
    This year's first Barley Crop almost ready to Cut on new 55 acres.
     
  13. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    check for timber prices... you may be rich.
    my nephew brought me a few truckloads of HUGE log sections... I mean like 18" dia 20" long sections.
    I never gave them much thought till i started spltiing them lately.....

    its all red oak and walnut, and if the trunks were all this nice 8 to 12 feet up (no doubts!) these dips cut dowwn and chopped some super valuable timber.
    but the walnut is a lovely satin color and burns really nice.
    After it was all spilt I thought about slicing the logs up and making some really nice stools and stuff.
    *weep*

    absolutely, check the woods before you cut!
     
  14. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't bother getting a truck or tractor to yank out 10" trees or stumps. It will only hurt the implement or you - it won't get rid of any stumps. Difficult to yank out bigger than 4" with a regular small farm tractor.

    There are 2 ways to go to clear that much land:

    Cut the stumps low, keep them from sprouting every year & they will rot away eventually.

    Or, cut the stumps high, have a cat or excavator come in & knock them out.

    You may be able to sell the wood, but 10" or smaller stuff likely is not too valuable. I'd check into it, but don't be holding your beath. If you can sell it, great - but they will leave you with the stumps anyhow.....

    How fast they rot away, or if the livestock will keep them from sprouting, will depend on the species of trees you have. Also shallow frail roots can be yanked out or pushed over easier, other species have deep tap roots & even the dozer will have trouble... Best to figure out what kind of trees you have to figure out what to do with them.

    You can use a barrel & brush piles to burn out the stumps - long process & probably not allowed & worse than the chemicals for the enviornment - works good for an acre or less, and probably won't burn out deep enough for the garden area....

    Many of the chemical deals are enzymes to break down the wood fiber, but to each their own, if you don't want to use, go with the other ways.

    --->Paul
     
  15. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Just my .02 Guys they say their needing Pasture,but look what they are putting on the property.I've got similar here,if its got Timber there is a reason around here the Land is too steep and erodes fast.The Goats will thin it out,they don't care for just grass.

    Another thing once the trees are gone their gone.

    big rockpile
     
  16. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

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    Don't cut any trees at all unless there are some VERY valuable trees for veneer. Otherwise just get an excavator (best bet) or a good dozer operator in. The ones around here prefer to have the full tree standing so they can use the tree as leverage to pull the stump out, that way it leaves less of a hole than if they can only use the stump. With an excavator the bonus over a dozer is that any decent operator can move the tree out of the way with the bucket then you can go along well behind him and cut the stump off later and have the stumps pushed into a pile after you remove the logs.
     
  17. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    My great grandparents had to clear their 160 acre homestead near Onamia, Minnesota back around the turn of the century. What they did was send my grandfather up a tree with a rope. He climbed as high as he could and swung the rope around the tree. At the end of the rope was a chain. They then pulled the chain around the tree and hitched the other end to a team of oxen. The oxen pulled the trees over...using the tree trunk for leverage! The roots came out of the ground so there was no stumps to deal with.
     
  18. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    I have to agree with Big Rockpile on this one. Fence it in and let the animals do the work. You did say goats and pigs, right? Not cows and horses? Why do more work or spend more money when you don't have to?
     
  19. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

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    Rockpile and one other person had I thought the best ideas. I have lived on our land for over thiry years and have had goats off and on during this time. We have cleared trees as needed for firewood, sold some of the pine timber and even brought in a portable sawmill and thined out some of the pines and made lumber to build many out buildings. We now have dairy goats that love those wooded areas and keep most of the brush eaten up. No bigger than your trees are, I would cut close to the ground and leave the stumps to rot or the young sprouts that sometimes come off a tree stump that is cut to be eaten by the goats. You would be supprised how fast those stumps will rot.
    I would clear my garden and get rid of the stumps, but I can not see coming in and pushing everything over. This can cause major problems in our part of the country. Use the trees as needed.
     
  20. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    If you've got ten or so years your stumps will rot - some what. Our stumps where 12 to 24 innches diameter, they had been cut to within 10 to 12 inches of the surrounding grade. After 8 to 10 years, depending on the area, they were not rotten as you would imagine, a little rot on the outside, solid on the inside.

    You'll fool around with some scruffy pasture for years unless you get them out. If you want or only need a pasture with stumps, then sure, leave the goats in there. If you want crop or fields to harvest then push 'em over.

    Either way will certainly work, time is your choice.

    Alex