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Clearing mesquite?

Discussion in 'Skid Steers' started by North Texan, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. North Texan

    North Texan Well-Known Member

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    Anyone here use a skid steer for grubbing mesquite? If so, what size machine are you using and what size brush can you handle?
     
  2. Paw Paws Toy

    Paw Paws Toy Member

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    I have 1994 Mustang 940 skid steer that I have been using since 2001 to clear mesquite. It works well in certain soils and moisture levels. I grub small mesquites(less than 1 1/2" diameter) and large ones. The ones in between are the problem-not enough weight or power.
     
  3. North Texan

    North Texan Well-Known Member

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    WHen you say large ones, how large are you talking?

    Some of my mesquites are single-stem, but most are multi-stemmed from re-sprouting after failed control attempts with chemicals. Mostly under 6' in canopy height.
     
  4. Paw Paws Toy

    Paw Paws Toy Member

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    The large mesquites are trees from 6" to2' in diameter. You must have fairly moist soil to grub any mesquites. In the hill country where my farm is, the mesquites' roots are long and grow out in all directions around the tree up to about 2' deep. Usually I reach up as high as I need to and test the tree to see if I can make some roots buckle and to see if the tree has enough movement. You will know quickly whether or not the tree will be fairly easy to dig. I dig all around the tree with my grubber and pull up or break all the roots that I can. Then I reach up as high as I need to and start pushing the tree until it starts laying over. If you can get the tree to lay over somewhat, it will expose more roots. I will post some pictures of my grubber and modifications that I have made to it if I can figure out how to post them.
     
  5. willie59

    willie59 Super Moderator

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    You have to have three posts in the books. Once you've done that, you'll have access to all the features of the forum. ;)
     
  6. Paw Paws Toy

    Paw Paws Toy Member

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    I cannot help you with sprouts. I have some sprouts where I have broken off a tree at or below ground level. You will continue to have sprouts until you are able to dig up the broken off stump. If you keep working around the stump getting all the roots that you can, then most stumps will eventually come up if they are not too big. I try to dig up little mesquites and work to keep them down before they get too big. You don't want to cut the small mesquites in two. Dig up the whole mesquite-root and all. I will send a picture of my set up when I am able to post it.
     
  7. Paw Paws Toy

    Paw Paws Toy Member

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    I think I have figured out the picture attaching feature now. I will send a picture of the grubber in its original form. It will be shown on my Mustang 940. The grubber was made out of two elevator weights from a junk yard. One weight was split in two and makes up the vertical pieces. The weights were about 10" x about 37" x 1.25". I then mounted the other weight across the vertical pieces for strength, extra weight, and as a surface to push on larger mesquite trees. The vertical pieces are 16" from outside to outside. If I were to make this grubber over, I would have made it no more than 12" from outside to outside. It would not take as much power to operate. I used 3/4" plate across the bottom and then welded a piece of a cedar grinder blade backwards to it. You don't want a sharp blade because it will cut the mesquite (small ones) in two. The blade that I used will catch the mesquite and pull it out if you can maintain contact with the mesquite. Some people made a similar attachment but they have used a v-shaped cutter blade. I don't want to cut the mesquite in two. I want to pull it up and out of the ground.
    I have added to my original grubber giving it more weight and reach.
     

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  8. North Texan

    North Texan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the pics and information. I was thinking about trying something like that. I had also seen the v-blade designs, but was thinking more along the lines of something like this, which is what similar to what I have on the dozer, only smaller for a smaller machine.
     
  9. Paw Paws Toy

    Paw Paws Toy Member

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    I got my idea from seeing one hanging on a dozer years ago.
     
  10. Paw Paws Toy

    Paw Paws Toy Member

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    Just got back from the Texas Hill Country. Hot and dry. This is the modification that I made to my original grubber several years ago. It worked well with my Mustang 940. I tried it this weekend with my new Bobcat S175 and it really works good. Of course, I am sure that it would work even better if we had some two inch rains to soften the soil. The picture with the mesquite was taken back in April when we had some of those good rains. The reason for a modification was because I could not get up next to fences to grub mesquites, prickly pear, or turkey pear. I would have to tilt the original grubber forward to take the ground and this would cause me to get tangled up with the fence. I can tilt the forks up and use the original grubber or grub with extra reach. The extra weight up front helps when you are grubbing up hill.
     

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  11. North Texan

    North Texan Well-Known Member

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    I'd settle for an inch of rain. I've not gotten much at all, and not hardly 10 miles from here as the crow flies, some folks got 5" in one rain.

    I'm not sure what they are a payin' their preacher, but........:beatsme
     
  12. Paw Paws Toy

    Paw Paws Toy Member

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    North Texan,

    What kind of soil are your mesquites in? Are they large trees, small, or a combination of?
     
  13. Gr8ride

    Gr8ride Member

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    I never thought of using the forks like that.
    Looks like it works pretty good!
     
  14. North Texan

    North Texan Well-Known Member

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    Depends. Much is fine sandy loam. Some is clay. A few places are sand. Some are very shallow, rocky soils, but I don't worry so much about them.

    The trees would be small. Most with stems 2" or less in diameter.
     
  15. Paw Paws Toy

    Paw Paws Toy Member

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    North Texan,

    Do you have a skid steer?

    I bet you can grub those mesquites with one. It will probably take longer and you will have to dig around the stump to sever all possible roots. One good thing about those sprouts, they will identify those stubborn stumps that you need to keep working on. They will eventually give up and you will get them out when the soil conditions are right. I have some that I work each time I make my rounds grubbing the new mesquites that have come up.

    I am assuming that you are planning to do this grubbing on your place and not for hire. I have only done work on my places. I am trying to get all the new mesquites and eventually get most of my large ones.

    We had an inch of rain last week but with this heat and my schedule I won't be able to get down and grub any mesquites.
     
  16. euclid

    euclid Senior Member

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    I grew up in the Panahandle and I can tell you that you need to be mindful of those underground wasp nest sometimes around mesquite trees. Personal experience with a D-5 open cab and they had my butt moving off the cab and it took a few hours to get the dozer moved with a loader and get the nest covered.
     
  17. RocksnRoses

    RocksnRoses Senior Member

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    I have been following this thread and although I have no idea what mesquite looks like, apart from the pictures here, it does appear to cause problems similar to our boxthorn. A local chap here came up with an idea for pulling boxthorns and I was wondering if it could be applied to your mesquite. Here is a link, where he appeared on a local inventors programme.

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/newinventors/txt/s1597455.htm

    Rn'R.
     
  18. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

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    Interesting to hear mesquite is like a weed down there, I wish you could ship what you collect up to me!! A plastic bag full of mesquite chips can cost $4 to $5 for BBQ use! I've always assumed it was a somewhat rare wood.
     
  19. 575Rancher

    575Rancher Member

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    Good Lord no......you can get a truck load the asking if you'll pick it up. Its a miserable pest of a plant that spreads and takes over vast areas of land choking out the grass. Its only redeeming quality is in a smoker.
     
  20. North Texan

    North Texan Well-Known Member

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    Not right now. I have rented some for other jobs, just never grubbed a mesquite with one.

    I'm thinking the same thing. However, my dad disagrees. Thus, no skid steer at the current time.

    I've been knocking some of them out with a grubbing hoe. It works for the house pasture, but it would be two full time jobs trying to clear all of the pastures. That is why I have been spot spraying. The trouble with spot spraying is I need to be running a combine or a tractor at the same time I need to be spraying. From about October to March, the only thing the farmland needs is rain.

    Correct. Between this year and next, I will be finishing up the aerial spraying for mesquites on everything. The prickly pear have all been sprayed, and follow-up treatment will start next year. The large mesquites that are left, I plan to grub with a JD 750 dozer. For anything very large, I'll use that.

    I had .6" on July 5th. Didn't fill the tanks, but it did melt the clods and moisten the soil enough maybe the plow will take to the ground this time around. It doesn't take it long to get dry and hard.