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Clearing Land in Idaho

Discussion in 'Demolition' started by IdahoFishRancher, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. IdahoFishRancher

    IdahoFishRancher Member

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    Hello everyone, new to this forum. I have a question about clearing land at my ranch in Idaho.

    I just put an old iron truss bridge (1902) across the river and I know want to clear out some of the other side. It's cottonwoods and the soil is really rocky. I can remove the trees with my excavator but what is the best way to clear the land. It's really rocky and my fear is I will not be able to smooth it out to seed native grasses.

    I have an old 1979 CAT D3 for a dozer. I have a CAT 308 for an excavator. I also have a new CAT 299D2 HXP but no attachments yet. Also in my group is an older CAT 420E.

    Would appreciate some advice. Thanks. IMAG1407.jpg Trout Haven (10-2015) 3.jpg IMAG1400.jpg
     
  2. Planedriver

    Planedriver Well-Known Member

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    Are you planning to try to smooth out the gravel I see in the pix or are there large rocks/boulders not pictured? What is the plan for the land after the grass is planted? Nice looking piece of land!
     
  3. IdahoFishRancher

    IdahoFishRancher Member

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    Yes Planedriver, I want to open the area up and smooth it out in order to plant native grasses (create a meadow).
     
  4. Planedriver

    Planedriver Well-Known Member

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    You should be able to move any of that gravel with your D3. It's going to take a while but it'll happen. Rock guards would be nice if possible.

    My concern is when you are leveling everything out. Will you have enough topsoil for the seed to germinate, and will your soil structure retain enough water for grass to establish its self?

    I suppose if you plant something like prairie grass who's roots will penetrate 14+ feet you would be OK once it is established.
     
  5. Hobbytime

    Hobbytime Senior Member

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    you could also chip all those trees and after clearing and leveling, spread the wood chips out as a base to help turn into soil as they rot up..
     
    RangerJake72 likes this.
  6. IdahoFishRancher

    IdahoFishRancher Member

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    Well, it's river bottom area and there is dirt mixed into the rocks. We did it on the other side where we dug a pond and channels (see attached photos).

    For the water, i would install an above ground irrigation system and water for a season or two until the native grasses get established. trout haven barn nails 006.jpg trout haven looking east.jpg trout haven looking north.jpg Trout Haven 11-8-2010 (31).jpg
     
  7. IdahoFishRancher

    IdahoFishRancher Member

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    See all those rocks? What piece of equipment would be best to get rid of those, or minimize their impact to the grass surface?
     
  8. Hobbytime

    Hobbytime Senior Member

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    The 2nd and 3rd pic..WOW what a view thats worth a million bucks right there...
     
    BigGreen74 likes this.
  9. Hobbytime

    Hobbytime Senior Member

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    do you have a tractor, try a york rake for the stones up to 8 or 9 inches around and smaller..
     
  10. Planedriver

    Planedriver Well-Known Member

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    Hobbytime is hitting the nail on the head in every post.

    As for the rocks I use a stonebear rock picker. There are other models like in the attached video that would work well. You should be able to rent one from a farm equipment dealer.

     
  11. IdahoFishRancher

    IdahoFishRancher Member

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    Yeap, quite a spot, that is Mount McCaleb in the background, the 2nd highest mountain in Idaho.
    IMAG1384.jpg
     
  12. IdahoFishRancher

    IdahoFishRancher Member

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    Hi Hobbytime, yes, I have a John Deere 4720, I'll look into the york rake. Thank you for the tip.
     
  13. IdahoFishRancher

    IdahoFishRancher Member

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    OMG, this thing is perfect Planedriver, never even knew such a thing existed. I have to call them tomorrow and see about tractor size. The one in the video looks pretty big. I only have a John Deere 4720 (66 HP) so not sure if that's big enough for this attachment.

    Almost might be worth getting a bigger tractor :)
     
  14. Planedriver

    Planedriver Well-Known Member

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    Your tractor will be fine. Don't accept a ground drive or pto operated under any circumstances. Try to be sure the ground is dry before you start.

    As far as that goes shoot me a PM and I'll be happy to give you my experience with several brands over the phone. They even have some pretty cool ones that snap on skid steers!
     
  15. lantraxco

    lantraxco Senior Member

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    Now where will you find a farm jewelry dealer in Idaho? LMAO! :D
     
  16. Hobbytime

    Hobbytime Senior Member

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    I use the york rake at a slight angle and the rocks form a long row as I run the field and then come back around and scoop the piled rock with the loader, some of the rocks are missed and then I will just hand pick them off the ground,,,I like that other rock picker, but you can buy a good york rake for under 1k and own it..and the width run 6 to 8 feet and you dont need much horse power to work it..
     
  17. HoustonLandClearing

    HoustonLandClearing Member

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    Oh boy, and I thought Houston Land Clearing was tough. Looks like everyone here has given you some pretty good direction though, so you should be good to go. Hope it worked out for you and you got the land cleared like you wanted!