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I am going to clear out a couple 1 acre areas for food plots this spring. I have found the best areas for them, with the least amount of big trees. Mostly 6-8 inch maples, probably 25-50 or so in each area. Since I want to make it into a food plot, I would like to get rid of the stumps as well. I plan on leaving all pines, oaks, and large trees standing, and just take any 8 inch or less trees. What is the best way to do this?

 

I was thinking of cutting them off about 4 foot tall, then using my truck to try to yank them out of the ground. Has anyone done that before? Will that work? There will be about 75 that I will need to take out to open the areas up, so burning, or chemical isnt a realistic option. I could rent a stump grinder, but that seems like a lot of work. If needed I can use a buddies skid loader, but it would consist of hauling it 450 miles round trip with a F150, that would be a work out for my truck. I havent cut any of the trees down yet, but I will be doing that in a few weeks, once some of the snow melts, and I can drive back there.

 

Thoughts? What have you done? I dont have access to a bulldozer, nor do I want to rent one.

Edited by Scott K
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I think a stump grinder would be a lot less work than trying to pull each stump out with your truck or bringing in a skid loader.

A stump grinder makes real short work of a stump that size. Just cut the tree as low as possible and you are looking at only a minute or two to grind the rest of the stump below grade. You'll also be left with only wood chips versus having all of those 4 foot tall stumps laying around once you pull them out.

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Pulling stumps out with your truck is going to be a lot harder on it than hauling a skidloader IMHO.

Personally, I'd cut the stumps as low to the ground as you can and treat each with Triclopyr to prevent regrowth. Let 'em rot away on their own. If you're thinking about plowing/disking/tilling these plots then the roots have to go. A dozer and a rootrake would be the best option then. If you can be happy with spraying, broadcasting, and packing your seeds (small seeded stuff like winter rye, clover, brassicas) then just cut the stumps at ground level, treat...and done. I've got a number of plots where I've done just that.

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I plan to disc the soil up, it is kinda a grassy area now, until the ferns take over. I was hoping to clear them all out, and have one nice cleared area. I do plan on just brassicas, and rye/wheat this year, but that doesnt mean I will stick with that every year.

As for dealing with 4 foot tall stumps, once, if they came out of the ground, I would cut them down to the root, and use the wood from it, as for the stumps themselves, they would go into a big fire pile for a bonfire, along with the brush from the tree tops. I know this wont be an easy task, anyway I do it, but I am hoping in the end, it will make my hunting land a better area for deer. I have been slowly trying to improve, and add small 50 foot square spots in the woods prior to this year, but, I thought I would go big this year. I guess what I will do is cut them down, and trying pulling them out, if that doesnt work, then I will rent a stump grinder. I figure I have until the beginning of August to put the seed in, and prep it. I was hoping someone would tell me they had pulled stumps out that way in the past, and it is easy, or give me some other great idea, although, I do like JJ's idea, "Dyn o Mite"!

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If you want a plot where you can eventually work the soil to plant corn/beans/other large seeded plants...then I'd hire a dozer with a root rake and do it right the first time. Just my $.02

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I think that too many of you are leaving out the fun factor of hooking up tree stumps to your truck and ripping them out of the ground. I wouldn't do it with my wife's truck though.

I'd like to see the video of that taking place. I envision large ruts in the ground being created and next to no tree stump movement

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I hate to be Debbie Downer, but I think the potential damage to your truck by trying to rip out 75 stumps could be substantial. A tree's roots, even on a younger 6"-8" diameter tree, go much deeper and have more stubborn fingers than you might think... If 5 stumps is the over/under mark before you get a stump grinder or rent a dozer due to frustration or equipment failure, I will take the under...

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I'm gonna vote for an excavator.

With a good operator you probably wouldn't even have to cut down the trees first. They actually prefer the weight up high to help them over, then they can pull out the root ball still attached to the tree.

With any root or stump, even after grinding, you're going to be running into that thing until it rots away, which could take a long time.

Take a look at this video at 2:30. The operator knocks over a tree and grabs with the root ball attached and tosses it in the pile.

Of course, hiring someone costs money, which isn't fun, but it's going to be quite the task with no heavy equipment.

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A benefit of using heavy equipment for clearing trees/stumps is that you can have the operator pile the debris in a way that dictates deer usage/travel/access/whatever to the plot(s). You can then set up your stands to take advantage of those travel lanes. It takes a bit of planning and requires good communication with the operator (unless you are the operator anyway)...but its well worth it.

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An 8" maple is going to come out hard, regardless of how high you cut it off.

If you cut the trees first and pile and burn the slash, it wouldn't be a big job to have a backhoe come in and dig out the stumps. You will need to get the roots out anyway if you're going to work the ground for a seedplot.

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Agree with lightning, we use a bobcat to dig around the tree then use the weight of the tree and just push it over. You can take down "alot" of trees in a day, large ones too.gt

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I cant get big equipment in there, or down my road. I may just take the skid loader with me. I could see how it would help having an un cut tree with the top weight to topple it.

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In all seriousness. Many people have died when the cable/chain/strap breaks trying to pull things out. If you do attempt it, be very careful. When half of a broken strap or chain comes through your back window at 100mph, bad results are likely.

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