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Best way to clear a path into the wood lot ????

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by HDRock, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    I have never cleared a path through the woods like this before, so , any suggestions to get er done quickest, easiest way would be helpful.

    I have recently got permission to cut all the dead stuff out of approximately 2 1/2 acres right next door to my property

    I just need to make small path to get the garden tractor and little trailer through to get in and get the wood out.

    There are saplings and in some places thick brush and thorn bushes .

    Now I don't have access to a bulldozer or bobcat or anything like that , I do have 18 horse garden tractor , and a snow blade I haven't used in a long while , but not sure that is going to do any good for me.

    I have a gas Ryobi trimmer with pole hedge trimmer, pole reciprocating saw ,and a metal brush blade for it, a couple of machetes, and the obvious ,chainsaws hatchets, axes.

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  2. Trickle

    Trickle New Member

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    In Boy Scouts we used to clear trails all the time. We first went through and planned and marked with ribbons a route for the trail, going around big ditches, rocks, big trees, etc. The boys then went through with handsaws or a hand weed wacker (looks like a golf club but with a blade on the end). The adults then came behind with a chainsaw for any larger saplings that we couldn't route around. The stuff you list should be plenty. I found the most important part was to plan the route to make it easy on yourself.
  3. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Machete and a pair of nippers for cutting close to the ground.
  4. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Trimmer with a brush blade would be best IMO...cut the stuff as close to the ground as you can, but don't hit rocks or dirt. That'd be how I did it. I've cleared many trails by hand up on the mountain through thick laurel and rhododendron to get to different hunting stands, it can be quite the job.......
    Shane N and BobUrban like this.
  5. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    x2 on plan your work and work your plan - then go at it with the tools you have available. You will develop a system that works well for you.

    Clean up your work and trail really well so that your neighbor is pleased with your work and can possibly use the trail to walk their dog, etc... Happy neighbors are a good thing and may afford future opportunties from other neighbors depending on your situation.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  6. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Dozer. Doesn't get faster or easier then that.
    nate379, scooby074 and Applesister like this.
  7. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Rent a conveyor system, just an idea ;)
    Redlegs likes this.
  8. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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    Did it the same way in my Troop. :) +1 more vote for planning/marking the route.
    It sounds like you have a lot of "woody plant growth" and a forest with a good deal of understory. It might be worth your time to rent a brush mower? Maybe the landowner wants more - or less- understory cleared. Talk to him about it after you plan the route, make sure he likes it too, and who knows he might offer to share in the rental costs.

    Remeber when you clear limbs for the trail to use good arborist techniques. If your unsure, I found this link..
    http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/pruning_mature.aspx
    it's just a starting place, but there are lots of other tree pruning info sites out there. The point I am trying make is that when a landowner lets me onto his place to harvest trees, I want to be the best steward I can be, and cutting back limbs using proper techniques is a part of that strategy. I am such a cheeser, I will even get my wife bake a little someting for the landowner. Just a thought.
    ScotO likes this.
  9. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Planning it and marking it out is something I didn't think of ,and probably would not have done that, very good advice
    Oh ya got big pair of loppers,and a couple of hand op pruning poles
    I know it's going to be a bit of work but, once I get the dead wood out It will be much easier to get to the 15 or 20 apple trees that most of the fruit just falls on the ground and rots.
    There is a couple of dead apple trees to, ohoo it smells so good:)
  10. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Caterpillar D6
    Pallet Pete, Applesister and Redlegs like this.
  11. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Yes, it would do the job
  12. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Full disclosure: I didn't read your post.
  13. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Ya I think we all read fast and skip things ;) U just read the bold print right, I'll fix that:)
  14. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    My dad and I cleared about 1/2 mile of trail in his woods. First walk the trail and mark trees, branches, etc so you can have a clear line of sight. If you just wing it you'll run into an unforseen road-block that could have easily been avoided. Make sure you can see your markings from a good distance and can line up a couple to ensure you are tracking straight (if that's what you are after).

    From there, it comes down to hard work. Cut out what needs cut out, making sure all stumps are cut flat and not at and angle (angled stumps are very effective at making flat tires). Once you have the big stuff out of the way, trim the branches to make the trail open on the edges. Then you can set your mower deck on the highest setting and mow or use a string trimmer to clear the undergrowth.
  15. charly

    charly Guest

    Since you will probably be cutting lots of saplings close to the ground,, don't over look making good level cuts,, angled cuts will not only risk a tire puncture driving over them but a trip or fall could leave you or your neighbor with a pretty good injury... When I did line clearance angled cuts on the ground or the trees where frowned upon, known as dog ears..
  16. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Without pictures its hard to see the issues. I would put on the snow blade and go at it slowly but surely with the snow blade and any other cutters you have.
  17. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    +1 on cleanup after yourself. After planning your path it is probably the most important thing on another person's property. Good first impressions will help develop long term relations and probably provide you with wood for years to come...

    KaptJaq
  18. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    The best time to get at it is now. When all the undergrowth gets going you wont be able to see the low areas. Look for ferns and avoid those spots. Cattails too. I would opt for clearing brush out instead of cutting trees down. But its more work. When things get going in June you will need to come back and use an herbicide like RoundUp. Brush will grow back even thicker. Dont use your mower to make a path where you cut saplings. Thats a great way to bend a spindle.
    A chipper would be handy and then just leave the chips on your trail.
    You said you dont have access to this stuff but the best tool is a mini excavator with a thumb attachment and rubber tracks and a landscaping blade. They usually rent for 700.00 week. A Caterpillar 302. They are very user friendly.
  19. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    About the brush blade , it is a 4 wing type blade, and fact is I never used it, so will it cut saplings ? how big ?
    I see other types of blades available, are they better ?
    I'll get some pics so ya all can get a idea

    I'm not lookin to make a straight trail, just to snake in through and cut as little as possible.
    Good point on the pointy stuff, but there a good chance I may get a flat with all the thorns out there, got some on the lil trailer before, never had tractor out there
  20. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    The 4" blade will be fine on saplings several inches in diameter. You may want to look into the saw blade style rather than a 4 blade cutter. The more teeth on the blade, the smoother cutting it will be (easier to manage).
  21. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    I have a chipper don't use it any more, don't know why I bought it, I dump leaves in the woods and burn any sticks or brush, why would I want to use it out there?

    This , rent for 700.00 week, is not gonna happen
  22. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    That's what I was thinking, it takes a 8" blade , I See they have carbide blades also, for durability
    ScotO likes this.
  23. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Check with the land-owner...they might actually appreciate a nice straight trail. A straight trail is easier to widen out in the future...and much easier to navigate with a trailer. If someone was cutting a trail on my land, I would want it to be as usable as possible without taking out large trees. You could cut out all the brush you want.

    Better yet, mark the trail and walk it with the land-owner before you cut the first twig. Best to get their buy-in on what you are doing. You can't un-cut / un-clear a trail.
    nate379 likes this.
  24. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    That's why I'm asking now , to get to it now, before all the foliage obscures my view , and makes things more difficult
    ScotO likes this.
  25. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    I don't have permission to take out bigger live trees, any way

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