Safest way to remove old shrubs

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  #1  
Old 08-09-02, 10:17 PM
CrystalRambler
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Question Safest way to remove old shrubs

What's the safest/best way to remove old shrubs?
Truck with chain? best way secure chain to shrub?
Truck with tow strap? best knot to use?
Truck external cable hoist?
Truck with rope? What kind? best knot to use?

My truck is 4WD and capable of towing up to 4500 lbs.

Thanks - Bob
 
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  #2  
Old 08-10-02, 04:12 AM
howiek's Avatar
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Location: Acton, Ontario, Canada - Zone 6b
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Hello Bob

You don't say what or how big the shrubs (more specifically, the roots) are, but by your post, if you need a winch or truck to pull them, you're getting pretty serious...

If you want to do the removal all by machine, better to use an excavator of some sort (backhoe, etc) than by pulling. (...Just my opinion, but safety is more important than saving a few minutes labour...)

I've found that many shrubs or small trees can be coaxed loose using a spade and pickaxe before doing the final pull with heavy equipment. That way, it's a lot safer with less chance of chain or rope whip-back if there is a break or loss of grip. I generally will wrap a chain around the base of the shrub so it is cinched by friction (a few wraps of the chain with one of the inner wraps held by an outer one) and will slip rather than snap if there isn't enough grab. Cinching will often be easier to remove than a knot or even a hook-on-link after the plant is pulled also. A winch or pulley gives better control than jerking out with a 4X4. You want to be able to stop pulling IMMEDIATELY if there is a problem, and communication between a truck operator and the person controlling the chain is not always that quick... DO NOT use the cinch method if you are going to use hard short burst pulls - it won't hold and will likely snap back.

One bit of advance legwork you should do... (if you already haven't thought of it...): Be sure to check that there aren't any underground services or wires in the immediate area if you are in an urban setting - too easy to 'uproot' them, too when you resort to brute force to pull roots rather than dig them out.

Hope others will share their experience here - this is only what I've found to work best, and as I said before, I am very reluctant to try pulling a plant out without first digging around it to loosen

Good Luck

Howie
 
  #3  
Old 08-10-02, 01:13 PM
CrystalRambler
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Safest way to remove old shrubs

Thanks, Howie,

I want safety to be first. I'll do some digging first - good point about the services, although I know electric, phone, & cable are all above ground out back. My only concern is the gas main.

Great advice! This bush newbie wants to get it right!

Bob,

Crystal, MN
 
  #4  
Old 08-10-02, 07:28 PM
CrystalRambler
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Update on shrub removal attempt

Since I had a tow strap, but no chain and an unsafe come-along, I made one loop with the tow strap around all the branches (?) coming out of the ground, and adjusted the length of the ends equi-distant to my truck's hitch. I secured the loops on the ends of the tow strap over and around the inverted hitch, and then over (under) the ball.

I put the truck in 4Lo Lock, let it idle the ground loose a little, shut the truck off (took tension off the strap, too), used a spade to pry up roots & dirt, then re-started the truck. After tensioning the tow strap in idle, I barely gave it gas and my wife said "OK, your're out!"

I've got two or three more to remove, then I can start trimming the rest - another day!
 
  #5  
Old 08-11-02, 02:15 AM
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Location: Acton, Ontario, Canada - Zone 6b
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Hi Bob

Hoping that what you're wife said wasn't in the baseball context and that you were successful

Best when you can work with what you have and make it work - especially when you can do it safely!

Good show!!

Howie
 
  #6  
Old 08-11-02, 08:11 PM
CrystalRambler
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Hey, Howie,

I was glad it worked out safely as well as simply. I started with the premise that the roots were shallow. I was prepared to stop the attempt if the the strap started straining, the wheels started spinning, or the loop around the branches started slipping.

I'm very safety conscious - i am just glad it worked out as quick and easy as it did.

Thanks again,

Bob
 
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