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Best tool to clear briars

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  • Best tool to clear briars

    I live in a swamp. I have large (3' wide) swaths of briars--thick briars-- that I need to clear. The chain saw is over kill, but the lawn mower cannot get to the spots and the weed whacker is not up to the job. What do you use for this?

  • #2
    Goats...
    Let me apologize in advance.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
      Goats...
      Alas, the area is behind my fence with nothing but swamp on the other side. No farmers in my area would want to risk their goats there. Though I suspect that my husband would love to get one or two of our own, I am not up for goat ownership.

      Comment


      • #4
        goats can be rented ...just internet search using the topic "rent a goat"

        Comment


        • #5
          I like long handled loppers for stuff like this, but if you want something powered, there are brush cutters that you carry around--they're like weed whackers, but with a circular saw blade instead of string--or brush cutters that you walk behind, that are like big, tough mowers. You can easily rent the latter at your local power equipment rental place, but you might have to buy the former.

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          • #6
            Your briars sounds like they might be too large for my technique but I’ve been using a long handled, reciprocating blade hedge trimmer attachment with my Stihl Kombi to clear a very established bramble patch. I’m working my way through an 180 foot long swath of 12 foot high, storybook-worthy blackberries with various sizes of Hawthorn briar patches thrown in for some added fun. The Stihl trimmer handles most of the smaller woody briars I’ve encountered with no complaint but I still need to use loppers on the larger diameter plants. I suspect I could ram it through more than I do but I don’t want to destroy the tool. Overall, the trimmer head has worked quite well on a large percentage of the plants and it’s been much faster than hand clearing. I also tried a smallish pole chain saw attachment but in the end the trimmer head was more effective for my mix of briars.

            Good luck OP. It’s not a fun project.

            Comment


            • #7
              Try this resource:

              https://homeguides.sfgate.com/kill-o...ar-103665.html

              G.
              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

              Comment


              • #8
                It's a two person technique … Electric Hedge clippers and a tooth rake. One person pulls the briars over, while the other clips the briars at the ground. Then the rake person pulls the severed briars away. This avoids the danger of a chainsaw getting caught and kicking back or slashing one's leg. (Of course, a long extension cord or generator is required for the clipper.)

                The best alternative … A tractor mounted bush hog. Clears the path in minutes
                Equus makus brokus but happy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Torch. I use it mostly on the nasty sand burrs, but have used it on briar. Talk about satisfaction. The best part? No need to pick up the prickly thing. I've tried the rent the goat thing but cannot find anyone at my area....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a gas powered 22 inch weed eater on wheels. (Sort of like that 'brush cutter' on the late night infomercials.) A serious machine that I use to chop through young, native privet. It is a beast and much up to the task. The 'string' is slightly expensive, but I don't use it that often so it doesn't really matter. See if any of your neighbors have one to borrow. If you need it often, it is well worth the 300$ or so.

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                    • #11
                      The swamp is probably really soupy right now. You probably can’t back a bush hog in there without sinking in the swamp?

                      Does it ever dry out enough to where you could back a bush hog in there? That’s what we have done.

                      or else rent one of those weed eaters on wheels that @allons-y mentioned

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                      • #12
                        Great suggestions. Solution must be hand held. We were required to build a berm (which is about 4' high dirt and rock between the swamp and the paddock. We used to be able to walk between the berm and the fence, but the briars have taken over. No way to get a mower or anything on wheels in there.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IFG View Post
                          Great suggestions. Solution must be hand held. We were required to build a berm (which is about 4' high dirt and rock between the swamp and the paddock. We used to be able to walk between the berm and the fence, but the briars have taken over. No way to get a mower or anything on wheels in there.
                          "Better Things For Better Living...Through Chemistry."

                          You will do less environmental damage with spray than you will with any sort of powered machinery.

                          After you get rid of the briers then put down something for ground cover that is suitable for your climate. That will at least inhibit regrowth.

                          G.
                          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by IFG View Post

                            Alas, the area is behind my fence with nothing but swamp on the other side. .
                            so, if its in an area not used why is there a need to remove this wildlife habitat?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm not sure exactly what a "briar" is, but I do a lot of bush clearing, all sorts of crap that grows around here. If dry and level, I've been using the tractor, with the bucket as a blade at ground level, and just drive forward in low range This is my current favourate option, and creates a wall of detritus at the edge of your cleared area, which acts as a barrier in itself, or can be burned as is. But if you are "wet" it may not be your best bet. I use the long handled loppers a lot too, whack it at ground level, pile it and burn it. The other option is the electric (battery powered) chain saw, which is easier to handle than a gas powered one, lighter to handle. Using it close to the ground keeps things from whipping around much. "Happy land clearing"!
                              www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by clanter View Post

                                so, if its in an area not used why is there a need to remove this wildlife habitat?
                                Because briars are annoying and invasive? I'm sure there are some better options for erosion control and wildlife habitat. We spend a fortune in the forest preserves here trying to get rid of this crap. It will choke anything out.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I've got a Stihl too and have a couple different blades for heavy brush and even trees up to 2" in diameter. It becomes downright satisfying. And, you can buy other attachments like a long chainsaw, weed eater, etc. Wear a pair of chinks to keep you from the pickers and jam with headphones (3M Worktunes) to protect your hearing all while enjoying your favorite workout playlist.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post

                                    Because briars are annoying and invasive? I'm sure there are some better options for erosion control and wildlife habitat. We spend a fortune in the forest preserves here trying to get rid of this crap. It will choke anything out.
                                    So natural nature is not good? Euell Gibbons lied to us.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by clanter View Post

                                      So natural nature is not good? Euell Gibbons lied to us.
                                      Guessing we're talking invasive non natives, so it's not really "natural" nature

                                      Around here it's barberry, which is tick heaven. Yay Lyme disease! PITA to remove but sooooooo satisfying.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Simkie View Post

                                        Guessing we're talking invasive non natives, so it's not really "natural" nature

                                        Around here it's barberry, which is tick heaven. Yay Lyme disease! PITA to remove but sooooooo satisfying.
                                        yes guessing is what is occurring, but might need chickens as they eat ticks

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