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I'm looking at getting a landscape rake to prep a couple of acres for planting.
The field has been cleared of small trees and brush, mowed and sprayed with round-up. Before planting I'd like to rough up the soil and loosen up the thick thatch in it.
My only concern with using a landscape rake is there are numerous small stumps from the small trees. Biggest stump is maybe 6" in dia. Lots of small ones under 1". These stumps are maybe 2-3" above the ground level.
Is a landscape rake going to work in this type of environment or is it just going to get beat to pieces?

Thanks for any words of wisdom.
 

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Much depends on what you have for a tractor. If you want helpful advice, add your equipment to your signature.

Assuming you have a tractor that will pull a landscaping rake, it sounds like you will destroy it. Forget about a dethatcher. You need to start with a scarifier at a minimum, and that won't likely work on a 6" stump without much effort. Once the ground is clear, then go back with a landscaping rake.

Or, SF25 Series Scarifiers | Land Pride :lovetongue:
 

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I am not sure you will destroy the rack. A good rake will take a lot of abuse. I have abused mine and it's still running.

But the stumps will hang up your rack and cause you to dump it's contents. I use my rake on trails in the woods. If I have small stumps I cut them off flush. Keeps the rake from hanging up and me from tripping on them. I carry a cordless sawzall on the tractor, makes quick work cutting them flush. Works great for the 1-2" diameter ones.

This option may not be worth it if you have lots.

M
 

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I agree Chris, he needs to clear the stumps first. My first thought was to just rent a stump grinder for the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have previously spent an afternoon working on the stumps.
Chainsaw cuts them, chains get dull too fast, Cut stump, sharpen saw, rinse and repeat. Too time consuming, I'd be out there for days.
I have cut some of the smaller ones with a lopper, thats oK for small stumps 1" or or so in dia.

I don't need to remove the stumps for seeding.
I'd like to get rid of or at the least make a dent in the thick thatch.
My other choice is to burn the field. Hesitant on that, don't want the fire to get away on me.
Once the thatch is somewhat cleaned up if in the process the soil is lightly scarified I'm OK with that.

What would be the down side of a dethatcher?
I would think it would be more flexible so as to not get caught on the stumps and still scratch up a majority of the thatch.

Oh, and after digging around I find how to add a signature.
Thanks for the thought.
My tractor has enough grunt to pull a rake.
 

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stumps

I have previously spent an afternoon working on the stumps.
Chainsaw cuts them, chains get dull too fast, Cut stump, sharpen saw, rinse and repeat. Too time consuming, I'd be out there for days.
I have cut some of the smaller ones with a lopper, thats oK for small stumps 1" or or so in dia. If you can stand the price, a carbide chain would speed up the process. Another alternative is a saw blade on a good trimmer.

I don't need to remove the stumps for seeding.
I'd like to get rid of or at the least make a dent in the thick thatch.
My other choice is to burn the field. Hesitant on that, don't want the fire to get away on me. Rent/borrow or buy a disk and cut down to bare dirt before burning. If you've not done a prescribed burn, get a professional to do the first one which would be the hottest burn anyway and you can learn the process. Check your insurance policy before starting a burn and make sure you have liability insurance that covers a burn.


Once the thatch is somewhat cleaned up if in the process the soil is lightly scarified I'm OK with that.

What would be the down side of a dethatcher?
I would think it would be more flexible so as to not get caught on the stumps and still scratch up a majority of the thatch.

Oh, and after digging around I find how to add a signature.
Thanks for the thought.
My tractor has enough grunt to pull a rake.
have previously spent an afternoon working on the stumps.
Chainsaw cuts them, chains get dull too fast, Cut stump, sharpen saw, rinse and repeat. Too time consuming, I'd be out there for days.
I have cut some of the smaller ones with a lopper, thats oK for small stumps 1" or or so in dia. If you can stand the price, a carbide chain would speed up the process. Another alternative is a saw blade on a good trimmer.

I don't need to remove the stumps for seeding.
I'd like to get rid of or at the least make a dent in the thick thatch.
My other choice is to burn the field. Hesitant on that, don't want the fire to get away on me. Rent/borrow or buy a disk and cut down to bare dirt before burning. If you've not done a prescribed burn, get a professional to do the first one which would be the hottest burn anyway and you can learn the process. Check your insurance policy before starting a burn and make sure you have liability insurance that covers a burn.


Once the thatch is somewhat cleaned up if in the process the soil is lightly scarified I'm OK with that.

What would be the down side of a dethatcher?
I would think it would be more flexible so as to not get caught on the stumps and still scratch up a majority of the thatch.

Oh, and after digging around I find how to add a signature.
Thanks for the thought.
My tractor has enough grunt to pull a rake.

I've entered some comments above. One that I didn't enter was I know folks that take an old oil barrel and cut the ends out. Then they knock a few holds around one rim. They set it over a stump, soak the stump with diesel or kerosene and light it off. The barrel creates a chimney and burns the stump quicker and more completely. These are usually for larger stumps, 1' to 2' in diameter.

Treefarmer
 

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Husky and Stihl sell a 22 tooth saw blade that I use alot when I need to remove saplings or small trees at ground level for customers. There is a special file and holder that you must use to sharpen correctly to get more than one use out it. The blades must be bent back out from centerline to cut properly. Usually use about a half a tank of fuel cutting ground level before sharpening. Full tank when I use it cutting limbs or raising the canopy. You can cut more than you want to pick up.

There is a carbide blade online that is made for trimmers. I have not used it yet, but it looks promising. About the same price but not having to stop to sharpen will save some time.

Post back on what you do.
 

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Northern Tool sells products from these guys. BrushGrubber | Home I have one of their smaller brush grubbers for use with my 2210. When I get the teeth to bite on the stump it works great, but there is a technique to getting it on stump correctly. I have used it on stumps 3 inches and smaller with good success. I discovered that using my truck works better since it has more weight to it than a 2210. Your 4610 should be just fine, so depending on how many stumps you have this might be the ticket. It is still manual labor and a slow process in that you have to get off the tractor and get it around the stumps etc but...cheaper than a stump grinder and you don't have to sharpen your blades. It helps immensely if you have a partner to either drive the tractor or hook the grubber up to the stump. Things go much faster if you have two people when using this tool.

So depending on how many stumps you have to pull up this might be an option for you. I have much the same problem as you except in my field I do not have brush just rocks and debris/small stumps/roots from when it was cleared. My Land Scape rake goes over the stumps if they are close to the ground. Sometimes I get hung up on a buried root. My tractor is small enough that it will just stop the tractor if I get hung up on a root. I would think if your rake is sized for you tractor then the same thing would happen with yours.
 
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