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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry for the lengthy post....

I'm getting super close to pulling the trigger on a "tree puller". This is an attachment that mounts to the FEL and uses a hydraulic cylinder to clamp on to the base of a tree/shrub and then pull the offending plant out by the roots. My property is infested with honeysuckle and pulling it out by hand would be an impossible task.

Up until a few days ago I was pretty much set that I was going to order this "Buckthorn Puller" (either the "Standard" or "Heavy Duty"). There's a guy over on "that other tractor forum" that has a JD4105 w/ 300CX loader that is using the heavy duty one and loves it! His tractor's a bit bigger than my 3520, but we have the same loader. I've seen some of his videos and the puller does a really good job.

But, I've had second thoughts about that particular unit over the last few days. There was another thread on that other forum that talked about different pullers and I pulled up the websites for everyone mentioned in that thread. Now I'm leaning towards this tree puller from "Notch Manufacturing".

So, let's talk about this purchase. First, I realize that the video's on the websites show these things mounted on a skid steer and I'm fully aware that my 3520 is NOT a skidsteer, nor does it have the same breakout power. I'm realistic enough to know that I'm not going to be popping 6" Maple trees out with my tractor! The honeysuckle that I'm planning on removing ranges from 1/2" thick to 3" or 4" thick. Honeysuckle is also a fairly shallow rooted plant. I've used the FEL to pull stuff the size I'm thinking of using a Brush Grubber. It does a good job, but it's a super labor intensive process involving getting on and off the tractor a couple of times for each pull. I'm looking for something that will let me get a lot of work done without getting off the tractor. Yeah, I know that my fat butt could use the exercise of getting on and off, but... :laugh:

Cost for either attachment is about the same (roughly $1600 plus shipping). The weight of the Notch is 600 lbs and I'm guessing the Buckthorn Puller is roughly the same (calling them to verify when they open today). Both are from small, specialty fab shops. I can get JDQA on either of them. I know the Buckthorn puller can also have a combo JDQA / 3 Pt. for an additional $200 (the JD4105 guy has that). Notch thinks that they may be able to do the same.

I'd like some input from this crowd on which style may work better on the 3520. The Buckthorn Puller uses a "slide" to do the clamping and the cylinder is out front (although protected on the HD one). I don't like that the clamping force is offset from center. JD4105 guy has said that his left rear tire will come up sometimes and that does concern me. I do like that the clamping force is close to the frame so that, I think, should give me close to the maximum breakout force provided by the loader.

I like the "scissor" design of the Notch and like that the clamping is in the middle of the unit rather than offset. The longer teeth should allow me to quickly reach in and pull little stuff out. Their design also lets you get bigger stuff close to the frame. The owner told me that a "trick" is to grab the tree close to the ground and then tilt forward using the ends of the puller as leverage along with the loader. Another nice thing is the "prong design" that lets you dig and rip roots. It's kind of like having my "front hoe" to help dig stuff out. Notch puts the cylinder in the back of the unit to allow you to dig.

If Chris would have just designed something like this to go on my fork frame, I wouldn't have to shop around! :laugh:

Looking forward to some comments so you guys can help me spend my money! :gizmo:
 

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Both look like good units if your loader has good capacity and you are looking to pull trees or posts out. I think the Notch one looks like it may be better if you are trying to take out bushes - things with not much of a large central trunk, like shrubs in landscaping, etc.

Rob
 

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It's hard for me to imagine what your honeysuckle stands look like.

If it is like brush and brambles like I have - stuff like wild blackberry and multi-flora rose - I just use the tooth bar on my bucket. I can just make a pass with the bucket level and about 2" under the top of the soil and it grabs this stuff up as I move forward.

Honeysuckle might have a much deeper root system - I have no idea.

My biggest concern with an impliment like you are looking at is having enough hydralic power to actually lift the stuff out of the ground. A heck of a lot of money to spend if your tractor hydraulics aren't up to the task.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's a pic right outside of my window. This should give you a pretty good idea of what I'm dealing with.

Honeysuckle.jpg

I have a Piranha tooth bar. It does OK for this stuff, but isn't quite what I want. I have "bad honeysuckle" interspersed with "good trees" so I want a little more of a "surgical approach" rather than what the Piranha or a Ratchet Rake does.

The hydraulics should do what I want. Like I said above, I don't have any delusions of pulling a 6" maple tree.

THANKS for the feedback so far. :thumbup1gif:
 

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Here's a pic right outside of my window. This should give you a pretty good idea of what I'm dealing with.

View attachment 333570

I have a Piranha tooth bar. It does OK for this stuff, but isn't quite what I want. I have "bad honeysuckle" interspersed with "good trees" so I want a little more of a "surgical approach" rather than what the Piranha or a Ratchet Rake does.

The hydraulics should do what I want. Like I said above, I don't have any delusions of pulling a 6" maple tree.

THANKS for the feedback so far. :thumbup1gif:
Thanks for the pic. Your reasoning sounds reasonable to me.

I kind of like the idea of the Notch also - can be much more selective than with the other one. Plus the fact being able to pull one at a time will help with limited hydraulics compared to a skid steer. With the buckthorn you would have to take a scoop of them at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the pic. Your reasoning sounds reasonable to me.

I kind of like the idea of the Notch also - can be much more selective than with the other one. Plus the fact being able to pull one at a time will help with limited hydraulics compared to a skid steer. With the buckthorn you would have to take a scoop of them at a time.
That's an interesting comment, Stan. At first I was going to say "no, you can grab one tree at a time with it", but after I thought about it, I can see where you're coming from. Good point!! :good2:

One other thing in favor of the Notch - It has an integrated backstop to help keep material from falling back on the hood of the tractor.

I think I see where the decision process is leading me, but I still want more feedback.

Oh, and since any thread is worthless without pics... I ordered a tripod off Amazon so I can mount my camera to get some footage of this in action. It arrived today. I'll also use it to get some action footage of something else I have on order. :bigthumb:
 

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That's an interesting comment, Stan. At first I was going to say "no, you can grab one tree at a time with it", but after I thought about it, I can see where you're coming from. Good point!! :good2:

One other thing in favor of the Notch - It has an integrated backstop to help keep material from falling back on the hood of the tractor.

I think I see where the decision process is leading me, but I still want more feedback.

Oh, and since any thread is worthless without pics... I ordered a tripod off Amazon so I can mount my camera to get some footage of this in action. It arrived today. I'll also use it to get some action footage of something else I have on order. :bigthumb:
After watching both videos I'd get the second alligator model.
1. Has more reach. Looks like it would grab smaller stuff better.
2. The load is center vs offset.
3. Has a guard to help keep trees from falling backwards on you and your tractor.
4. Looks like you can pry against the ground to help push over stubborn stuff.
5. Hydraulic cylinder is not so easily damaged. Not sure how much of a PITA this would be to work on.
 

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After watching both videos I'd get the second alligator model.
1. Has more reach. Looks like it would grab smaller stuff better.
2. The load is center vs offset.
3. Has a guard to help keep trees from falling backwards on you and your tractor.
4. Looks like you can pry against the ground to help push over stubborn stuff.
5. Hydraulic cylinder is not so easily damaged. Not sure how much of a PITA this would be to work on.
:munch:I too agree with what he say's^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^i like it a lot better:bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Is there anyone that thinks the Buckthorn Puller (first link) would be a better choice?


THANKS to all for the opinions! Interesting how I asked for them her rather than on the other board where I got the info from in the first place! You guys rock! :good2:
 

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One time use?

If this is your only job for either one, I'd go talk to an equipment rental company and see what's available rather than buy something. A skid steer with a forestry head would take care of what's in the picture right now, no worries and leave a nice mulch surface as well. If you are going to have a continuing need, I agree that the notch looks slightly better although the option of mounting the other one on the 3 ph would give you more lift capacity. Personally, I'd want the guard to help control the tree once it's up and definitely want a cab or steel canopy over my head if you are lifting trees and moving them around. It's not so much the tree you are carrying as the ones you brush. It's pretty easy to break a dead limb that would just conk you on the noggin if you don't have protection.

If I can get video, I'll post a demo of cleaning land with various skid steers and different forestry heads and mini-excavators with forestry heads. I'm going to the demo the in April and hopefully get to run some of the equipment. I can't justify buying any of it but rental is another matter.

Treefarmer
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is going to be an ongoing project. We have 5 acres (which I know isn't a huge piece of property compared to a lot of you) that has all this honeysuckle. The best way to get rid of it is to pull it by its roots. I've considered having someone with some sort of "forestry attachment" on a skidsteer (basically a heavy-duty flail mower on the front) to come in and clear the stuff out, but that's more of a "slash and burn approach" which is going to take out a lot of smaller trees that I want to keep.

I've lost a ton of ash trees on the property as well, so I need to work around those. So the project is going to be an ongoing combination of removing the honeysuckle and doing something (chipping mostly) all of the fallen and dead ash trees.

Would look forward to seeing any video you might have. :good2:
 

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Hope on the videos

This is going to be an ongoing project. We have 5 acres (which I know isn't a huge piece of property compared to a lot of you) that has all this honeysuckle. The best way to get rid of it is to pull it by its roots. I've considered having someone with some sort of "forestry attachment" on a skidsteer (basically a heavy-duty flail mower on the front) to come in and clear the stuff out, but that's more of a "slash and burn approach" which is going to take out a lot of smaller trees that I want to keep.

I've lost a ton of ash trees on the property as well, so I need to work around those. So the project is going to be an ongoing combination of removing the honeysuckle and doing something (chipping mostly) all of the fallen and dead ash trees.

Would look forward to seeing any video you might have. :good2:
I hope to get video but don't know for sure.

Sorry about the ash trees. Those are great trees and beautiful lumber. I understand how you could stick the notch puller into a clump of trees but generally speaking you will have to have room to run a tractor between trees anyway. The forestry heads are usually machine width so either way you are clearing a path. The skid steer I've run with a forestry head were drums with carbide teeth but it was on a large skid steer so that width was probably wider than your tractor. On the other hand, skid steers have a smaller turning radius so maybe it evens out.

We completely cleaned about 5 acres of stuff that was considerably more overgrown than your pix in a week using the skid steer and forestry head. That was taking everything down, including some trees that were well over 6" dia and 25-30' tall. (Those were a bit dicey as there was a lot of stuff falling around the cab. Fortunately, it was fully armored.)

If you get the notch puller, I hope you post videos. It will be interesting to compare with the company video of it on a skid steer. If I saw a rental company with one on a skid steer to rent, I'd probably plunk down the :gizmo: to rent it. We've got some old fence lines that it might work well on.

Treefarmer
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If you get the notch puller, I hope you post videos. It will be interesting to compare with the company video of it on a skid steer.
Treefarmer
I'll definitely be posting videos. My tripod to hold my camera and/or phone just arrived yesterday. I figured that I had to buy it so I could entertain you guys with my (mis)adventures! :laugh:
 

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I've seen all kinds of videos on you tube with all kinds of equipment for doing what you want. Some very high end some not. You might want to watch some you tube. All kinds of ideas.
 

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I'm with the second choice mainly because your tree would be in the center of the tractor.. Sounds like that would be a lot safer ,, no matter what size tractor you may have.
 

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Well, on Friday I pulled the trigger and ordered the Notch tree puller (the second link). Should be done in about 3 weeks.

And, I know the rules... there will be pics and videos when it gets here! :flag_of_truce:
Awesome! Looking forward to your opinion and pics.
 

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The first time I saw one of these being attached to the front of an ATV I was sure someone was going over the bars, but actually seeing it work made me want to run through a sappling orchard. With the blades sharp and a gentle bump of speed to cross over the tree leaves a short clean stub, if you're ok with leaving it there.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF9uxexunYo
 

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Discussion Starter #19
LOL! I've seen that before! I thought the same thing you did - that guy is going to fly over the handle bars! :lol:

That won't work for me. I need to get my stuff out by the roots or the honeysuckle will just regrow out of the stump.
 

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Well, on Friday I pulled the trigger and ordered the Notch tree puller (the second link). Should be done in about 3 weeks.

And, I know the rules... there will be pics and videos when it gets here! :flag_of_truce:
Old thread I know, but I was curious how the puller has performed since you got it? Thanks.
 
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