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Forestry Mulcher On My Farm
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
KHNC 20-Jan-22
Glunt@work 20-Jan-22
Supernaut 20-Jan-22
KHNC 20-Jan-22
t-roy 20-Jan-22
KHNC 20-Jan-22
Pat Lefemine 20-Jan-22
LKH 20-Jan-22
KHNC 20-Jan-22
KHNC 20-Jan-22
APauls 20-Jan-22
t-roy 20-Jan-22
t-roy 20-Jan-22
drycreek 20-Jan-22
KHNC 20-Jan-22
Ok...Russ 20-Jan-22
KHNC 20-Jan-22
Lost Arra 20-Jan-22
Ok...Russ 20-Jan-22
KHNC 20-Jan-22
KHNC 20-Jan-22
dennis 20-Jan-22
dennis 20-Jan-22
Supernaut 20-Jan-22
Supernaut 20-Jan-22
Supernaut 20-Jan-22
Wildan2 20-Jan-22
dennis 20-Jan-22
deserthunter 20-Jan-22
DanaC 20-Jan-22
t-roy 20-Jan-22
Pat Lefemine 20-Jan-22
Shiloh 20-Jan-22
loprofile 20-Jan-22
Treefarm 20-Jan-22
WV Mountaineer 21-Jan-22
dennis 21-Jan-22
olebuck 21-Jan-22
olebuck 21-Jan-22
WV Mountaineer 21-Jan-22
KHNC 21-Jan-22
wisconsinteacher 21-Jan-22
Lost Arra 21-Jan-22
KHNC 21-Jan-22
BlackBrow 19-Feb-24
KHNC 20-Feb-24
Beendare 20-Feb-24
GFL 20-Feb-24
bonehead 20-Feb-24
Panhandle Bob 21-Feb-24
KHNC 21-Feb-24
Wildan2 23-Feb-24
Mint 23-Feb-24
Aspen Ghost 23-Feb-24
KHNC 23-Feb-24
nowheels 23-Feb-24
From: KHNC
20-Jan-22

KHNC's embedded Photo
KHNC's embedded Photo
KHNC's embedded Photo
KHNC's embedded Photo
KHNC's embedded Photo
KHNC's embedded Photo
Finally , the local Herc Rentals in Greer SC got in a Forestry Mulcher Skid Steer for rental. It was a Kubota SVL 97-2 machine with a 5' mulcher head attached. I was able to wipe out some brush and trees to really open up a couple of areas on my farm. I have a lot of thick areas and wanted to cut some lanes and open up the canopy near my two plots as well. These are only a few of the pics of what I was able to accomplish in 8 hours of operation. Over a foot of snow was in the forecast last minute, so i only had one day to get it done. Leaves a mess, but I will taking my tractor down soon to do a little clean up. These areas were super thick prior to this. I still have plenty of bedding area around. This should allow some fresh undergrowth over the next year or two as well.

From: Glunt@work
20-Jan-22
Pretty amazing implements. A buddy had a guy come in and clear a bunch of beetle kill pine around his cabin and some pathways. Critters love it.

From: Supernaut
20-Jan-22
Nice job and I think those machines are fun to run as well!

We use some different forestry equipment at work and some days I can sneak out of the office and just operate.

From: KHNC
20-Jan-22
Within half an hour of clearing an area, birds were all over it. I was surprised. Hopefully plenty of deer and other critters moved in to investigate once we left.

From: t-roy
20-Jan-22
Looks good, Kenny. On some of the areas that you did, are you planning on putting in or increasing the size of some of your plots, or was this mostly just to make some trails and cut back some canopy around existing plots?

Also, any more pics of what you did? EDIT……didn’t see the other pics you posted while I was typing.

From: KHNC
20-Jan-22
Hey T-Roy, I was in such a rush before the snow that i didnt take nearly as many pics as i wanted. The plot in the pic is about 60yd x 60yd. It has a hang on stand in the large beech. I have a ladder stand 125yds from it with a view down a lane another 125yds. I wanted to be able to bow or rifle hunt that small plot, and see deer crossing. I figure if i can see them , i can try to call one in or at least know they are moving. When i go down again in a week or so, i plan to take a lot more pics. Ill add them to this thread when i do. I do plan to plant a couple of the lanes that i made wider , now that the sun can get to it. Got some Daikon radish for this fall to try.

From: Pat Lefemine
20-Jan-22
I can’t imagine renting one of those machines. They are a beast.

From: LKH
20-Jan-22
Will really help your soil and beats a bunch of burn piles and a sore back. You have adequate moisture and decay shouldn't take too long.

From: KHNC
20-Jan-22
"I can’t imagine renting one of those machines. They are a beast."

Yes, that SVL 97 is a monster for sure!! My buddy did most of the work with the skid steer. My limited experience kept me from doing a lot of it due to time constraints. I can run a skid steer ok and am pretty good with tractor. This mulcher takes a bit of learning curve to get it down. But it was 1/3 of the cost to hire someone to come for a day with one.

From: KHNC
20-Jan-22
"Will really help your soil and beats a bunch of burn piles and a sore back. You have adequate moisture and decay shouldn't take too long."

I hope so. I am expecting plenty of new shoots to come up soon. Be like a nice summer plot for the deer im hoping. I have Durana clover planted in my two plots. 1/2 acre on one and this other small plot.

From: APauls
20-Jan-22
Oh baby. That's the dream. Those things are amazing.

From: t-roy
20-Jan-22
What type of trees were you mulching up? Curious how long it might take for the ground level stumps of your trees left, will take to rot out (if at all).

The gas pipeline guys came through on a right-of-way on my dad’s place several years ago and mulched/ground everything down, including some big thorny locusts (2’-3’ diameter). I cleaned up the bigger debris left, very lightly tilled as best I could, and planted clover the length of their ROW. (200yds long x 10 yds wide) It is doing great, but there are several stumps that stick up higher than I like, for mowing purposes. I’m planning on renting a bigger stump grinder this spring and grind them down below ground level. Some of the tree stumps are breaking down nicely, but I don’t think the locusts or the oaks will ever rot out.

From: t-roy
20-Jan-22

t-roy's embedded Photo
Pipeline plot
t-roy's embedded Photo
Pipeline plot

From: drycreek
20-Jan-22
Those oak stumps will last for years Troy, but you sure have a great stand of clover.

From: KHNC
20-Jan-22
T-roy that clover looks great! The mulcher will grind a stump less that 10" in diameter down to nothing in under 4-5 mins. I should have hit all those pine stumps while i had it but i wanted to get as much cut as possible. In a few years i may decide to plant this area like you did. If you rent a stump grinder it will probably take an hour to grind a 20-28" diameter stump below ground level. We mulched up lots of poplar and pine. Try to avoid hickory if you can. The just dont break easily and will roll up in the mulcher like a giant rope!! Pine , poplar, beech and maples are easy to destroy with these machines!

From: Ok...Russ
20-Jan-22
Thanks for posting KHNC - we'll be doing something similar here in OK. I was curious too where I think Troy was headed is if we mulch clear some areas to open the canopy there will still be some stumps so running a disc/plow over may not be an option. My thought was mulch areas for natural habitat to thrive and provide walking lanes to food plots or stands. On the plots we're making bigger, I don't want any stumps so likely will have to get a dozer so can level out instead of a mulcher.

From: KHNC
20-Jan-22
Russ, you can use the mulcher to take a stump all the way to dirt level, just like a stump grinder. They work best on trees less than 10-12" in diameter. If you take your time, these machines will do some pristine work on trees and stumps. I was more in a rush since i only had one day to get 2 days worth of clearing completed. But if you have larger trees, then a dozer will be your best bet. Or a stump grinder after the mulcher is finished.

From: Lost Arra
20-Jan-22
Best machine ever for eastern red cedar removal, the weed of the plains (it's actually a juniper). I used to try and cut/burn but the weather is too fickle for burning especially a tree that burns like gasoline.

From: Ok...Russ
20-Jan-22
Cool - didn't realize they'd get all the way to dirt level. Some of the trees in our food plot expansion plans are much bigger than 12" diameter. I got an estimate for skid steer with mulcher head from another forum was $90/hour with an 8 hr minimum and includes the operator. If he can get to dirt level, might be worth $720. His equipment, gas, liability and I get a professional operator not me as a weekend "look how tight of a circle this thing makes - just like those tank video games" operator!

From: KHNC
20-Jan-22
Russ, you can use the mulcher to take a stump all the way to dirt level, just like a stump grinder. They work best on trees less than 10-12" in diameter. If you take your time, these machines will do some pristine work on trees and stumps. I was more in a rush since i only had one day to get 2 days worth of clearing completed. But if you have larger trees, then a dozer will be your best bet. Or a stump grinder after the mulcher is finished.

From: KHNC
20-Jan-22
Oh yeah, i forgot we had some red cedar too. lol

And Russ, the rate in SC was 1900 for an 8 hour day!!! Rental was 946.00 for the full weekend and picked it up on friday and noon. Returned on monday morning. If you can get someone for 90 an hour, i would be all over it!

From: dennis
20-Jan-22

dennis's embedded Photo
dennis's embedded Photo
My office....

From: dennis
20-Jan-22
Sorry, can't get the picture to rotate....

From: Supernaut
20-Jan-22

From: Supernaut
20-Jan-22
t-roy, have your dad call his gas company contact/ land manager and have him express that he'd like the stumps removed or ground down and then anything they tore up doing it re-seeded in the seed of his choice. They'll do it.

The company I work for mows/ clears around 2000 miles of right off ways a year and the land owner always get what they ask for in my experience.

From: Supernaut
20-Jan-22
dennis, nice looking Fecon!

20-Jan-22
We have a guy mulching trails and clearings on our new place as I'm reading this. It's amazing how much work you can get done in a day with one of these! It sure beats having brush piles left behind by a dozer. Nice work KHNC!

From: Wildan2
20-Jan-22
Only way to go;I messed around for ten years and the Fecon on a SS did more in four days.

From: dennis
20-Jan-22
Thanks Supernaut, we just got this machine. I have got pretty close to 3,000 hrs behind a Fecon head in Bobcat T770, T870, John Deere 333D and John Deere 333G. This Fecon FTX150-2 puts them all to shame. It's a beast!!!!

From: deserthunter
20-Jan-22
If you can get it for $90.00 a hour you should. We are paying $ 150.00 an hour here in N Idaho. I just had 3 1/2 acres done with a excavator with a mastication head and spent $3700.00 It is a pretty steep grade so a skid steer would have struggled pretty badly.

From: DanaC
20-Jan-22
We contracted for one last year, to clean up some logged-off areas. He did about 9 acres in two days. Watching that thing in action is impressive/scary!

From: t-roy
20-Jan-22
Supernaut……….I’ve spoke with one of the gas company’s reps, and he told me they would reimburse me for my time, seed, equipment rental, etc. if I would maintain the ROW. I’ve got some of my time written down, as well as some seed receipts for what I’ve done on this plot, and on another ROW plot on my property, just west of my dad’s. One of these days, I’m gonna have to stop down at their office and see if he was blowing smoke or if he comes through.

Dennis…..looks like that rig would be a blast to run!…For a day or two, anyway.

From: Pat Lefemine
20-Jan-22
I heard it beats you up pretty bad in the cab. Any truth to this? The one my buddy has is a Terex

From: Shiloh
20-Jan-22
It’s about $1000 for 8 hours down here. I’d rather hire it out at that price. That is for a skid steer with a mulching head. The big fecon machines will run you more.

From: loprofile
20-Jan-22
Mulching is one if the few things in life where i believe i got more than my moneys worth

From: Treefarm
20-Jan-22

Treefarm's embedded Photo
Treefarm's embedded Photo
I rented a Fecon on a Bobcat 870. I was able to clear some quite nasty brush. I wish I owned one but would probably clear way too much. I was content renting for the day. a cold -10F day where wood stems fractured wildly . I imagine the combo would top $150k to own.

21-Jan-22
I bet the deer poured into that fresh dirt. I don’t know what it is about dirt and wet concrete but, they find it quick.

Mechanized arborists and forestry equipment is unfeasible to the mind until you see it work.

From: dennis
21-Jan-22
IMO, out of the 3 skid steers that I have ran, the JD333G had the best ride and performance. Some beat you up more than others. Terrain and operator skills will dictate a lot to how much you get beat up. The FTX150-2 has them all beat as far as performance and ride is concerned The debris field will vary depending on the machine, the amount of time one can be on the operation and operator skills. The faster that you can spin the drum and those hammers, the better your end results will be. YMMV I have had deer and turkey follow me around picking at the mulch as I work. As long as I stay in the machine, they don't seem to be bothered by it after a while. I have seen deer stand on their hind legs trying to get to the grape vines that have been left hanging. The deer seem to love the sap that flows out after cutting. We have broad cast clover and some warm season grass in areas right after I have finished clearing without any field prep, and it has come in nicely.

21-Jan-22

Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo

From: olebuck
21-Jan-22

olebuck's embedded Photo
olebuck's embedded Photo
i have a small commercial Real estate Development company, i mostly buy old commercial buildings and fix them up for office space. i bought the CTL to help in some of the demo and construction phases. its already worth its weight in gold. while mine is a smaller hp and not capable of mulching, it does an awesome job of clearing 2-3" brush. overhanging limbs or overgrown roads get cleared out really quick!

From: olebuck
21-Jan-22

olebuck's embedded Photo
olebuck's embedded Photo
also took an old 3point disk harrow and converted it to a skidsteer disk, and got my custom seeder on it to help with food plots.

21-Jan-22
The JD skid steer is by and far, the most superior skid steer built today.

From: KHNC
21-Jan-22
Yall have some nice equipment to work with! It would be awesome to own one of those machines. But im not sure i could make myself do it for a living. Seems to be some good money in it though. Start up expense would be nasty! lol

21-Jan-22
Great thread. I would like to get one and make a trail about 40 yards off my fence line that looped around the 80. I would plant it in clover and hope the deer would feed as they traveled off my land to the ag fields next door.

From: Lost Arra
21-Jan-22
I don't have experience on the machine so I hired a guy to remove huge cedars that were grown up in and under big oaks (birdsh*t cedars). Well worth the $. He told me if you are just clear cutting brush then renting makes sense but if there are a lot trees you don't want destroyed probably better to hire. He was like a surgeon getting those big cedars out, mulched and stumps ground below the ground level. Plus he got 4x more work done than the neighbor who rented.

From: KHNC
21-Jan-22
"Great thread. I would like to get one and make a trail about 40 yards off my fence line that looped around the 80. I would plant it in clover and hope the deer would feed as they traveled off my land to the ag fields next door."

These machines were born for this very thing! :)

From: BlackBrow
19-Feb-24
At our place we were contemplating adding a mulching head to my brother's excavator. We ended up having someone to come out at $150/hr due to timing. Like others have said, well worth the money. They spent a couple of days opening up roads and plots in a dense area. Huge difference. We'll probably invest in one, looked at Fecon, but also looking at ProGrind Systems since they are local to us in GA, which would be good for service/maintenance.

Remarkable machines... and fun to watch them work.

https://fecon.com/ https://progrindsystems.com/

From: KHNC
20-Feb-24
Yes they are! I didnt take any pics this weekend , but i now have half of the area I cleared two years ago planted in rye and clover. Replanted some clover/chicory over the weekend. Used a blend called HotChic. Hopefully it grows as claimed. I now own a skid steer with quite a few implements. Sold my Kubota Tractor, since I can do everything and more with the SS. I dont have a mulching head tho, my machine is standard flow, and I dont have the money for a mulcher head anyway.

From: Beendare
20-Feb-24
I’m curious;

So whats the best strategy moving forward?

Seems to me all of that wood will not only make the soil very acidic, but take years to rot. Should you be ripping and adding lime…or fertilizer to accelerate the decomposition?

From: GFL
20-Feb-24
It rots super fast in the South.

From: bonehead
20-Feb-24
It burns very easily and safely after mulching

21-Feb-24

Panhandle Bob's embedded Photo
Before
Panhandle Bob's embedded Photo
Before
Panhandle Bob's embedded Photo
After
Panhandle Bob's embedded Photo
After
Watching these machines eat is amazing...had 1.5 acres done behind my new house a few months ago & planted some winter rye...

From: KHNC
21-Feb-24
That looks great! And yes, wood does rot quickly in the south. Lime and fertilizer is always a good idea. I wish i had room for a lime truck to come in. Have to spread by hand.

From: Wildan2
23-Feb-24
I spent a lot on tractors/bush-hogs and ten years trying to clear my 100 acres of over-grown farm land.Purchased a 32Hp,then a 44hp and rented a 100 hp tractors. Four days with hired Skid-Steer and FECON head was the last and best choice.He did more in four days than I did in ten years of off and on tractor work.Cleaned up with the tractor and burned the piles.Money well spent.

From: Mint
23-Feb-24
Great job guys. thanks for posting.

From: Aspen Ghost
23-Feb-24
Is it just me or do others think the before picture looks better than the after picture? I can see it for specific food plots or a travel route but other than that, the after picture looks sterile and largely devoid of wildlife. The before picture looks like critters live here.

From: KHNC
23-Feb-24
I think only one "before" pic is in the thread. That one looks like someones back yard vs hunting spot. On my original post, i had it cleared so i could actually hunt it better and expand my food plot size. My property was short on actual openings. If i didnt still have thick bedding cover, i wouldnt have used the mulcher where i did.

From: nowheels
23-Feb-24
They will definitely clean an area up. One thing that hasn’t been mentioned, but you might want to get a good backpack sprayer or atv sprayer, because you will likely have a lot of hardwood sprouts coming back this year. I see what looks like Sweetgum in one of the pictures and you could have a blue million Sweetgum sprouts by the end of summer.

I think you mentioned burning every few years, which will keep them in check, but a good herbicide treatment in that first or second growing season will help you get ahead of the competition. As others have said, most of the slash will rot quickly here in the south, but the hardwood stumps and roots will sprout for several years. Killing most of them off early will make maintenance a lot easier.

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