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Tree Cuts, Carries And Stacks
Keeping trees out of pasture has become a real battle for livestock farmers and ranchers, and chainsaws and brush cutters just aren't cutting it anymore.
Farmer/rancher Mark Underwood, Burr Oak, Kansas, is attacking trees head-on with a skid-steer loader and a saw he designed to cut, carry and stack small trees.
"I wanted something that would save time and be easy to maintain," he says. With no moving parts and a replaceable cutting edge, his saw fits the bill. The saw can be fitted with a universal mount to fit onto a skid-steer loader or a quick-tach for a tractor loader as well.
His tree cutter looks like a sickle mower section with a long snout on it. From front to back, it measures 8 ft. Both outside edges are heavily serrated with high carbon hardened steel teeth. If an individual tooth should be bent or broken, it can be repaired or welded back in place.
"To use it, you push the snout against the tree and drive forward," he says. It will cut a tree up to about 14-in. in diameter with just one push. For trees bigger than 14 in. and up to nearly 30 in. in diameter, Underwood says you just have to make multi passes at it on both sides. An integral part of the saw is a wedge that tips the tree away from the tractor or skid steer, and a 6 x 6 ft. grate to augment the tractor's or skid steer's ROPs just in case the tree should fall the wrong direction.
"One of my criteria was to be able to cut flush with the ground surface, so none of the stump was left sticking up," he says. While the saw was designed to work flat on the ground, you can, if you want, leave a stump as high as the lift on your tractor or loader will allow.
Another of his criteria was making the cutting edge replaceable. Underwood says designing the cutting edge so it would cut quickly and could be replaced was one of the toughest parts of putting the saw together.
The combination of the blade and tractor or loader allows him to cut any tree the saw is capable of felling in a few minutes. "Smaller trees are gone in a matter of just a few seconds," he says.
Once the tree is down, the operator can put the snout under it, pick it up, and carry it off the field. An optional "tweezer grapple" allows him to grab and hold several trees on the snout of the saw. "This is a steel bar with teeth on it. A hydraulic cylinder on it allows you to clamp down on the trees, so they don't fall off the saw while you're carrying them," he says.
The long snout on the saw can also be used to dig around a tree so it can be cut below the soil surface, or to dig out stumps, too.
Another option is a sprayer, with the nozzle mounted under the saw that applies brush control herbicide to the stump and surrounding area after the tree is cut. "This combines another recommended practice for preventing brush regrowth and maintaining pasture productivity," he says.
"I don't recommend the sprayer option if you're going to be using it on a tractor," he says. "It'll be more difficult to see the stump from a tractor seat, so you'll have trouble spraying it."
He's named his saw the Bad Boy Tree Saw. His manufacturing company, Second Look, started producing saws last fall. The saw alone is priced at $3,700. The sprayer adds another $500 and the tweezer grapple will cost just under $1,000. The replacement blades, which come in three pieces, cost $700.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Second Look, Rt. 1, Box 127A, Burr Oak, Kansas 66936 (ph 785 647-5454; FAX 785 647-5438; email secondlook@msn.com.).

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2001 - Volume #25, Issue #3