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Tractor Shears Snip Branches, Trim Trees
Tom Houska built a hydraulic tree shears so he can cut dead limbs from the comfort of his tractor instead of standing on top of a shaky ladder. The retired construction worker has plenty of trees to trim on his rural Mahnomen, Minn., property.
    "We live on a farmstead and some trees are 100 plus years old. I mounted the trimmer on a boom I made for my tractor loader," Houska says. "It also works great for pruning evergreen trees."
    He made the shears out of 3/4-in. mild steel and hard-surfaced it with welding rods. It operates off a 2 1/2-in. hydraulic cylinder. The shears open to 8 in. but only cut hardwood branches up to 4 in. and softwood up to 6 in. He can also cut unwanted trees in hedges and underground roots.
    "This shears will go as high as 25 ft. It turns 180 degrees to any angle," Houska says, so he can shape evergreens. "It's probably not as fast as a professional trimmer, but we can do it on our own."
    He adds that his shears have an unexpected benefit after the branch is cut.
    "You don't have to get out and pick it up. I pinch the branch a little, pick it up and drop it into the trailer," Houska says.
    The shears unit at the end of the boom weighs about 200 lbs., and Houska built it from materials he had on the farm. The most expensive parts were the hydraulic hoses to the tractor.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup: Tom Houska, 2068 210th Ave., Mahnomen, Minn. 56557.

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6