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 Post subject: Mesquite Control again
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:27 am 
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I know the topic of Mesquite Control has come up in the past, but I was hoping the topic could be revisited to see if there are any new perspectives.

Our back pasture makes up about 12 acres and is becomming innodated with mesquite. Years ago a previous owner used a bull-dozer to clear much of the land and wooded area and the mesquite are now taking advantage. These are mostly saplings and shredding only seems to encourage more spreading. I try to encourage some of the oaks, hackberrys and other trees by leaving them untouched.

We raise goats, but because of coyotes we've been limited to use of this portion of the property. We currently have a couple more livestock guardian dogs being raised from pups that will help us get the goats on this land more.

That in consideration, even 40 or so goats are not going to offer much control over this mesquite.

2 years ago we had a grass fire that burned up about 1/3 of this land and it killed much of these mesquite, there are some little ones coming back. If I had a cost effective way to have controlled fires, this seems pretty good, because grasses were very happy.

Someone once told us of an organic "soap" solution that could be sprayed on mesquite to kill them, I have not been able to find anything.

We have another 5 acres adjoining with no mesquite... this area is mowed at times and the goats have more constant access. If the mesquite saplings are repeatedly shredded, will they eventually not come back?

A mesquite tree here and there is beautiful, but a sapling forrest is a pain. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Justin
PGCF
Waco, TX

www.pgcfarm.com
pgcf@pgcfarm.com


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:13 am 
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What do you think of this approach coupled with a chipper shredder? Or is this what you were talking about?

http://www.cedareater.com/thegrubber.wmv

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:18 pm 
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Yep, I believe that would knock them out. I wonder what cost is like and how long before neighboring mesquite would try to encroach in.

Justin


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:12 pm 
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In case this is still an important topic for you or others:

No there aren't really any organic solutions that could be used. But I have heard individuals such as the Organic Gardener from San Antonio mention that he believed diesel fuel to still fit within the parameters of an organic program. Use of diesel is no guarantee, You would cut the saplings at ground level, and then douse the cut stem, until the point of puddling on the ground surface around the stem.

And no, it's not that this was an original Organic method, its just another tried and true method of the old timers (farmers)... use of diesel and Hand grubbing, were the original control methods of mesquite... and guess what, with some hard work, they work. With Diesel, remember though, that you still may only get a 50% kill.

As for shredding.... no, it will not kill them, not unless you are literally keeping all leaves off of the plants, at ALL times (pretty much impossible).

Prescribed fire does control mesquite, but you still don't get that much of an actual kill rate. What you witness, is what is considered top-kill. But not roo-kill. Root-kill mena the plant will never come back from the base (root). When a fire comes across and top-kills plants, you may not see anything out of those plants for a yr, or even a few yrs, but alot of them will certainly, eventually re-sprout.

I personally would recommend having them grubbed out, but with a very selective piece of equipment. No use of alarge excavator.

As for the CedarEater... that is the most horrible method for control of mesquite and other resprouting brush species. The mulching unit accomplishes nothing more than a simple shredder does.... only it would cost you a ridiculous amount of money, whithout actually solving the problem. It's great for cedar (ashe juniper) but bad business (in my opinion) when offered as a service for mesquite eradication.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:29 pm 
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Within Reason, are you saying the Cedar Eater approach or plucking the trees out of the ground and grinding them to mulch will not work or that it is expensive?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:30 am 
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Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
Within Reason, are you saying the Cedar Eater approach or plucking the trees out of the ground and grinding them to mulch will not work or that it is expensive?


Dchall, their typical mulching unit, will not kill a mesquite, it justmakes the land "look" brush free for a while, but then you end up with a very multi-stemmed plant, that is more of a problem, then in its original form.

Plucking the trees out of the ground works great, but there are disadvantages.

You typically end up with a large divot in the ground after grubbing. Also, the ground disturbance to stimulate the germination of other undesirable weeds, as well as has a tendency to to be a new found location of a prickly pear cactus.

Regardless, the grubbing works to kill the mesquite, but the size machine they run, is much too large for a small sapling infestation. Just far too much ground disturbance for the size tree being controlled. For large trees, I think their excavation method is great!

They didn't always have their grubbing equipment, and would used to just "mulch" mesquite, that is a bad idea, if your are actually wanting rid of the mesquite.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:59 pm 
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Another concern I have is when they mulch the mesquite, I don't see why the mulched seeds would not sprout?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:13 pm 
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Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
Another concern I have is when they mulch the mesquite, I don't see why the mulched seeds would not sprout?


Well, I don't think that is something you have to really worry about. The fact is that those beans will have been spread, and sprouting, in the past, already. The machine itself would not stimulate the beans to sprout. But it would knock them off the trees nd perhaps throw them a couple feet further from the original trees, than they would have fallen on their own.

And any beans that stayed within reach of the actual mulcher, for any prolonged time, might get chewed up enough that the seed wouldn't be viable anymore (like a bean or pea seed that gets split, cracked, crushed). But that is not something that would occur with the majority of the beans.

Wind water, animals and equipment spread mesquite beans, and it's been that way for a long time. Mesquite is a native plant, but they are now found in non-natural abundance, and non-natural locations... they are an invader species, and we as "land managers" stewards of the land, have not done a good job of keeping our native ecosystems in their natural and most desirable state.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:17 pm 
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I'd say.leave them there and come back in about 10 to 20 years and you would have some great BBQ wood,for selling to your friends or for keeping for yourself. :D


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