Q: Do you have an opinion on "Roller-Chopping" as a way to clear and control mesquite?
A: It's a great way to control cedar but an ineffective way to control mesquite. Cedar won't grow back and the shredded mulch left on the ground is an excellent soil builder. Mesquite will grow back. Best management for mesquite is to leave the big trees alone. Not only are they not a problem, they are beneficial to the soil. On acreage, livestock like the trees. The light shade is comfortable and the animals like the quality of the grass under mesquite trees. On the other hand, mesquites that have been sprayed, chained, or otherwise assaulted will grow back as bushes and NOW you have a problem. The only solution at this point is aggressive grubbing and ripping to remove the the pants. Those who recommend harsh herbicides and diesel are environmental polluters and ineffective to boot.
Roller Chopper—Photo by Kevin Gunnell of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
For more information
Equipment in action (video via Facebook)
Roller Chopping Enhances Habitat in Alaska (Alaska Department of Fish and Game article)
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