Best tools to clear 300m of Bracken?

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  • Best tools to clear 300m of Bracken?
  • They have only just started letting me have crayons, do yuou really think they would let me have one of those?

    😉

    Premier Icon jamesgarbett
    Subscriber

    A few of you with those petrol strimmers the council uses?

    Bracken seems to strangle the only strimmer I could get hold of.

    snaps
    Member
    brakes
    Member

    you need to run a herd of cattle over it

    MrSmith
    Member

    brush cutter

    shoefiti
    Member

    this should do it.

    Ewan
    Member

    Nuke it from space.

    It's the only way to be sure.

    CountZero
    Member

    Lol at this thread. As soon as I saw the title I knew what responses there'd be, and I wasn't disappointed. 😀 Bracken's tough stuff, the only thing I can think of apart from an Industrial strength petrol weed-whacker, is a good old-fashioned scythe and a lot of hard work. Napalm is much more fun IMHO, tho'.

    Smee
    Member

    You need a scythe or a sickle. Then run a strimmer over it. Other way would be to get a quad or a bike and charge on in.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    I did precisely this a couple of weeks ago.

    THE finest tool is a cordless hedge trimmer. Seriously.

    allthepies
    Member

    Stihl brushcutter with metal blade baby.

    If you needed to clear a 300m stretch of a trail covered in 5 foot high bracken, what would the best tools be?

    No mechanical access so tanks, mine clearers etc are not an option.

    CountZero
    Member

    Bracken

    Bracken is a very successful and invasive plant. Although it provides a beneficial habitat to some species in its own right, over the past years it has started to colonise much larger areas. The danger is that it is shading out and killing off the heather, thus destroying the habitat for a much wider range of wildlife. Bracken has minimal feeding value – and it's not too good for walking through either!

    The object of bracken management is to control its spread, and the methods used are rather different to those used on the heather. Bracken is a fern that grows from underground rhizomes which have a great ability to regenerate, which means they are difficult to get rid of – if you've ever tried to clear your garden of ground elder or bindweed you will understand the type of problem! Simply burning the bracken has little effect, in fact it can encourage new growth, although it is used for clearing bracken litter. Simply cutting the bracken yearly has no significant effect, although more frequent cutting can weaken it.

    Bruising is recognised as the most effective method of controlling regeneration. If the fronds can be damaged so as to bleed sap the buds on the rhizomes are less able to produce rapid growth. Traditionally this was done by dragging a log behind a horse, or cattle allowed to trample on it. Recently a crimping machine has been used to make a more effective job. This has to be done twice a year and is not possible on the steeper gradients.

    Spraying with herbicide is also undertaken and, although it was not the first choice of management technique, can be very effective. Indeed large areas of the Quantock Common have been sprayed from the air. A more recent development is the weed wiper, towed by a tractor or quad-bike, which allows closer targeting but is limited by terrain. Unfortunately it is difficult to rule out chemical control where bracken presents a serious threat to the heathland.
    From an article about the Quantocks. Apparently pigs, or boars are effective as well.

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    CountZero – Member

    Bracken ……invasive plant ….destroying the habitat ….killing off the heather…… blah….blah….blah

    Oh here we go ……… all the brackenists start raising their ugly heads.

    .

    ……just cos it's common like wot I is.

    CountZero
    Member

    Actually, bracken spores can cause health issues, and it swamps other plants. Plus in really dry weather there's increased fire risk from it. It's fine when managed properly. There's also the problem of deer ticks in the bracken, which carry Lyme Disease. I'm sure you'd be happy to see the risk of that reduced.

    Kuco
    Member

    Brush cutter with a blade and attack in stages don't just go to the bottom straight off.

    luke
    Member

    yeah brush cutter, anything to do with this?

    druidh
    Member

    Quad bike towing a big, heavy bar with chains dragging behind

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Local farmer and a nettle thrasher.

    Kuco
    Member

    WTF a nettle thrasher? Nettles are one of the easiest things to cut.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    They use them to thrash the nettles and thistles down in fields where they grow in big groups. If you fancy going around several hundred acres of fields pulling them out by hand then let the farmer though it'll save him a job.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Pasture Topper that's the name, although turns out farmers have been wasting their time all these yaers and just needed a Kuco.

    grahamt1980
    Member

    Rather than a scythe i would suggest a hedging hook, the thickness of the bracken will stop even the sharpest scythe, however the hedging hook is long enough and you can get a good swing on it

    Kuco
    Member

    Well Drac if you called it a pasture topper would of known what you was on about, just never heard of a nettle thrasher. Been cutting grass/weeds in one form or another for the past 23 years. Currently using a 23ton excavator with a weed basket on the end.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Well Drac if you called it a pasture topper would of known what you was on about, just never heard of a nettle thrasher

    Surely with your vast experience you'd guessed what I meant for me it's distant memory of sitting in the tractor with Uncles and Granddad so couldn't remember it's proper name.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber
    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    hedge trimmer is by far the best suggestion here.

    I used a slightly serrated sickle and managed to clear a path. I should have worn gloves.

    I have a slightly red hand and biceps like a baboon.

    You had better appreciate the effort when you come to the Big Bike Bash. Just after the 'Hidden Hole Descent' there is the 'Fern and Flip' section.

    Zulu-Eleven
    Member

    Jesus – hedge trimmers? Brushcutters? for 300m of trail?

    FFS – Maybe for a couple of acres! you'll be suggesting Asulox next.

    What you want sonny, is one of these: http://www.stantonhope.co.uk/Tools_26_Equipment_060975_Jungle_Knife.asp

    and some of this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbow_grease

    simples 8)

    14 inch sickle did the job, followed by four bottles of Leffe therapy.

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    The only way we were able to deal with it on our farm was a particularly nasty herbicide from the local agricultural supplies place. It hasn't grown back anywhere we sprayed.

    We graze horses on the fields and as yet none of them have grown extra heads or anything.

    GhostRider
    Member

    My locals get "brackenised" every year, just about now is the worst time, little used trails just disappear. The more common ones only stay clear due to walkers and other trails remain but get quite over grown.

    Out for a drive yesterday around Loch Awe in Argyle bumped into a "Bracken Control" tanker parked by a feild, in the field a helicopter was being loaded for spraying.

    I'd never thought about this before but bracken control seems to a bit of an issue..

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    FWIW, you wanted this, unless it was massive mature bracken:

    http://www.capitalgardens.co.uk/v3/lifetime-brush-hook-thinning-and-cutting-axe-421041-p-9545.html

    Though that's a horrible price, mine was a tenner.

    The other downer about bracken is that the surface part of the rhizome is horrible to ride over, it's just soft enough to really sap your speed and trap the wheel a bit. So I dig them out (though not deeply enough to permanently kill them, that's impractical)- sharp edge shovel, chop and chuck. Time consuming but it's not too bad.

    Muke
    Member

    I have a slightly red hand and biceps like a baboon…..

    Were you in the woods with your local dogging women again ?
    😉

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    Not read all the above…

    However, the Hit the North tool of choice for cutting through the vegetation was a petrol strimmer.

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