Landowners know that owning property is hard work. They also know that their biggest adversary with maintaining a property is brush control on the various perennial vegetative species that rejuvenate from the roots. Texas landowners are faced with numerous regenerative species like Mesquite, Red Berry Cedar, Black Locust, Huisache, Retama, and Baccharis Weed, just to name a few.
- Land Restoration
- Field Reclamation
- Mesquite Grubbing
- Redberry Cedar Grubbing
- Water Conservation
- ROW Clearing
These species will rejuvenate from the roots if the tops are cut, mulched, shredded, or even dozed. Landowners have also treated these trees chemically which has been successful to a certain degree but can be quite costly and may require multiple applications.
Cedar Eaters of Texas offers a newer solution to eradicate your unwanted perennial vegetation. Grubbing is a relatively new concept but is growing in popularity due to its many advantages over older clearing methods. To perform the grubbing method, we use two mechanical applications to extract the ENTIRE tree–roots and all. We have an excavator with a patented grubbing bucket and retractable thumb. We also have a skid steer mounted grubbing bucket that is patent-pending, dubbed the ROOT-N-ALL ™. Both of these applications have proven to be very successful in the removal of thousands of acres of perennial vegetation.
The Mesquite Grubbing Excavator
The excavator is primarily used when dealing with larger infestations of Mesquite and other perennial vegetation. This machine is capable of pulling Mesquite trees (that are up to 24 to 30″) out of the ground; however, we typically recommend keeping Mesquites that are that size or bigger.
The selective nature of grubbing is the biggest advantage over any other method out there. The machine operator has complete control by choosing what stays and what goes. With the retractable thumb the operator has the ability to grub and stack all of the brush that is removed in one easy step. The open bucket design limits soil disruption by allowing most of the dirt to fall freely back into the hole from which the tree was removed. If the operator cuts or breaks the tap root off in the ground he simply returns to the area to extract the broken tap root ensuring a good kill. Ground disturbance is minimal when compared to dozing and root-plowing, eliminating the need to replant grasses if native grasses already exist. The holes left behind may require some leveling but should fill in overtime with good rain.
The ROOT-N-ALL™ grubbing attachment was actually designed by two of our employees to satisfy customers that needed fields of smaller mesquites grubbed. This attachment mounts to a skid steer and has two hydraulic pincers that help stabilize the tree while the grubbing action is being performed by the V blade bucket. When dealing with small mesquite this process is considerably less invasive than even our excavator. When the grubbing is complete, we detach from the ROOT-N-ALL and switch to a grapple rake to pile the grubbed vegetation. During this process much of the dirt gets raked back into the holes providing a ready-to-use pasture capable of supporting livestock and wildlife. If you are interested in getting quotes on either of these services, please fill out the contact form.
To understand why we clear mesquite trees, we must first learn about the tree. Mesquites are a hardy species with over 40 different types that are native to South America and the North American Southwest. They thrive in arid and semi-arid climates because of their ability to procure water. A single Mesquite tree can consume nearly 21 gallons of water per day. Their tap roots have been known to extend to depths over 100 feet where it can draw from moisture deep below the surface during dry conditions.
These hardy trees are extremely invasive and can quickly consume pastureland. Their infestation is largely contributed to the movement of cattle from property to property. Livestock will eat the beans that Mesquite trees produce and the beans will travel through their digestive tract and end up on the ground. These beans have been known to lie dormant for numerous years awaiting the right time to germinate. In Texas, it is estimated that there are nearly 50 million acres infested with Mesquite.
Their ability to invade a property quickly is not the only problem. They are also hard to eradicate. Mesquites are a perennial tree meaning that the tree is capable of rejuvenating from the root. This maddening ability to come back from the root has forced landowners around the world to come up with new and more innovative methods for clearing them.
There are many methods that have been used in the clearing of Mesquite. Some of these methods are extremely invasive and some are harmful to the environment. The methods listed below can be expensive and may require multiple steps or treatments before achieving a successful kill.
Chaining was largely used during the 50’s but has become less common because of its extreme invasiveness and minimal kill ratio.
Dozing & Root Plowing:
Dozing and root plowing is still used today but requires multiple steps making it very expensive. The plowing method is extremely invasive and hard on equipment which stand to reason why there aren’t many people doing this anymore. It can vastly change a property and it usually involves the re-seeding of grass for livestock and wildlife leaving you at the mercy of Mother Nature to provide rain so that your grass seed is not wasted. Root plowing lacks the ability to be selective however it is sometimes required if the infestation of mesquite is overwhelmingly dense.
Chemical treatments are also used but this can be quite costly and may require multiple applications before achieving a kill. Using chemicals is a game of odds. The temperature, mixture and time of application of these chemicals all play a role in the effectiveness of your application. Many of these herbicides also have the tendency to leach down from where you applied the chemical into the water supply. When using chemicals you can spray a selective tree but you will often kill all of the vegetation around the application site at the base of the tree. Some aerial applications have resulted in a complete kill of everything it touches while others only kill the weaker of the species leaving the tougher varieties like mesquite to spread like wildfire unchallenged by other species. In short chemically, treatments lack control and are mildly successful.
We have performed our fair share of mulching Mesquite infested fields. However, mulching is a short term solution when dealing with perennial vegetation. It allows you to get the vegetation down so that you can control the re-growth with chemicals from manageable position. We have also had clients use our mulching service to clear the vegetation above ground in order to come back behind us with a root plow. This combination of methods has worked out nicely.
Mesquite Grubbing Service Area
Our mesquite grubbing service encompasses most of the state of Texas. Over the years we have completed Mesquite grubbing projects in and around the following municipalities.
(San Antonio, Hondo, Uvalde, Carrizo Springs, Cotulla, Freer, Hebbronville, Kingsville, Kenedy, Jourdanton, Floresville, Seguin, Gonzales, Victoria, Flatonia, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Bastrop, Giddings, La Grange, Taylor, Rockdale, Temple, Killeen, Cameron, Georgetown, Austin, Waco, Corsicana, Hillsboro, Meridian, Cleburne, Glen Rose, Mineral Wells, Stephenville, Hico, Hamilton, Comanche, Brownwood, Goldthwaite, San Saba, Llano, Lampasas, Gatesville, Mason, Brady, Menard, Junction, Sonora, San Angelo, Big Spring, Sweetwater, Snyder, Ballinger, Coleman, Abilene, Breckenridge, Mineral Wells, Graham.
If your town isn’t listed, don’t count us out. We would be honored to stop by and supply you with a free estimate.