Rip those root-balls

BRANDON — Clearing bush for pasture allows a farmer to leave root- balls in the ground. However, root-balls have to go if the re-claimed bush is to be converted to cropland.

If those trees are eight inches in diameter or smaller, Mike Notch can sell you a Notch Tree Puller that can rip them out of the earth, root-ball and all.

“If you just cut the tree at ground level, many species will sucker out and become a shrub, and then you’re facing another pasture renovation,” said Notch, designer and manufacturer of the Tree Puller.

Farmers buy it mainly for converting bush to pasture, but also for cropland, he added. It’s used to maintain tree lines and fence lines on the edges of fields and pulling fence posts.

Based in Lake Henry, Minnesota, where the Prairies meet the forest, halfway between Fargo, North Dakota, and Minneapolis, the company builds a variety of forage and bucket tools for both farming zones.

“One unique feature is that the hydraulic cylinder is tucked in behind, so (it’s) protected. Other tree pullers have the cylinder out front where it takes all the abuse,” Notch said.

“And we can dig with it. That’s why we have the teeth on the top of the arms. You put the arms together so you can force them to go under the root ball. That loosens up the stump so you can pull it out. On the video, we have it on a 90 horse(power) Kubota, and it performs very well with that power.”

The cylinders are rated for 3,000 pounds per sq. inch. With the 90 h.p. tractor, lifting capacity is 4,800 lb. Barbed tines on the arms are high tensile steel. The base unit width is 48 inches.

The list price is $3,800.

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