Mesquite clearing

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spartacus
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Mesquite clearing

Post by spartacus » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:03 am

Howdy yall,

I've been working on some ideas to clear about half our acreage. We have about 885 acres and its almost all covered in dense mesquite (hasn't been touched in 30+ years....much of it probably never. We have one "cleared" field of about 50 acres but mesquite is always popping up in it. No real quality grass growing anywhere. I want to probably plant Buffel or something similar on around 450 cleared acres.

We looked at doing the full stack, root plow, rake and seed, but it will take a long time, is very expensive, and I have been hearing that with this density we will still have to spray Sendero every year or two forever anyway....

SO, I was thinking, what if we simply doze and stack it. Do a shallow seed some Buffel etc with a brillion or no till drill, and then spray the mesquite regrowth when it arises?
That seems like a much faster and simply and cheaper means to the same end. Or am I way off base?

(I also considered just aerial spraying the entire ranch this summer and letting it sit until next year and then clearing.)

Looking for a little guidance from you guys who have dealt with mesquite for years.



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Brute 23
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Re: Mesquite clearing

Post by Brute 23 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:28 am

I agree with your line of thinking. Unless you want to clear it for a hay field or to row crop it I would not root plow it. It's too expensive IMO for grazing pasture.

A good dozer operator should be able to hang those mesquite with his blade and pull the root and all on the majority of the trees. A big track hoe would also make quick work of it.

I would also look at the cost of arial spraying it. It's getting popular around here to do that also. They have choppers that spray with booms. The have trailers the choppers land on with tanks to refill then they go back out. People are spraying it like that and then once it looks dead they are burning it all off. It's a slower process but you dont have to disturb the ground much at all.

... and yes, you will have to spray what ever you clean off annually for the rest of your life. The good thing is mesquite kill easy.
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Re: Mesquite clearing

Post by Texasmark » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:13 am

There are 400 acres across the road from me that had nothing done to it for over the 40 years I have had this farm. Problem there is Black Locust and it's analogus to Mesquite...but never barbecued with it.....grin.

Property went up for sale and a aerial sprayer came in with a helicopter and did what looked like (to me watching from across the road) a notable job of thorough spraying. In short it was a waste of time. Maybe 20% of the small trees were killed but trees in the 20+ foot range were stunted on the near side....where the spray hit and was blocked by the leaves on the back side.

Granted Mesquite has a different (thinner) leaf structure and it may succeed.

Edit:Reading the replies after responding to the question answers that question.

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kenny thomas
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Re: Mesquite clearing

Post by kenny thomas » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:38 am

I can get arial spraying done here for around 70-75 an acre depending on the chemical used. Sure worth checking out
My thoughts only, don't bet the farm on them. KT

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Re: Mesquite clearing

Post by sstterry » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:47 am

kenny thomas wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:38 am
I can get arial spraying done here for around 70-75 an acre depending on the chemical used. Sure worth checking out
Wow, I have never seen that done in this area. I learn something every day.

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Re: Mesquite clearing

Post by bird dog » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:13 pm

Get it aerial sprayed. It is by far the way to go. Its not the end all but the best way to start.

Next year you will have to come back and get the ones missed and again the year after that plus the regrowth of small trees.. Don't plan on clearing anything for two years at least. Let the skeletons stand. The grass will come back around the skeletons and the cows will do fine.

Replanting may not be necessary, after all mesquite trees are a legume. I saw a about a 100 acre pasture done this way and he never bothered clearing at all. A couple years after killing he had thick native grass and his stocking rate tripled.

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Re: Mesquite clearing

Post by Cross-7 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:37 pm

Aerial sprayed and the next year mulched worked pretty good for me.
I have to spot spray every year.
It’s a never ending battle.
My neighbors have theirs aerial sprayed with Cimarron max ( I think) every year and it gets the small new growth.
I can’t justify the expensive.
I can spot spray for a fraction of aerial.
All it cost me is chemical and my time

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Re: Mesquite clearing

Post by spartacus » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:53 pm

How bad will the regrowth be if we just stack the clearings? Will follow up spray handle it or will we be creating too much regrowth by disturbing the land?


When you have a tone of large mesquites, I cannot imagine that an aerial spray really kills a lot of them.


Also, how does Sendero affect blackbrush?

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Re: Mesquite clearing

Post by kenny thomas » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:23 pm

spartacus wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:53 pm
How bad will the regrowth be if we just stack the clearings? Will follow up spray handle it or will we be creating too much regrowth by disturbing the land?


When you have a tone of large mesquites, I cannot imagine that an aerial spray really kills a lot of them.


Also, how does Sendero affect blackbrush?
When done correctly aerial spraying actually does better than ground spraying. Especially since most use a GPS now days.
My thoughts only, don't bet the farm on them. KT

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Re: Mesquite clearing

Post by bird dog » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:41 pm

Kenny is right. Disturbing the plant triggers the root system to put out new growth. Look at a pasture where the mesquite was brush hogged and what comes back is a mesquite plant with multiple trunks and is much harder to kill. Old growth single trunk trees are easier to kill.

Your blackbrush needs to be treated with Tordon or Spike pellets.

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Re: Mesquite clearing

Post by Brute 23 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:16 pm

Either one will work. The problem you will have in that area is the availability of the areal vs their being multiple dozer options.

A good operator will get the roots and all of the mesquite.

Either way you are going to trigger a gazillion small bushes because big mesquites keeps smaller bushes from growing below them. As soon as those big ones are gone that 15 year sead bed is going to come on strong.

With the black and white brush just blade it off and start spraying it. It's really hard to get the roots with a dozer. It kills easy with a little spraying though.

The main benefit to areal is not destroying grass already in place. That doesnt sound like a problem in your case.
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Re: Mesquite clearing

Post by spartacus » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:47 pm

There is very little grass due to the canopy

I just thought a good dozing followed in the spring/next June by a floater truck with big boom spraying the fields and clearings with a mix for the blackbrush and mesquite.

I also thought we could Rhône disk the fields after their were dozed . That seems to help on fence lines so maybe that? Or maybe no till drill seed and create a strong grass seed bed of buffel?

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Re: Mesquite clearing

Post by Brute 23 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:01 pm

Nothing wrong with that plan. You will most likely have to disk after the dozer to smooth thing back out.
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