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Honeylocust Removal En Masse

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From: Daniel Clark
City:
Vevay, IN
Hi, Thank you for providing so much useful information. I have learned a lot just by reading through the questions and answers, which is extremely helpful for someone like me who has no experience in this area.

I have recently purchased a farm that has been used for cattle pasture for decades. There is around 20 acres of pasture that contain primarily Honeylocust trees. My best guess is that there are around 1000 honeylocust trees in this pasture and we want to remove all the honeylocust and convert the fields into food plots (soybean, corn, radishes, sugarbeets, winter wheat, clover), small fruit orchard, and native grasses for the upcoming hunting season. what is the most effective and efficient approach to removing these trees? I would prefer to remove the trees mechanically, i.e. with a bulldozer or cut the trees and dig out the stumps with a bobcat, but I am concerned about root sprouts. We could also cut the trees and treat the stump with Triclopyr, and delay removing the stump, but that may not be practical if we have to wait too long for the treatment to be effective. Its important to note that we will start removing the trees within a week or two, so it will be done during dormant season.

Sooo...here are the questions I'm struggling with:

-since we are preparing the land for wildlife habitat, deer in particular, are root sprouts necessarily a bad thing? I've heard deer eat the sprouts, but I'm concerned that there will be too many sprouts. -should we expect rootsprouts if we bulldoze or cut and remove stumps immediately? -if we cut and treat the stump, how long should we wait for the treatment to take effect before removing the stump given its the middle of winter? - Do you have any other ideas or see anything I am missing?

Thank you for any help you can provide.

 
Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
jhayek@illinois.edu
Hi Daniel:

Thanks for the positive feedback!

Yeah, felling a thousand honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos) trees is definitely not something that I would like to undertake. Therefore, I believe your best bet is mechanical removal with a dozer blade or backhoe. You may get "some" root sprouts, but nothing compared to what you would observe with black locust (Robinia pseudo acacia). And yes, deer will definitely browse the "succulent" young stump sprouts.

If you do opt to remove some of the honeylocust trees via chainsaw, just make sure to treat the stumps with a woody herbicide such as Triclopyr, Glyphosate, or Picloram. This is a good winter job and these herbicides work during the dormant season as well as the growing season.

Best of luck to you!

 
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