Insane tillage

bi11me(5b)February 13, 2012

Imagine what this would do to your mycorrhizal population:

Here is a link that might be useful: Hyper-tiller

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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Alright!! Now maybe we can get the Amazon mulched up.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 2:19PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I don't know what it would do to the fungus, but consider the earthworms.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 3:04PM
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ralleia(z5 Omaha, NE)

That was totally CRAZY!

Two-passes of shredding, tree-eating, stump-grinding, and rock crushing, then tilling and rolling? YOW! That could clear the path for a new windbreak (or anything else) in nothing flat!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 3:05PM
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pnbrown

Of course, clearing forest is massively disruptive to soil in the usual way also, right? Drop the trees, brush-chipper, pull stumps with a back-hoe, followed by a big rotovator, hugely disruptive to soil organisms. That machine overall might be a lesser impact.

But how many hp does it take? 150?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 4:55PM
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Lloyd

That. Is. Way. COOL!

Lloyd

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 7:06PM
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mendopete

Very impressive machine! It may have a value constructing fireline on a wildland fire, and less destructive than a D-8 bulldozer.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 9:47PM
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organic_popeye

Key word here - INSANE! This procedure is the ultimate in destroying all soil life. And I only thought I was good at it when I owned Troy-Bilts and a Mainline BCS. Nothing compared to this machine!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 1:13AM
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pnbrown

I think what is being missed here, judging by some comments, is that it is not possible to segue from heavy forest to food-production without some major change to the entire system. If it must be done then it is a question of how long will the process take and how to do the least long-term damage.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 9:06AM
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toxcrusadr(Zone 6a - MO)

Wow. I'd guess a lot more than 150 hp to run that thing and the tractor it's attached to.

It does seem like an industrial approach to 'making soil out of waste". If the point is to clear land or clean up after logging, it would be better to mulch the vegetation and leave it on the surface for erosion control. But I don't really know what its intended use really is.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 11:21AM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

I think this would be the perfect machine for cultivating my clay soil after it dries out...Do you think it would munch up the blackberries enough so that they would be dead, dead, dead and not sprout again?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 11:23AM
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Lloyd

If this is the same model, it requires 280-360 PTO HP.

Nothing I have will run it.

Lloyd

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 11:31AM
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darth_weeder(z7 NY)

sorry to hear that Lloyd.
I can't wait for the home version.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 1:32PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Tiller? The caption said stump grinder & stone crusher.
Most houses & Apartment buildings are where tree grinders have been.
I heard there are more trees in North America then when the first pilgrims came over.
The main different is the houses & malls in the great plains, Midwest all have trees.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 3:31PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

jolj, I did take out 3 old apple and a large pear tree where my house now stands and 3 more apple and 3 more pear have died out since......but I have added 20 shade, fruit, and nut trees.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 3:42PM
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toxcrusadr(Zone 6a - MO)

It would be a useful machine for grinding a lot of stumps in a forested area being cleared for development. Around here they usually bulldoze and burn trees, root balls and all. Sad thing to witness. Anyway they end up with a bunch of half burnt stumps they have to do something with. I suspect they find a place to bury them that they're not putting any structures on, because they'll rot and subside. This thing would do the whole job in one step.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 4:14PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Wayne 5, I am not surprised, you love trees, as many of us do.
But not everyone agrees with you/us.
Still if the statement(have found no proof, yet)that we have more trees now, then in the late 1600's. Then maybe there are some more tree loves (not to be confused with tree hugger).
Please tell me that you or someone turned(on a wood lathe) some of the fruit tree wood. It is almost as beautiful turned as when it was alive.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 8:02PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I have a couple of home turned legs by someone around here. I am not sure of the wood species. The pear tree was a beautiful reddish color when first sawn.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 8:25PM
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elisa_z5

jolj -- now you've touched my area of expertise -- history :)

The Jamestown settlers (1st permanent English colony) arrived in 1607, the Pilgrims in 1620. There were 1.05 BILLION acres of forest at that time.

At the present time there are around 750 MILLION acres of trees (some is not forest, but planted land being used for paper, etc.)

The quote you heard might be that there are more trees today than there were 100 years ago, which is true -- the deforestation had begun in earnest by 1850 and for the next 50 years, 13 square miles of forest were cleared every day. By 1920 (the low point) there were 735 million acres of trees. So the increase since then has been both in acreage and in numbers of trees, as there are many small seedlings planted in areas being reforested.

There are some very cool graphs to be found on the Trend Data site.
The estimates of forested area are taken from FIA Field Inventory repots, Forest Service Reports, Bureau Census land clearing stats, and Forest Clearing and population growth estimates.

What is not immediately evident from these stats is that there is a big difference between virgin forest and square miles of paper pulp trees planted in rows. If you want to make yourself sick, read the accounts of how the early money seekers would find a huge tree just right for a ship's mast in the middle of a forest. They then chopped down enough trees to form a protective bed for the one huge tree to land on when they felled it. The mast tree was the only one they wanted, and it was shipped to England. Better to work in the garden than to think about these things.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 9:20AM
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pnbrown

OTOH, many areas that 500 yrs ago would have been fire-plain are now scrub forest. Eco systems have been so altered since the coming of humans to NA that it makes little sense to talk of what is natural or native or normal and what isn't.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 10:31AM
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bi11me(5b)

Photos of my peninsula from the 1870's show sheep pasture for many acres, but historical records from the 1700's describe dense forests of tall spruce. We now have 100 year-old spruce again, but it is fairly regularly, and often ruthlessly, harvested.

Indigenous people had very little impact on forest density. It was with the arrival of Europeans that things started changing.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 11:27AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

In my area it was mostly forested with oak, hickory, hard maple, black walnut, beech, ash, wild cherry, and others. The land was granted out in mostly 80 and 160 acre allotments.

The early settlers cleared most of the land and usually left a 15 acre woods on each farm...usually having wet spots. I am sure this clearing was by the sweat of the brow. Then they set about drainage that was usually needed badly on most farms...again by the sweat of the brow.

I am certain that there are less trees here than in 1840. Anyway, I think it was all a necessary "evil" to do a fair amount of clearing. There are many areas in the east and southeast that should never have seen a plow...also much of the dryer plains possibly.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 1:39PM
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pnbrown

It's the continual, yearly or several times yearly plowing or rotovating that destroys the soil life. Or perhaps more accurately, keeps it at permanently low levels so as to constantly need high fertilizer apps to get production.

That is different from a one-time conversion from one status quo to another, like woodland to cropland or grassland to cropland.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 2:38PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Hi, elisa Z5.
I do not remember the "100 year ago" in the statement, but I am sure you are right.
Thanks for information.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 8:20PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

That machine is AWESOME... I want one! I loved how it devoured that little tree without flinching and then what it did to those rocks.... amazing. No more picking rocks out of my yard, just run them over with that thing.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 11:26PM
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terrene(5b MA)

That machine would no doubt be useful in specific instances, but it makes me cringe.

- What's its carbon footprint and how much fossil fuel does it use?
- How many individual specimens representing how many species is it destroying with every use (soil micro-organisms, bird and insect nests, rare native plant species, etc.), to benefit ONE very piggish species?
- NOISY! (I lived through months of noise from 10x as many machines while an abutting school property was re-developed and it was very stressful)
- Ho hum, another macho toy so that humans can feel powerful - with the "power" provided by fossil fuel (a finite resource), and not the innate wisdom of the users
- Anybody ever want to exercise their bodies these days or is "exercise" supposed to be done in the gym?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 11:51AM
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jolj(7b/8a)

scotty66, from what you said, sounds like the machine would replace a chainsaw, tiller, bucket or backhoe to remove small trees & large rocks.
The footprint could be even or smaller, then the longer more costly way.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 8:53PM
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bi11me(5b)

I'm inclined to agree. In terms of carbon footprint, it's likely a better option. My guess is that the intended use is to prepare areas that have been heavily lumbered for monoculture tree plantations. Large timber interests have pretty much mechanized the whole process, and will plant tree seedlings by the thousands in straight equidistant spacing over vast acreages, Same short-sighted mindset as other monoculture cropping, but a longer-term investment. It does preserve organic matter in the upper soil levels, but it sure beats things up doing it.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 9:34PM
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