tool for pulling sapliings out by the roots
My land is infested with Siberian Elm saplings, reseeded each year by a row of mature trees planted as a windbreak by some forgotten owner. When they are young they are easy to mow, but perversely, the roots continue to develop and send out a taller, stronger, bushier tree the next year. Mow them three years in a row and eventually they produce a trunk too thick for the mower, along with a root system you wouldn't want to hit with a tiller.
I need to pull these things out by the roots. A tool that looks like it would do the job is called Weed Wrench (http://www.weedwrench.com)-- kind of like a vise on the end of jack handle. Looks like a well designed and high quality product, but over $200 shipped for the largest model.
Last night I was walking across the pasture with a claw hammer in my hand and I tried whacking a Siberian Elm with the claws like the tree was a nail I wanted to pull. I was able to lever the handle back and pull the plant out root and all. Unfortunately many of the saplings are already too large in diameter for the hammer, but it did get me thinking.
What if you could buy something like a mattock with fork in the blade, like the claws of a giant claw hammer? With the leverage of that long handle pulling the roots out would be effortless and it could be made less expensively than a weed wrench.
Anybody ever see such a thing? Anybody have any better ideas?