tool for pulling sapliings out by the roots

montesa_vr(Minnesota)May 28, 2007

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 ( 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?

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maineman(z5a ME)

I've never seen such a thing, but you could probably have a blacksmith or welding shop make one for you. I use the large Weed Wrench, which works quite well.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 12:01AM
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I helped the neighbor across the street pull out some bushes from the front of his house with a 15 lb. navy fluke anchor.

We dug down into the root mass on one side, hammered the flukes into the root mass, ran the chain through the middle of the bush and attached it to the anchors arm and slowly pulled the bushes out with a Ford F150 van.

They came out sweet as can be.

You could also use a heavy "digging" bar.

"M80's" and quarter sticks are fun if you have licensing for dynamite.

A good 50 caliber from a decent height at the proper angle would keep the neighbors on their toes.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 12:39AM
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Could you possibly use a fence post puller? (T post puller )

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 10:36PM
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billw(5b - Kansas)

Here is Kansas we call them Chinese Elms. They are the worst weed trees... I have found that 2 or 3 applications of Round-Up will kill even a 2"-3" tree if you get the leaves well covered. The more leaves the better to absorb the Round-Up.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 11:29PM
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maineman(z5a ME)


I think a disadvantage of using a T-post puller is that it grips the T-post at a considerable distance above ground level, while both the claw hammer, the proposed tool based on it, and the Weed Wrench all grip the sapling at or near ground level.

Also, many T-post pullers are designed to take advantage of the "knobs" on the T-post, which don't exist on saplings.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 11:42PM
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dmullen(Southern CA)

I pull tree stumps with my Hi-Lift jack. It will lift 7000 pounds and I have never had a problem with pulling any tree stump. Just put a chain through the roots at the bottom, start lifting and cutting roots as needed.

Sounds like those small trees would go to if you had an easy and fast way to get something under them.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 5:34AM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

Yep, you can't beat a pickup and 25' of truck chain. Makes easy and fast work of it.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 6:34AM
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A length of 5/16" truck chain works very well. If you can get a tire rim to wrap the chain around to convert horizontal force to vertical force, so much the better.
I have an old truck split rim with the split completely welded that works very well, though it is large and heavy.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 11:05PM
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Thanks for all the responses. Fairyprincess, I don't have anything in .50 caliber but I do have some slugs for the .410. I've been mad enough to try it. I used to help my Grandpa dynamite stumps a very long time ago. He bought his dynamite at the hardware store.

bas, that's funny, because I was wondering if I could use a weed wrench to pull t-posts.

billw, three shots of Roundup, huh? I better pull the ones I have and poison the new ones. I'm not sure there's enough Roundup in Minnesota to "get the leaves well covered" on my crop.

jimtnc, a nice guy gave me a hand with the pickup and chain solution once. It was lilacs instead of chinese elms, but the result was that when some roots gave all at once the hook at the end of that chain sailed forward and put a big dent in his tailgate. Be careful out there.

So Mainman, tell me about the weed wrench. Does it work as advertised? Is it something you've been glad to own? What are the downsides?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 11:16PM
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maineman(z5a ME)


The Weed Wrench works as advertised. It comes in four sizes: Mini, Light, Medium, and Heavy.

I got the Heavy, but if I had it to do over again, I probably would just get the Medium. The Heavy has been overkill for 90% of the small trees and shrubs I have pulled with it.

But it works fine and I have pulled a lot of stuff with it. The Medium size could have pulled most of that stuff and it would have been easier to handle because it weighs less and is shorter.

In my opinion, the Weed Wrench would be completely inappropriate for pulling T-posts. I think the steel of the post would damage the steel mesh jaws of the Weed Wrench. And the Weed Wrench pulls the "weed" out at a tilting angle, which a T-post would resist.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 1:22AM
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Thanks Maineman. I was thinking the same thing about the medium being the right size, but then the old "might as well" kicks in and I think it would be nice to be able to pull some of those bigger trees that I've been cutting with the axe. They'll just be back next year.

If I had bought a Weed Wrench a year ago when I first heard of them I probably could have paid for it by now if my time was worth anything.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 11:06PM
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DrynDusty(z8 AZ)

dmullin: I've tried to use my high lift jack to pull out mesquite trees without luck. I probably caused an earthquake in China doing it. Better not try that again.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 8:50PM
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I have the Medium Weed Wrench. It works just fine, but needs a small strip of 3/4" plywood to keep the foot from sinking in. I pulled some 2" volunteer trees from around the base of a Japanese black pine last weekend. The soil was a little damp which helped.
For T-posts, HiLift makes a metal device that drops over the top and tilts to an angle to both bind on the post and present a loop for the farm jack to grab/lift. Works quite well.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 11:01PM
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I got a chance to try a Weed Wrench this week. We were visiting one of our Minnesota State Parks and while leaving the visitor's center I spotted a worker carrying one, so I started a conversation. He said the park loans them out. Two hours of pulling Buckthorn in the park gets you two weeks with the Weed Wrench at home. Can't beat that.

I borrowed a medium, and Maineman, I can see why you'd have second thoughts about the large size. The medium is about as heavy as anything I'd want to carry around in one hand and it stands up high enough to get pretty good leverage. tkendr01, I found the same thing in soft ground -- I need something to put under the base to keep it from sinking in. Too many gopher mounds.

Anyway, it does the job, and the price is right. I later learned that they are also availble from some of the local governments because of the proliferation of Buckthorn.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 6:48PM
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maineman(z5a ME)

I had pretty much decided I made a mistake getting the large Weed Wrench and then, about a month ago, I had a job of removing some shrub stumps from the back yard. The brute force of the big Weed Wrench was barely sufficient to rip out the stumps and even then, it ripped some of them out in pieces.

But a multi-day job was reduced to about three hours, so the big Weed Wrench was at least partially vindicated. It does weigh a lot though. Most people, maybe even me, would be better off with the medium size. As much as they cost, I think I'll stick with mine, even though it is overkill for many jobs.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 11:52PM
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We started a non profit group here and we use a Pullerbear tree puller to pull alder, poplar and scotch broom. The puller we use was bought online from and we were surprised how light it was. One of our volunteers was pulling 2' trees out with it and the thing weighs about 12 pounds. We had used a rented weed wrench before and it worked well but they told us that they wouldn't ship to Canada. One other thing we like about the pullerbear is that the jaw doesn't get all gummed up and once you grab the tree it won't let go until you push forward on the handle. We have ordered another one!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 4:57PM
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Thanks for the links on the Extractigator and the Pullerbear. Good to be able to look at the alternatives. You guys are great!

Maineman, now having spent many hours using the Weed Wrench, I think if I bought one I might get a large. I've run across a number of the elms where the medium is a real wrestling match. rbpais, I have been very frustrated with the jaws of the Weed Wrench gumming up. It's really a problem when I try to pull the smaller sprouts -- just slips or peels the barks without pulling the root out.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 3:42AM
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I found a California newsletter with a comparison between the Extractigator and the Weed Wrench. The Extractigator seemed to have more advantages but testers wished it was orange like the Weed Wrench. After spending a couple of hours pulling buckthorn in the State Park, I can see the importance of that. It's a little harder to lose it out in the pasture.

Here is a link that might be useful: Extractigator vs. Weed Wrench

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 4:27AM
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In my area of the country, a black tool stands out against the brush. But if it didn't, a can of cheap florescent spray paint would solve the problem quickly enough!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 1:50PM
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After extensive use of the medium sized Weed Wrench I decided to order an Extractigator. I probably won't get to try it out very soon since it's supposed to be below zero when it arrives.

There were three things I didn't like about the Weed Wrench. First, the jaws seemed to easily gum up with peeled bark and then wouldn't hold on the trunk of the trees, especially smaller ones. Second, I very frequently needed a board under the foot plate to keep the thing from sinking into the ground. But mainly, it just wasn't efficient enough. I wasted a lot of time trying to get the jaws snugged up on the trunks of the trees and keep them gripping while I started the pull.

I don't expect the Extractigator to have quite the pulling power of the medium Weed Wrench, but I'm hoping the design will allow faster pulling of the small stuff. Delivered price is about the same for either unit to Minnesota.

I would still be interested in the largest Weed Wrench for the biggest stuff, but I have found that if I cut the trunks at ground level and squirt the bleeding stump with a mix of Roundup and used motor oil, they don't come back.

None of these tools were actually designed for Siberian Elms, so it's no surprise they don't work perfectly for my application. If I were a metalworker, I'd still try to fabricate some kind of giant claw hammer. I'll let you know how the Extractigator works when the spring thaw hits.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 10:19PM
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A large dump truck and a heavy chain---works well. Go figure!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 11:26AM
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maineman(z5a ME)


"I'll let you know how the Extractigator works when the spring thaw hits."

Please do. I was beginning to regret purchasing the largest Weed Wrench after using it to pull a bunch of wild brambles (which I still have a bunch of left that need to go). It was definitely overkill for that.

However, when I removed a large overgrown Lilac shrub last year, the large Weed Wrench was severely challenged and anything less wouldn't have defeated it. As it was, it came out in maybe a dozen pieces.

So I'm OK with my big Weed Wrench, but I will be interested to hear of your experiences with the Extractigator. I might get one for the brambles. I'm glad they are orange now.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 2:32PM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

i have yet to meet a sapling that either my GT or truck could not pull out. once they get too big for the truck to do it, they are trees adn should be cut not pulled.

i have a tow strap i loop around the base and hook to my truck or GT. then i just pull away slowly. the strap tightens and digs in and the tree(pulled some up with a 8" diameter) comes right out. i have only had to snatch on a couple larger ones.

i have also used RU to kill out trees. DO NOT USE STORE BOUGHT RU. go on Ebay and get generic 41% glyphosphate. it is much cheaper. then mix it at 4 oz per gallon. 2 doses a week or so apart and the tree is dead.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 4:04PM
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I'm sure I could pull these trees out with a truck. But even with the cumbersome Weed Wrench I can pull ten of them in the time it takes to back up a truck, attach a chain, pull the tree, and back up to another tree. I have many hundreds to pull. I need to be able to do 60-80 per hour.

Roundup will kill them but it won't remove the roots from the soil. I'd like to keep the pastures ready to till or plow.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 7:56PM
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I have worked with three different products removing 8" seedlings, 4' bushes and 10' trees (Weedwrench, Pullerbear, and Extractigator). And the CLEAR winner is the Extractigator (47" 12 lbs):http: // There has been only a couple times where I could have used the "Heavy" weedwrench (60" 24 lbs) for removing larger trees. The two times my Extractigator has been borrowed, both men's wives ordered immediately this tool as Christmas & birthday gifts for their husbands.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 2:16PM
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windchime(z6a NJ)

montesa, Did your extractigator arrive yet, and have you had a chance to try it out? I came on-line today to order the weed wrench, but after finding this thread and learing there were alternatives, I'm not sure. I know I can't trust the 2 recommendations above from herowena and rbpais because they joined GW the same day they 1st posted about the products and never posted again, although herowena posted 6 weeks later on this same post about the extractigator (but never anywhere else on GW.) I'm always very skeptical of product recommendations on public forums. :) I've read a ton of info on the weed wrench (both here and elsewhere.) And rhodies post about using both products is *very* helpful, b/c most people don't get to use both. I'd like to hear a little more of the pros and cns of each from Rhodies. And I'm wondering about your (montesa's) experience with the extractigator vs the weed wrench. After reading the article that you linked to above, I really didn't see that either was preferred there.

I'm also a little torn for another reason that has nothing to do with which works better. The weed wrench was invented in 1988, and the extractigator was invented in 2000. The extractigator inventor claims that he was unaware of another tool when he created his tool. But he could be lying. I dunno. I don't want to reward someone for stealing someone else's work. Plus the weed wrench is made in the USA. Not that I have anything against Canada, b/c I don't. :)

Oh, yeah, and p.s. I did see some kind of a claw type tool on e-bay when I was looking to see if there were any weed wrenches on there, but it looks really small, and I kinda had to laugh b/c it says "guaranteed forever." I was like, yeah, right, I'll break that thing on day 1. It looks like it's for smaller weeds, not the "weed trees" I have here.

Here is a link that might be useful: e-bay weed tool

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 3:21PM
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windchime, I got to try my new Extractigator today for the very first time. It is everything the medium Weed Wrench should have been. As I said in January:

"There were three things I didn't like about the Weed Wrench. First, the jaws seemed to easily gum up with peeled bark and then wouldn't hold on the trunk of the trees, especially smaller ones. Second, I very frequently needed a board under the foot plate to keep the thing from sinking into the ground. But mainly, it just wasn't efficient enough. I wasted a lot of time trying to get the jaws snugged up on the trunks of the trees and keep them gripping while I started the pull."

The Extractigator design is different and it addresses these three concerns.

First, the jaw design holds the trunk better and doesn't gum up. It will never just peel the bark. The disadvantage is that if the roots are stronger than the the stem it will break the trunk off just above the ground in some cases. However, the gumming problem was really frustrating and I'm very happy that the Extractigator doesn't have it. Another benefit is that the Extratigator jaws will grip much smaller stems than the Weed Wrench. Huge advantage for the Extractigator.

Second, the design of the Extractigator uses two foot plates, so that as you rotate the handle toward the ground the second plate comes into play. That helps keep the whole thing from sinking into the ground. I expect I'll still need a board in some cases but I pulled several dozen trees today without needing it. Extractigator wins again, but I suspect there is no way to eliminate the need for a support board when pulling larger trees on soft ground.

Third, the Extractigator design makes grabbing the trees much quicker and more efficient than the Weed Wrench. The problem with the Weed Wrench design is that the jaws are joined by horizontal sliding channels, and to get them set on the trunk of a tree you have to step on one of the jaws and pull back on the handle. It's a time consuming hassle and I wore spots on my left boot in a couple of weeks of using the Weed Wrench. By contrast, the Extractigator has diagonal channels holding the jaws together, and gravity tightens them against the stem as you place it. Take my word for it, the difference is night and day. Using the Extractigator I could easily pull three to four times as many smaller (thumb sized) trees with the same amount of time and effort compared to the Weed Wrench.

As far as quality of materials, both the Extractigator and the Weed Wrench are very heavy duty and seem built for the long haul. I wish both companies would chrome plate their sliding surfaces, since there's no way they can hold paint.

Bottom line: Unless you are sure that almost all of the plants you want to pull are larger than 2-3" in diameter, you'll be happier with an Extractigator. It's a better design.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 4:57PM
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windchime(z6a NJ)

Okay, well I went ahead and ordered the extractigator based on reviews from people in this thread. I figured that buying the tool that works the best is the best bet. I measured one of the largest trees I need to pull, and it appears to be just a hair under 2 inches at a few inches up from the ground. I figure that if the jaws don't fit, I can probably put a couple of cinderblocks on the ground to bring the jaws up higher on the tree, where the diameter is slightly smaller. Now I cannot wait to get this thing!!

I wanted to share my check-out experience real quick with those who might find it useful. I was a little suprised that the extractigator is the same price as the medium weed wrench (which is exactly the same size, but a little heavier.) $154.99 vs $155. I thought that the extractigator might be a little pricier given the weak U.S. dollar (the extractigator is made in Canada.) I think the reason is that instead of raising the price on their website, they tack on a $10 handling charge at check-out, and this is *before* shipping is added. Not surprisingly, the shipping to NJ is more for the extractigator (BC, Canada) than the weed wrench (Oregon.) $38 vs $27. So total was $202.99. The extractigator cost me $21 more than the medium weed wrench. I think it's worth it to get a better tool. But I am a little disappointed that they hide the true price on the extractigator website. The weed wrench website does a good job of showing prices. They have a shipping chart right there on the main page, with different prices depending on your zip code (My zip is the second highest after HI and AK.) For the extractigator, I didn't find out the shipping cost, *or* about the additional $10 "handling" fee, until I was checking out. By that time, I had already decided which one I would purchase. No doubt this is done intentionally.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 10:40AM
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I would prefer that all merchants put all costs up front, but I buy a lot of stuff over the internet and I just assume that I don't have a comparable price until I am at the last stage of checkout and all shipping and handling fees are listed.

The one thing I didn't care for on my Extractigator purchase was the shipping process. UPS and FedEx allow you to track your package all the way to your door. With the Extractigator, the Canadian postal system hands the package off to the US Postal system, and once that handoff is done, so is your tracking.

Anyway, Windchime, I hope you have the opportunity to borrow a medium Weed Wrench some day so you can appreciate what you got for your extra $21.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 11:23PM
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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

I recently purchased an Extractigator based on the reviews from this thread and I could not be happier with it. Over the past 8 years I've rid our 3 acre yard of mature buckthorn and honeysuckle, but the voids created have quickly filled with more buckthorn seedlings from the gazillions of dormant seeds. At first I was spraying them with Roundup, but that created too much collateral damage and usually didn't kill the target. I recently started digging them up with a shovel and brute strength, but end up with a sore back after a short time. The $197 price tag of the Extractigator quickly became more sensible as physical removal became the only logical option.

When it arrived on the 12th (Ordered on the 2nd, and shipped out the same day) we were in the middle of a record rainy period (11 inches of rain already this month) and I wasn't expecting the Extractigator to work well in the extremely soft soil. But I was pleasantly surprised that it was able to successfully pull out trees up to 1/2" diameter, which is the largest tree I've encountered so far. I did about 20 trees that day, and about 50 more today. I didn't even break a sweat. As it turns out, the most strenuous part is disposing of the uprooted trees. Most of the trees pull out on the first attempt, and maybe 10 so far needed the device to be repositioned to complete the removal because the root mat was so extensive. I sprinkle wildflower seeds in the disturbed soil of the removed tree, so hopefully something nice will take their place, or at least compete with the buckthorns that are yet to germinate. I have given up on the notion that I will ever completely eradicate buckthorn from the yard, but with the extractigator, the frustration has been reduced considerably!

Sometime this summer I hope to try it out on much larger trees on my grandparents' property. I'll report back with the results.

In short, I would not hesitate to recommend the Extractigator.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 12:01AM
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Definitely watch for posts suspect from exttractigator - herowena, gnomeabram to name a few. The pullerbear and the extractigator inventors are from the same small town in Canada so you decide who came first. The extractigator says he is a mechanical engineer and in fact he does not have a degree but only has a college certificate. So be wary about grandiose claims, even testimonials on his website are from relatives.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 12:13PM
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maineman(z5a ME)

Hi all,

Based on favorable reviews of the Extractigator here, I ordered one, received it in a couple of weeks with no problems, and after using it for over a week, I can report that I am very happy with it.

I am clearing an area that has grown up in brambles (wild raspberries, or raspberries that have "gone wild") and my Extractigator has been very useful in pulling the ones that aren't easy to pull by hand, and in pulling various young "weed" trees. It seems to me that it lives up to its advertised claims, and I would definitely purchase it again.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 2:04PM
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masiman(z7 VA)

Just got back from 2 weeks up your MM. Love that place!

My first time to Acadia. We will definitely go there again next year, maybe even spend a night or two.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 11:14PM
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What do think Maineman? Are we pimps for a little company in British Columbia? You'd think the least they could have done is given us a discount on the shipping!

Too bad you don't live closer, so I could borrow your large Weed Wrench for some of the trees that are too big for my Extractigator. I've gone to cutting them off below ground with an axe and smearing a mix of old motor oil and Roundup on the bleeding stump.

Anyway, here's something completely new. It's a long bit for a cordless drill with a couple of teeth on the end to tear smaller plants out by the roots. Looks like a fast way to get rid of the little stuff.

Here is a link that might be useful: cordless drill weed puller video

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:30PM
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maineman(z5a ME)

The Ergonica Turbo Weed Twister looks like an effective tool. In the video, it cracked me up when the guy pulled out a remote control and "turned off" the video.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 3:05AM
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I ordered a Pullerbear on 28 July and received it today. I just gave it a whirl on three small trees in my yard and all I can say is WOW! This tool works for me and is a keeper IMHO.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 4:28PM
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Well, after perusing this thread carefully, I ordered a pullerbear. It took rather longer to get to me in Delaware than I expected (about 3 weeks)but I wasn't in a hurry, and I suspect the post office for most of the delay. If it was delayed. I don't remember how long they said it would take. According to their emails, it left their place in a day or two. It came tightly packaged--if it had been a bathing suit, it would have left nothing to the imagination. Anyway, I was eager to try it. The ground was frozen, so I figured I wouldn't need the DIY plywood base extender, which they kindly provide information on. We had no snow on the ground, and the weather was pleasant, so I trotted out to the pasture for an experimental pull. Heh. I forgot that frozen ground also anchors roots quite well. I managed to bite off the sapling with no movement of the roots. Apparently you'll have to wait for spring for a full review.

Here is a link that might be useful: (my just-starting weed blog)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 3:00PM
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I can't figure out how to edit my posts, so here's a clarification--It was two weeks to the day that I waited for the tool. I suppose my Canadian friends might suppose I was referring to their post office, but provincial American that I am, I didn't specify which post office. I intended to blame our good old USPS for the delay. And some of my best friends are postmen!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 8:06AM
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Ok, so now i am confused. I have a 75 foot long line of very old privet. Which tool do you guys think would do the best job to remove it. Privet has a very deep tap root. Last year, I dug out a 50 foot line of it and it was a major pain in the arse. it took several weekends and lots of pain killers. I also have numerous old azaleas that need to go. I am leaning towards the puller bear due to price. Any suggestions??

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 10:47PM
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Last Feb I posted about receiving my Pullerbear, and the ground being too frozen to work. That has changed; here's my story.
My neighbor had occasion to use it before I did, and the weld broke! He said the misadventure laid him on the ground. He's a big guy, so I imagine he was putting a lot of pressure on the tool. I called Pullerbear, and the fellow said they had a run of bad welds, and I must have gotten one of those; get it fixed and send him the bill, he'd refund my expense. As it happened, The fellow who re-welded it wouldn't charge me, so Pullerbear and I both got the job done for free.

I've had several occasions to use the device. It works! I've learned not to put my leg directly under the bar in case the sapling breaks off and the handle makes a speedy descent to the ground, which happens sometimes. I'd say the need for a board under the base is pretty much mandatory. I use an old piece of oak 2ÃÂ12, not attached to the tool. Keeps it from burying itself in the ground. I wish the tool had a little prong or something at the base that I could push with my foot to hold the jaw open while I shove it against the sapling. Pushing on the base with my foot kind of works.

Do I like it? Yup. Does it work? yup. I wish the handle were a bit longer. How are the people who make it? Seem to be great folks. Would I get another one? Well, I can't use two at once, and this one is likely to last a looong time.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 1:15PM
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rogersgeorge, thanks for the Pullerbear review. It sounds like the Pullerbear suffers from the same two dislikes I had about the Weedwrench: sinking into the ground and too fussy about getting the jaws wrapped around the trunk. I'm glad I bought an Extractigator. It would be great if some day we could get all three tools side by side for a comparison on the same plants and soil.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 6:39PM
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After using extensively with rhododendron & magnolia society members, master gardeners, and friends the Weed Wrench, Puller Bear, and Extractigator tools we all prefer the convenience of the Extractigator's automatically opening "jaw" and extended foot so to not needing supporting boards for plant removal as was needed by the other tools. Also a nice touch is the new "big foot" extension accessory which has been wonderful while working on creek banks and other soft soil situations.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 8:38AM
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A forum lurker recently bought a Pullerbear, and seeing that I was in Minnesota, he contacted me about getting together to compare tools. Last Saturday he drove more than an hour and a half each way to make it happen.

The Pullerbear and the Extractigator are approximately the same length and weight. As documented above, the jaw mechanism of the Pullerbear, like the Weed Wrench, requires a lot of extra effort to get closed around a trunk. Another weakness of the Pullerbear design is that the smaller the trunk diameter, the closer the handle is to the ground when the jaws are closed -- in some cases not giving much room to do any pulling. A third Pullerbear failing is the jaws are so narrow and aggressive that it simply cuts small stuff rather than pulling. And as others have mentioned, in soft soil the Extractigator will pull saplings while the Pullerbear sinks helplessly into the dirt.

We tried the two tools on a wide variety of plants. There is one specific application where the Pullerbear beats the Extractigator every time. On a Siberian elm where a new plant is growing from an old root, neither tool will do anything but tear the new growth off the root. But the Pullerbear, with its narrow and aggressive jaws, can be worked down around the top of the thicker stump and pull the root. The Extractigator's longer jaws make this very difficult.

Having used all three tools now in the same setting, here's my summary. For sheer brute force and the ability to pull the largest trees, the five foot long Heavy model Weed Wrench is in a class by itself. For getting roots of all those trees you clipped off with your DR brush mower, the Pullerbear works the best of the three. But for convenience and versatility, the Extractigator is the superior tool. It is faster and more effective on a wider variety of plants than either the Weed Wrench or the Pullerbear.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 2:04PM
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I used to own the large Weed Wrench and now use an Extractigator, and I agree with your findings. Even the Extractigator will sometimes cut off a smaller sapling, so I place a pad like an old sock over its jaws to lessen its tendency to cut. I am sorry that I let my big Weed Wrench go, but when we moved from Maine to Kansas I had no idea that I would still be pulling weed trees. Boy, was I wrong about that!

ZM (formerly MaineMan)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 4:15PM
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So I am the forum lurker that montesa_vr mentioned above. We emailed back and forth a couple times after I ordered the PullerBear. Here is what my email to him after receiving and trying it out:

My first impressions of the PullerBear are not that favorable. It came packaged is heavy duty plastic wrap, so of course all of the edges/corners were dinged/chipped. I suppose this shouldnt be too big of an issue given the use of the tool, but I generally keep all of my tools in very nice shape, so disappointing to see it arrive less than very nice. The paint on it is atrocious, very uneven and nothing at all like the pictures. The paint seems to have still been wet when wrapped to, because the plastic wrap was stuck to the paint and some paint chipped off during unpackaging. The smell of wet paint was also over powering, but after a night in the garage, that is gone and it no longer feels tacky. The "grip" they mention on their website is just black paint w/ some grit in it...truly awful.

I just got done pulling probably 40 or so saplings. There is definitely a sweet spot of about 1" where it really shines. Less than that, it more tears than pulls and when you start to get much larger than that, there is not enough leverage. And speaking of, there seems to be an area of improvement for leverage. Unless you're clamping down on a large tree (say 2"+ ), you start w/ the handle at about a 60 degree angle already, so you dont have a full stroke down to the ground to really yank the tree out.

I just moved here from VT and we used an OLD weed wrench to clear mountain bike trails there. I recall it being considerably easier to use, but of course there were a lot of different variables. Overall on it's own, I would probably give the PullerBear 2 or 3 out of 5 stars. I would say a 3 because it does work to get saplings out, but there is definitely room for improvement. I would possibly bump it down to a 2 just because of fit, finish and packaging (to me, that shows lack of price in product).

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:31AM
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As for the comparison, I think montesa_vr's assessment was pretty fair. A couple of additional thoughts to add to his:

I really want to stress the weakness of the jaw mechanism of the PullerBear compared to the extractigator. It was so much easier to use the extractigator. Also, the PullerBear definitely did sink into the dirt considerably more. I did not add the additional wood "foot" to the PullerBear because that would not be an apples to apples comparison. I think the fact that PullerBear has that for an option shows that is it almost needed and I think this is something they should address at the factory.

A couple of pros for the PullerBear...price and larger saplings. It is a considerably cheaper tool, so worth mentioning. Also, I thought for my specific application of pulling dozens of 1-2" saplings, the PullerBear excelled. It really is the sweet spot for the tool. I did not have a good way to compare if the Extractigator would do just as well, but based on the words from montesa_vr, I would assume so.

My bottom line: If you have a one time job where you need to clear out some land full of good sized saplings, I think the Pullerbear is the tool for you. It will do the job well at a great price. If you need a tool to use regularly on all sorts of plants, I would go w/ the Extractigator. It is absolutely the more flexible tool and way more user friendly. I'm not necessarily unhappily with the PullerBear, but if I were to do it over, I would go with the Extractigator.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:51AM
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I have been trying to get rid of buckthorn for a couple of years now. So far, I have been cutting it off at ground level, but it has a tendency to regrow. I really do not want to use a herbicide, so the best way would be to pull the whole tree.

I have been reading the posts here, and it looks like the Weed Wrench and the Extractigator tools would be the most likely choices. It appears that the Extactigator may have a slight advantage with the jaw design (less gumming up) and with the optional pad, it will not sink into the ground as much.

It appears that the last post was several months ago, so I was wondering if anyone has had any additional experience with either tool? I would like to get one ordered so I have it for whenever Spring gets here.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 11:06AM
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When I made that post about using a long chain to pull stumps, I forgot to mention that I put a heavy blanket on the chain in case something comes loose. The few times that has happened, the blanket stops the chain from hitting the rear of my truck. I hope it continues to work and I don't end up with a big dent.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 2:32AM
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johnschw, my first experience with a Weedwrench was pulling buckthorn, because one of the local state parks will loan the tool to anyone who volunteers to pull buckthorn in the park. I strongly recommend you choose the Extractigator for buckthorn.

DCM, the use of a heavy blanket or tarp on a winch or pull cable or rope is best practice, and will usually prevent a remodeled tail gate. I didn't know any better back when I had my bad experience. Thanks for the tip.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 4:12PM
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Based on the comments here, I ordered an Extractigator. It arrived in the first week of April, but the ground was still frozen, so I could not try it out. As soon as it looked like the ground was thawed, we got more snow! This happened 3 more times. I finally got to try it last week, and it really works great! The buckthorn has fairly shallow roots, so I was able to pull them quite easily. The honeysuckle has a tap root, so they are a little more difficult. Trees up to about 1 1/2 inches pull good, but I am still reluctant to put too much pressure on it to pull the 2 inch ones. Also, I did find that it is best to not stand in front and pull toward yourself in case the tree breaks off (it can hurt). Overall, I am quite pleased with the tool.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 9:00AM
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" Also, I did find that it is best to not stand in front and pull toward yourself in case the tree breaks off (it can hurt)."

Ideally, I think you are supposed to stand by the tree and push the tool. You are supposed to use your weight to push down on the lever. The lever looks like it is a lot stronger than it needs to be.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 1:44AM
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I would not recommend anyone buy a Pullerbear.

AFTER I purchased a Pullerbear, I received a E-Mail thanking me for my purchase and stating in all caps that âÂÂBENDING ANY PART OF A PULLERBEAR IS NOT COVERED BY THIS WARRANTY. IF YOU THINK YOU CAN BEND OR BREAK ANY PART OF A PULLERBEAR - PLEASE DON'T BUY ONE!â However, the Pullerbear homepage states that they have a âÂÂLifetime Structural Warrantyâ and on there FAQ page they states that they âÂÂwelcome the return of any Pullerbear that is defective or fails to do what we claim it will doâÂÂ.

With the jaw wide open I estimated that I bent the jaw with only about 150 pounds of downward pressure.

My experience with the company is that they do not stand behind what they sell. I cannot get a RMA or even parts.

Also concur with many of the comments above that the Pullerbear with shear off and not pull most small trees.

DO NOT believe positive comments about the Pullerbear. The editors of Garden Watchdog (Dave's Garden) moved a positive feedback on there site to a neutral one because of their policy that a company may not pose as their own customers in order to leave feedback.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 6:23PM
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I am mainly working at removing Redbud Saplings, Ash, and Bush Honeysuckle. We have lived on 3/4 acre for 40+ years and I planted the entire 1/4 acre front yard in trees. No mowing now, just shade plants and natives but above critters are getting ahead of me. Thanks for the heads up about Buckthorn which I was just getting ready to plant in the yard. They are a native variety and provided by our Conservation department but I will put them on the eroding creekbank in our park. I am female, 66 and 5'3". I hope to get one of the tools mentioned in this thread but here is what I have been doing for the past few years which might work well for homeowners or one time jobs. I have an electric chainsaw which I use to cut bigger trees but my main weapon of choice is a SawsAll type saw outfitted with special "pruning saw" blades. Unless rocks are a problem, I just point this puppy right down in the ground and saw a circle around the tree to cut the side roots loose. If I can figure out a way to yank out the tree from there I do so. Failing that I dig the dirt away and cut the stump off flush below the ground level. I then pour a cap full of copper sulfate on the 1-2" stump and cover it with a metal soup or juice can which I push down into the ground. I then throw a few handsful of mulch or woodchips on top to cover the can. Redbuds are very stubborn and sometimes require a second application the following year and policing to be sure the side roots aren't coming up. Everything else pretty much gives up the ghost. Sometimes I reuse the cans in a different spot and sometimes they just rust away.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 5:10PM
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Have you thought of a post puller or a farm jack?

Aldershot Farnham Fencing Contractor

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 3:25AM
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This is in response to LDLemon AKA Larry Lemon of Conway, AR. If you are a vendor of any kind and Lemon wants to be your customer...don't do it. There is no way someone of his physicality (these are his words in from an email that he sent us... " IâÂÂm 62 years old, weight 190 lbs, and recently retired from an office job. I did not put my full weight on the Pullerbear and I bent it.") would be able to bend the 1" square tubular jaw made of grade A U.S. steel. The part he bent was only 6" long He abused the tool and even though we don't warranty bending or abuse, we offered Lemon a full refund. He didn't return it, instead he chose to continue to use it to complete his pulling project and then he wanted to return it over a month later. We have experienced this scam before and therefore told Lemon the offer to refund him was revoked. Lemon now has a mission to harm our reputation and it is incumbent upon us to address the lies that he continues to spread on any gardening site that will host his imbecilic rants. I am the owner of the Pullerbear company and we've sold over 10,000 Pullerbears and not one has ever been returned to us. Not one! We're turning this Lemon into lemonade by warning other vendors to avoid this clown who will use your product until the job is done and then return it once he no longer has any use for it. He tried to extort a refund from us by threatening to post negative comments about our product. We said go ahead and we will address his B.S. when we find it and we found this page...that's why you're reading this now. Sorry for wasting your time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pullerbear

This post was edited by rbpais on Tue, Dec 10, 13 at 11:50

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Hi. After following this thread I became convinced that I need to purchase an Extractigator to remove heavily infested areas of blackberry. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that owing to my location, Australia, I can only purchase the Extractigator Junior, and that at a hefty $90 postage. Has anyone had any experience with the Junior? I don't mind the cost of postage (as we come to expect this in Australia) but don't want to waste my money on a less than useful product.

Your thoughts on this will be much appreciated

    Bookmark   September 20, 2014 at 5:52PM
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In my Stump removal search I found this site at the price is Cdn.
two ideas, one for stump removal and the other for small tree pulling.
and there main site (Bilingual).

    Bookmark   September 23, 2014 at 3:27PM
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