Preparation for Mowing a Brush Lot
In a previous post I wrote about clearing rocks (or boulders) from an unmowed area that you plan to mow with your DR Brush Mower. Hopefully, at this point you have cleared what rocks you could. Where I live it has now warmed up sufficently (and mud season has passed) so that actual mowing is now a possibility. But wait–before you start mowing that new brush lot there is one more thing you might need to do.
If you are looking to mow an slightly over-grown field there likely aren’t any oversized bushes, or small trees, that you need to remove. But if you are dealing with a field that hasn’t been field in twenty years or more–and has become a brush lot with some very large brush–then you will be dealing with some bushes (or trees) which the DR Mower cannot handle. This is my situation. If, as I do, you have one of the largest models of the DR Mower with a heavy duty blade then you can cut woody material up to three or three and a half inches. That is a good start, but even that doesn’t encompass everything.
A picture of a really over-grown brush lot would be something like this, which is exactly what I am dealing with this year:
There is a lot of work ahead of me. Some of that can be accomplished with the DR mower, but some of it can’t.
When you have oversized brush that must be removed with a chainsaw there are two options:
- Thin out the brush that the DR Mower can’t handle before you start mowing or
- Mow what you can, leave what you can’t, and cut the unmowed brush down with a chain saw after you have mowed.
Neither of those methods is more “right” than the other, so it mostly comes down to personal preference. My advice is to walk around the brush lot and survey what you are dealing with. If there are only a few bushes too large for your DR Mower it will probably be most convenient to simply mow everything you can and go back with a chainsaw to cut down the few your mower can’t handle. But if you have a fair number of bushes that your DR Brush Mower can’t handle, then I find it is best to thin out as many of those problem bushes as you can before mowing. If you have many bushes in your scrub lot that the DR Mower can’t handle, it can become very frustrating to try to mow around all of those giant over-grown bushes. I have found it much less frustrating to remove all of the too large brush and stack the cut brush in one heap so that you know everything left standing can be mowed with the DR mower.
Starting with thinning, and then mowing everything else, is a process that feels more controlled and systematic. The scrub lot is analysed during your survey (and any further potential problems besides too large scrub can be considered), and once you have completed the thinning you know that what remains can be mowed down in an orderly fashion. If without preparation you just attack the scrub lot with your DR Mower you don’t really know what you are getting into.
Finally, a word on not getting discouraged. You saw the previous picture of the thick scrub that I face. A few acres of that can look intimidating, if not downright impossible. It can feel that way. But with a DR Brush Mower (and a chainsaw where necessary) such a jungle of scrub can be overcome. I have already cleared an area that looked just as over-grown, but now looks like the above picture.
I did it. I will do it again. And you can do it too.
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