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Old 12-20-2015, 11:00 AM   #1
bgleaton
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Hunt In: Menard County, TX
Default Roller Chopping Question

I see a lot of guys use a roller chopped to help stimulate browse and corn growth in South Texas. Is this something we could try on our ranch in Menard County? Obviously, we have lots of cedars, so I wasn't sure if we would want to use a roller chopper or not. Wanted to get yalls opinion on this. Maybe prescribed burning is our best bet to help stimulate browse and forb growth.
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:42 PM   #2
BrokenJ
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What's your native brush and soil type? Any mesquite? A Disc is an easy way to cause soil disturbance for forb Growth. If your want to re set the sucetional stage of the good deer brush roller chopper might the way.
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:05 AM   #3
bgleaton
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The majority of our property is shallow soil and a small percentage is clay loam and sandy loam soil. We have brush like the following:
Cedar
Mesquite
Lotebush
Kidneywood
Condalia
Little lead sumac
Skunk bush sumac
Elbowbush

We have lots of cedars, but we have been clearing cedars every year. We have probably cleared 30 acres worth of cedars in different strips. Mainly we continue to remove cedars and disc the soil in our better soils and re-seed native plants like bush sunflower, engelmann Daisy, fourwing saltbush, etc.

I really hope we can do a 50 acre burn this March.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:24 AM   #4
Blackmouth
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With shallow soils, I would shy away from any ground disturbance which sounds like what you're doing. With proper planning and fine fuels (grass), it's hard to beat a Rx fire. It'll help you get those regrowth cedars in areas you've already treated, assuming it's not the red berry type, in addition to all the other benefits fire will do.

If you really want to try roller chopping I would only work it in those deeper soils. It does great at stimulating vegetation and knocking it back. One of the best and most underused tools is fire and now is the prime time for it.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:40 AM   #5
bgleaton
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Thanks Blackmouth. We have blueberry cedars on our property, so we don't have to worry about re-growth like you do with the redberry cedars. Hopefully, I can work on getting a prescribed burn going sometime in January/February.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:46 AM   #6
systemnt
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Love when the mid-evil roll choppers get pulled by that DC ...knocks the hell outta the mesquite and provides better scouting areas for travel patterns, possible food plot areas, and more potential shooting opportunities...
you'll be surprised how quickly it will grow back up.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:12 AM   #7
BrokenJ
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Blackmouth is right. shallow soils and roller choppers don't mix. How bad is your mesquite and what age is it? Also what is your native grasses any invasive grasses around. We are learning in our situation burning is letting the Kline and blue stems get a foot in the door. So be careful when burning on what grasses are there to the type of burn or if burning is even a good idea. How big is the area you want to treat?
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:19 AM   #8
DuramaxDude
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Hunt In: Tom Green Co., Motley Co., Oldham Co., and any other place I get a chance to.
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With mesquites around NO!! I have seen areas where people roller chopped near Sonora and it was a freakin nightmare afterwards. Think of the hydra monster from the old Greek mythology cut off one head 2 grow back in its place and the root gets deeper. If you are looking at burning holler at the prescribed burn associations around there. There are also some good fire ecologist around to talk to. Keith Blair is down that way and that dude could burn water lol. Shallow rocky soils would probably lead to tearing up equipment and creating a disturbance in your vegetative state and transitions that you don't want to happen. Backmouth has good points. If you have a lot of blue berry juniper you can top kill it to thin out areas use a cedar eater attachment to grind it down or grub it burn will kill it. Get that stuff out of the way and you would be amazed at what will grow back in its place.

Last edited by DuramaxDude; 12-23-2015 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:55 AM   #9
Patton
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Out in your area, I recommend prescribed burning. It's amazing what it can do for the land. Just finished helping burn about 300 acres in Edwards county this past week. Much of that 300 acres is being burned for the second time or third time (first time 5 years ago, then 3 years ago). Helps bring back a lot of the native grasses that still have seed in the soil but haven't sprouted in many years.
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:37 PM   #10
BrandonA
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For most of central Texas prescribe burns is the best answer. Heck anywhere!!! I always laugh when peoples lease burns and they are upset.. Not discounting property damage but the benefit for the country is amazing
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Old 12-23-2015, 04:25 PM   #11
fullsizeaggie
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I would minimize most large scale disturbances to limit erosion. Continue your selective pruning/clearing. Talk to some professionals on burning. Start with small acreage discing/planting/seeding.
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