Monday, March 14, 2011

My New Buddy

Warning: This blog post has an unabashed product endorsement!  We have not been paid or compensated in any way for this.  (Not that we would be opposed to a little something; Alas, that is not the case.)

We have a lot of land that used to be pasture. Now much of that is covered in 4-8' tall Scotch Broom, interlaced with blackberry.

We could mow it, but the Scotch Broom has big stumps and they grow back right away.  We don't spray on the Homestead, so that leaves pulling them.  

A friend described a shrub pulling device he saw a highway crew using.  A bit of Googling brought us to the Weed Wrench.  It had positive reviews and seemed like a good option for us.  It's made in Oregon by a small business, which is always nice.

I asked for a Medium sized Weed Wrench for Christmas, and my mom obliged.

This week was my first chance to try it out.  I had been on the road some, and when I arrived at the Homestead, Phoebe had a project in mind.  There is an area right next to her garden that could be very usable, if not for the patch of Scotch Broom on it. 

The Weed Wrench was fabulous. It took me about 45 minutes to pull all the nasty bits from this area.  It was about 20 plants, with trunks from 1/4-2" in diameter. On every one I got a lot of root, sometimes a foot or longer. 
After:  The fallen shrubs are piled up. 
 It was fast, easy and effective. 
 I got the medium sized Weed Wrench, rated to do up to a 2" diameter. I did have some old bushes that were fatter than that. At Phoebe's suggestion I topped them with the chainsaw, whittled a bit of the trunk away, and was able to get the jaws around them.
Then you just lean back on the handle and it pries the plant from the ground.

I used it on blackberries too, and found it to be a great way to dislodge them. One pull with the Weed Wrench and I was able to grab them by the root and pull them the rest of the way by hand. Again, a foot or so of root usually followed.

It is a big, solid, kinda heavy tool. It takes a lot of bending, and repositioning it between each pull, but it is not hard work. Since it is a lever, my weight does most of the work.

It takes a lot longer to pull them than to knock 'em down with a brush cutter, but I think I will get much less grow back. 

Next up: clearing a line for the another fence. We are going to add another pasture, and the first side of that goes right through a solid stand of Scotch Broom. The Weed Wrench and I are going to become very good friends.


  1. I've never heard of a Weed Wrench before. Kinda reminds me of a fence post puller in a vague way. We only have a little bit of Scotch Broom mixed in with with all the blackberry vines. Now if only I could find a tool that got rid of hazel nut trees easily. lol

  2. You are right Robin, it is a lot like a fence post puller. The main differences are that the Weed Wrench levers from the bottom, unlike my fence post puller which grabs near the top. The WW jaws pinch shut around the trunk too.

    I have not tried the WW on hazel nuts; that may be the one thing we don't have. If you want to pull them, as opposed to cutting them, it might work. I used it on blackberries and it works pretty well. Maybe your local rental shop has one you can try?


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