Instructables

Pulling up small trees, the easy way.

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Picture of Pulling up small trees, the easy way.
holly_04.jpg
Over recent years all my local woodland and my garden have become home to vast numbers of holly bushes. Holly being evergreen will swamp out any other plants and take over the whole area if left unchecked, it needs to be kept under control.

I will pull by hand anything up to around 18" tall as these come easily bringing the roots with them.  Larger trees get the chainsaw or bow saw treatment.... trouble is these ones will regrow as the roots remain in the ground.

In the middle are small trees up to 2" grirth and 6 foot tall that are too big to pull by hand but tempting to try... this usually ends with an aching back.

A device was needed to remove small trees with little effort. A look on line came up with a number of different ideas that ranged in cost from around £100 to £250.  Being a cheapscate I decided to build my own!
 
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Step 1: Tree puller from scrap.....

Picture of Tree puller from scrap.....
Stilsons01.jpg
..or how to pull up trees with a plumbers spanner (stilsons), for this is what I based my design around!

Second hand stilsons are easy to find and very cheap to buy, especially when, like the one I used, the stilson is incomplete.
As it did not have its adjustment nut it was a freebie :)  Once modified this will grip the tree.

Step 2: The basics

Picture of The basics
Like any device that is designed to pull or lift its efficiency is down to the amount of leverage it uses againgst the item to be pulled or lifted.

The design has a gripping device to grab the tree, a heel to pivot on and a long handle to pull back so lifting the roots out of the ground.

The closing of the jaws on the tree will have a 25 to 1 ratio, the levering of the roots out of the ground has a 6 to 1 ratio allowing an easy pull of between 1/4 to 1/2 ton!

There are some large forces involved in this construction but as long as my welding holds up it should work OK.

kleinjahr11 months ago
You Archimedes you. Nicely done.
Tinworm1 year ago
It'd be nice to see the thing in action.....and to see how big a small tree it can handle. I am not sure it is sufficiently broken down, step by step, to constitute an instructable, though.
this is awesome,, great job coming up with the idea. Simple, effective and totally usfull. EXCELLENT
ring light2 years ago
Nice project.
Our yard is a popular spot for buckthorn trees and misplaced oak trees.
I have a similar project in mind but am still looking for the critical piece (hiding in a box): a large Jumar ascender. Used in mountain climbing, the one I have is on the obsolete side; maybe twenty years old. Very strong and beefy. The end result would be the same as yours except the gripping action would be vertical along the trunk.
treenail2 years ago
This idea is taken from the Weed Wrench.

It would be nicer to state that this is a DIY version of another inventors invention.
rog8811 (author)  treenail2 years ago
TBH I didn't know it was, I thought I had adapted a victorian design I saw used at a local wood fair a couple of years ago.....
I did see the weed wrench when I was looking online at prices but the idea for the design was already fixed in my mind by then.
You have made the link now so good luck with your product, I will not be going into production with mine :)
ventifact2 years ago
Been looking for good plans for this type of device. Careful, that's poison ivy under the holly!
rimar20002 years ago
Clever design!
knife1412 years ago
What a neat idea! Great job!!