Clearing vegetation on sides of long driveway

Old 10-15-19, 08:18 PM
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Clearing vegetation on sides of long driveway

I have a property that is more than 4 acres and have a long driveway that leads from the front gate to the house on a hill. The house sits on top of the hill. We are located in Pacific NW.

Currently, the vegetation on both sides of the driveway (probably around 250 yards or more) are encroaching onto the road. They are pretty wild plants and some blackberries.

What's the best way to manage these vegetations so they do not encroach onto the road. I tried searching but none of the methods seem practical:
  • use vinegar to kill them (lots and lots of vinegar) hundreds of gallons?
  • spray Round up (a lot $$$) --- that's a lot of land to cover
  • use manual human labor
  • use electric hedge trimmers (250 yard of long cord? )
  • Use gas trimmers (tried it, they are not just weeds but some are shrubs and blackberries)

Right now, I'm thinking about rent earth-moving heavy equipment but it will be my last resort.
Any thoughts?
Old 10-15-19, 11:41 PM
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I'm thinking about rent earth-moving heavy equipment
That seems to be an extreme solution!

I guess it depends on what your trying to to, remove the vegetation or just control it.

Roundup will kill it, lawn mower/trimmer will cut it but no real idea of what your dealing with!
Old 10-16-19, 02:08 AM
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could get someone with a tractor to brush hog near the road every year or a weed killer like round up or a generic form of it really doesn't cost that much.
Old 10-16-19, 02:29 AM
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I like the bush hog idea if the terrain is conducive to it. I also live on top of a hill with a long driveway [1/4+ mile] While I can clean the edges with my tractor much of it has to be hand cut because the edges of the road either go up or down at a steep angle. The more often you get after it the easier it is if cutting/trimming by hand.
Old 10-16-19, 03:57 AM
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My suggestion is to rent brush clearing equipment to make your ongoing maintenance manageable.

Afterward, get something to periodically handle the problem. You must have a tractor or at least a heavy duty riding mower. If so, there are attachments not unlike those highway departments use. Alternatively, there's tow-behind equipment for small ATVs. Have a look at DR as one example.
Old 10-16-19, 04:28 AM
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1. There is the manual method. Get out there with lopers and a chain saw and clear the big stuff so a strip can be mowed on either side of the drive.

2. Herbicides. Glyphosate (RoundUp) is quite inexpensive and will kill most of what grows by the side of the road. Some larger trees could require a second treatment or a brush killer. The big drawback is that while it kills it does not remove. You will still have everything by the road but it will be dead.

3. Bushog. Either you acquire the equipment so you can maintain it as needed or find someone to do it for you. I live in an rural area so bushogs are everywhere and it's easy and cheap to have a neighbor do 10 or 20 minutes of tractor work.
Old 10-16-19, 04:31 AM
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My suggestion is to rent
Renting is maybe justified if it's a one time use of an expensive tool but if this is your residence and this is ongoing maintenance then owning the right tool will always be the best choice.

Figure out what works and keep searching CL for a good used tractor/mower, they are out there!
Old 10-16-19, 06:12 AM
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I like Tony P's suggestion and others who wrote to control rather than eliminate the vegetation. If you eliminate the vegetation you risk erosion and deterioration of the surrounding area. And that will cause your driveway to eventually have problems. You want to have something to hold the soil together. You can use a brick or steel border to protect the edge but still keep the vegetation (grass would be a good solution).
Old 10-16-19, 07:02 AM
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My first gas weed eater (I think it was a Tanaka) had a blade attachment.
Not sure if something like this is still available as it was a dangerous piece of gear but did a great job.

I used it often to clear snowmobile trails in the bush. It would take out trees up to an inch and a half with no trouble.
Other guys would take out the big stuff with chain saws then I would go through and take every thing else out very close to the ground.
Old 10-16-19, 08:54 AM
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Please post a picture so we can see what your seeing.
Old 10-16-19, 11:14 AM
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On a hill, you DO NOT want to kill the vegetation, you just want to "train" it to be low and bushy and stay off the driveway.

The simplest way to clear this sort of brush is a chainsaw (pole-chainsaw if you don't like bending down) and a pair of lops.

First pass - cut the large brush and trees that are more than about 1.5" in diameter.
Cut at least 3" off the ground to avoid dulling the blade. Leave the cuttings for a week to dry out.

Next week, do a second pass. You'll find that the cuttings are brittle and weigh much less because they have lost water. Just toss them into the forest (if you have a dense forest) or put time in a burn barrel (if you are in an area that allows burning.
Use the lops and pruning saw to cut back any small saplings etc.
Old 04-24-20, 09:52 PM
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Thanks everyone for contributing. Something came up so I had to deal with it after this posting my original question. But, I'm back on chasing this problem now.

I do have a Swish Brush Cutter.

I'll start using my chain-saw and loppers and work on it.

Will report back on my progress.
Old 02-17-21, 02:53 PM
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Personally, having lived up there, I'd hire a contractor to do that. Bigger tree services will have the type of manpower and equipment to handle a job of that size. Brush and tree clearing services will be your best bet though, as they'll know what to do about the different types of shrubbery you may encounter (some things are protected etc). I've tackled such work by myself before many times, and it can become a pain if you're not knowledgeable about clearing flora. Good luck!

Otherwise I'd say to get after it with a pair of hedge trimmers or clippers. If burning is allowed in your area, try that.

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