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Farm Jack

Are Farm Jacks a useful piece of kit ?. I have to price up labour to remove a very long stretch of escalonia hedging to be replaced in September with Laurel . 

Its a delicate operation no plant machinery or winching is possible so looking at best tool for the job to get roots out .  

Are farm Jacks good for this sort of work or more suited to removing tree stumps . 

Thankyou .

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  • Don't know how well that would work. Is there services in under it all? My weapons of choice would be a long handle round shovel, a flat digging bar and a mattock.


    • PRO

      Yes i sense utilities . Large modern properties on an estate and this is the end property , manholes in the garden next to hedge , cable covers . B.T superfast broadband territory .

      Hedges were planted by the developers but now sparse and unsightly , I know the customers very well , lovely people . 

      I use same kit as you but this is a long stretch front and side with base of each shrub touching edging stones which seperate garden from public footpath i dont know if escallonia of this maturity is deep or shallow rooted so want to reduce the amount of chopping away at the root to lessen the risk of cable or pipe damage . 

      It will possibly take the best part of Four weeks to remove the lot depending on how easy it comes out which is unknown until i start . 

      Problem is when taking out a shrub usually i find its best to tackle it from four sides , i can only work three sides owing to the shrubs butting up to the edging stones so thinking the farm jack will add leverage . 



      • I'd be inclined to uncover the cable with a trowel, there normally just shallow.

  • PRO

    They can be used to pull telephone and electric poles out of the ground to drop them, they just come up and out until they fall over, as will some fence posts.

    The problem with trees, shrubs and hedges is they have roots that go under the jack, so they won’t simply come up out of the ground without some faffing about, the same with fence posts with concrete around them.

    Fence post pullers with a wide footprint are available, but cost significantly more than a farm jack.

    How much of the roots can be left in the ground, can you sever some off and leave them behind?

    • PRO

      It could be roots can be chopped off against the edging stone and around the base . 

      I can then plant the laurels well away from the boundry edge to allow for them spreading out as they grow , which has just got me thinking , cut the escallonia down to the base and insert an eco pellet in each one to save digging up , Does this sound viable , environmentally good practice ? 


      • If situated next to the public footpath, copper nails bashed into the stumps maybe. In case any kids try to dig the Eco pellets out, or a passing dog licks a stump and the owner blames you for illness (however unrelated).  Any re growth that tries it on could be judiciously sprayed with glyphosate, aimed away from the new laurels obviously. The escallonia stumps could be concealed with a bit of mulch until nature takes its course. Digging them out has the potential to damage the edging or services, as you say

    • I was going to mention a fence post puller. My tool hire place has them so might be worth asking around. 

      • PRO

        I will look into this thanks .

  • I would try ripping one of the escallonias out first, might come up much easier than you think, just levered out with a pick axe or a bar. Especially if they are old they might crumble easily and not have too much of a root system left behind to get in the way of the replacement hedging. Escallonias don't tend to regrow from bits of root but might from a stump cut off at ground level

    • PRO

      I have a feeling they may be shallow rooted , These are quite meaty around the base and planted too close together . will have a pry around . 

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