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#292084 - 05/17/12 10:14 AM New solution for cattail control....
dlowrance Offline

Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 867
Loc: Central IL
Hi all...thought I'd share a solution we've come up with for controlling cattails...

I'd read many of the posts here in research...and essentially drawn the conclusion that my options were either chemical or mechanical in nature. I typically avoid chemical control methods unless absolutely necessary so I was headed down the mechanical route.

The problem was on the 7 acre pond - it's just starting to get cattails spread across the banks. I'm going with the controversial 'partial control' solution in that I want the cattails to be in certain areas but not in others - I recognize that this means annual removal will be needed. I'm OK with that.

So I threw together essentially a homemade weed razor-style cutter, using 2 blades and a 21 foot aluminum conduit. Works just fine but it's going to be slow going with the amount of shoreline I'm looking to clear. So I went to the power tool route.

We took a 3 point hitch 9 foot sickle mower - the one designed for cutting hay - removed the bottom stop bracket and added a winch mount and a 12 volt winch with a remote. Now I can drive along the shoreline and reach out, cutting a 9 foot swath of cattail destruction. It works great for flat to slightly angled banks - and has the added benefit of being a great solution for trimming both sides of the levee.

I pretty much annihilated a good 1/4 mile length of bank in around 10-15 minutes - not counting rake time to get the detritus out of the water.

Pics to follow.

Edited by dlowrance (05/17/12 05:31 PM)

"When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water." - anonymous

#292115 - 05/17/12 05:16 PM Re: New solution for cattail control.... [Re: dlowrance]
esshup Offline
Field Correspondent


Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24032
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
For mechanical removal, where the slope of the pond banks allow it, that's a great idea!

3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

#292139 - 05/17/12 09:00 PM Re: New solution for cattail control.... [Re: dlowrance]
spinnerbait Offline
Hall of Fame

Registered: 01/02/12
Posts: 390
Loc: NC
Def. want to see this!
"I have not failed, I have only found 10,000 ways that won't work"
Thomas Edison

#292142 - 05/17/12 09:28 PM Re: New solution for cattail control.... [Re: dlowrance]
sprkplug Offline

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 6946
Loc: Freedom, Indiana
Yep, I've mowed dams many times with a sickle bar cutter, or mowing machine as it's called in these parts. The old Ferguson mowers were the best as they were belt and eccentric driven, and would tolerate a much greater angle over the backside of the dam. The more traditional pitman arm mowers won't lay over as far.

It's very common to mow dams in this fashion around here. Never saw anyone mow cattails with it though.

What I'm trying to find, and have been for a long time, is the cattail cutter attachment that Echo Power Equipment used to make. It was a miniature sickle bar that fit in place of the string head on a string trimmer. Very cool, but very hard to find!

I'm building my own version so I can mow around the ponds and not throw grass in the water.
"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.

#294589 - 06/05/12 03:32 PM Re: New solution for cattail control.... [Re: dlowrance]
mustache44 Offline

Registered: 04/23/11
Posts: 5
Loc: desoto,ks.,USA
Stihl makes an sicklebar attachment for their combination string trimmers

#294593 - 06/05/12 04:20 PM Re: New solution for cattail control.... [Re: dlowrance]
FireIsHot Offline

Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3964
Loc: Emory TX
Pics, we need pics!


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