The Tree Popper

Added on December 24th, 2021 by Lorne Smith
Posted in Conservationism, Greenkeeping
The Greens team at Hollinwell, have given me some information that will be useful for all golf clubs who want to manage their trees.
Most trees on heathland courses are self-seeded and the ‘Tree Popper’ helps to pull out saplings of up to four feet high making it much easier and very satisfying. It obviates the use of chainsaws and pesticides that pollute the environment. Even children enjoy using it.
When I was last at Hollinwell I found out that they have a group of volunteers who are using the ‘Tree Popper’, helping the greenkeepers to restore and maintain their heathland.
It was developed in South Africa and is now sold in the UK by Alan Martin at Nature Conservation Services.
CLICK HERE visit the Tree Popper website and watch their short video.
Then be in touch with Alan by phone +44 (0)747 120 7308 or email  am@natureconservationservices.com  He even offers it on a free trial basis as he knows you will buy one after trying it out!
As clubs go through the change back to fine grasses that need air and light, and trees to be controlled, it is helpful for golf clubs to develop a core group of interested golfers to do some of the conservation work across the course.
The use of the Tree Popper tool can become addictive and can help build that group. This helps solidify the change and allows the club to move on to the most important change that of agronomy from ‘weed’ to ‘fine’ grasses. This will give a step change in enjoyment of play as well as helping ‘save the planet’ through conservation.

Alan adds some technical information :-

The Tree PopperTM was originally designed by Terry Negus in South Africa to deal with Australian invasive woody species introduced to the tip of Africa. The Tree Popper was introduced into the UK and Europe in September 2015.

The Tree Popper is a robust, uncomplicated tool, operated by one person that extracts unwanted woody specie, roots and all by means of “Popping”.  

It is an additional weapon in the armoury in the war on scrub or unwanted woody species, which avoids multi stem regrowth or having to stump treat with herbicide. When using a Tree Popper the ground flora is only flattened, and not disturbed or damaged. Popping leaves the flora cover intact which restricts unwanted self-seeding woody scrub from recolonizing the sites.

The Tree Popper has limitations. When it comes to coppiced plants (cut down and have regrown multi stems from the original stem on the same root system) with well-developed roots that have produced a large amount of biomass below ground, especially if the soil is very stony, heavy clay or dry chalk (and you cannot get a root saw in to servre a few lateral roots) you will find them difficult or impossible to pop. Very wet or spongy conditions where the foot piece of the Poppers sinks lower than the stem also reduces effectiveness (but the Tree Popper does come with a big foot plate that helps reduce sinking).

If you are thinking of popping to replant, the jaws of the Tree Popper can and often do damage the bark on the stem being popped. Popped shrubs or trees are often not suitable for replanting due to damage to bark on trunk.

Price? around £300.

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