If we were going to have people come visit our tasting room and vineyard, we had to get the property ready. To do this we had to clear the property of the mesquite trees. There is a chemical that you can spray on this invasive brush, but it is recommended that it be used on trees less than 8 feet tall. We had trees that had diameters as large as 12 inches! We had to do something more drastic. We were going to have to have the mesquite removed with an excavator.
We began by contacting people for quotes. We learned quickly that we hadn’t budgeted accordingly for this project. We reached out to my nephew who had done some excavation work in the past. He said this was something that we could do. He would come up and give Brian lessons on how to use the excavator.
Two days later Shane arrived and we had a rented excavator on our property. Shane climbed up into the massive machine, turned it on, and began mesquite grubbing. After a little bit, he made it look easy. He knocked the tree down, used the grubber to pull the tree and its roots out, and then moved on to the next tree.
Then it was Brian’s turn. He showed him how to operate the excavator and its grubber. If you have never watched someone use an excavator, it’s like watching a cowboy riding a giant bucking bull! After a few hours, Brian got the hang of it and looked forward to attacking the remaining acreage throughout the week. For the first few days I would be outside watching to make sure he was ok. It made me nervous to see how that piece of equipment could destroy anything in its path.
If you’re like our son, he wanted to know why we needed to get rid of the mesquite, also known as the Devil Tree. Here are some facts about mesquite trees:
- They are the most invasive species of brush in the world.
- They have a root system that can absorb water from the surface as well as below.
- The taproots can reach a depth of 25 – 75 feet.
- Adult mesquite (8-12 ft tall) in north Texas were found to use up to 20 gallons of water per day during the mid-summer growing season.
We know battling the mesquite will be a never-ending process!