Brush management is the removal, reduction or manipulation of woody trees and shrubs.
How it helps
Managing unwanted trees and brush may help to restore desired vegetative cover to protect soil from erosion, reduce sediment, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat and species diversity.
It may also be used to improve grazing
conditions (picture above) so grazing animals can easily access forage of
better quantity and quality. Brush management can also be used to protect property from wildfires.
Do you need this land for livestock or crops?
Are unwanted trees or brush a fire hazard?
Is thickness of trees or brush keeping vegetation from growing below?
Do you have the time, equipment and manpower to remove the brush?
Brush management can be accomplished by using one or a combination of the following alternatives:
Mechanical: This includes tree shearing, using a dozer, use of mechanical devices, mowing, or hand cutting.
Shearing is best accomplished when the ground is frozen or dry.
Maximum regrowth (suckering) is achieved when cut during the dormant season (October - March).
Prescribed Burning: Burning should be completed using an approved burn plan that meets the NRCS Prescribed Burn (338) conservation practice standard.
Chemical/Herbicides: This includes broadcast, spot, cut stem or basal treatments. Due to cost and environmental considerations, herbicide treatments should be restricted to small manageable areas.
Biological: Goats are the species of choice for controlling brush in pastures and abandoned farmland.
Without continued management activities small shrubs and trees become large and overgrown. Maintenance activities need to be continued on a regular schedule to suppress the growth of woody vegetation.