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When To Use A Tree Spade Vs. A Tree Shear

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Often it is necessary to clear a lot of trees to make room for building projects. To clear trees in as little time as possible, you need the right equipment. Two options for clearing land include tree shears and a tree spade. Your choice for which to use will depend on the circumstances you're working with.   

What Is a Tree Spade?

A tree spade is a large tractor or attachment that you can use to uproot a tree and transplant it to a new location. In many cases, you can move full-grown trees without any ill-effects. The one problem with planting a tree is that it can be years before your tree is large enough to really enjoy. Thus, people will pay good money for a full-grown tree. By salvaging mature trees in good condition, you can recoup some of the costs of building.  

When Is a Tree Spade a Good Choice for Clearing?

Tree spades are much slower to operate than tree shears. You have to drive four different wedged plates into the ground at an angle in order to cut out the root bulb, and you need a crew equipped with hand tools to prepare the tree for transplanting as well as to fill the hole once you have extracted the tree. While you can load several trees onto one truck to move them, you can only cut and move one tree at a time with a tree spade. Based on these disadvantages, tree spades are not a good choice if you don't have a lot of time.  

What Is a Tree Shear?

A tree shear, not surprisingly, looks like the shears you use to prune trees except on a much bigger scale. Rather than operating the shears by hand, you need a tractor with the right hydraulic hookups to power the pistons that open and close the shears. If you have a front-end loader, you can get the shears close enough to the ground that you can cut trees off at ground level. 

When Is a Tree Shear the Right Choice?

If you have a bunch of small, scrubby trees to clear, then tree shears will help you to cut through the trees quickly and easily move them to a pile; thus, tree shears are ideal for when you need to clear a lot of land quickly. Furthermore, tree shears can easily be operated by one person, so you can pay one person instead of a full crew.

If you want to save trees to move them to a different place on your property, or you want to salvage and sell trees, then a tree spade is a the tool for you; otherwise, you should be able to get your job done with tree shears.