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Old 04-15-2010, 01:57 AM
 
989 posts, read 2,279,039 times
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I was doing some exploring around Wasilla today and noticed this Devil's Club is everywhere-- at least thats what I think it is. It's that single thorn covered branch that comes off the ground about 18 inches or so. The little 1/2 inch thorns are flipping sharp!

Is there a way to get rid of this stuff? Heres the big question, does it bother the horses legs? Any horse people out there have this on their property?
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Old 04-15-2010, 02:47 AM
 
Location: Palmer
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Yep, that's devils club. You can cut it down, it cuts easily with a machete. I would imagine if you went out every year and cut all the stuff the horses would eventually just keep it stomped down. It's pretty nasty stuff but I'm not a horse person so I don't know what it would do to horses legs.

I have heard of people talking about growing it commercially. I guess the berries have some medicinal qualities.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:27 AM
 
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I've got it all over my place, thats some NASTY stuff.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Palmer
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You are looking at the stalks without the leaves. Wait until they grow their leaves...some of the leaves are 2 feet across and they have thorns on the bottom of the LEAVES. These things have thorns all over them.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that these usually grow in moist areas, so you may have a lot of water in the ground where these are growing. You might want to make plans to drain those areas somehow if horses are going to be kept there.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Alaska
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When they get bigger, they or their friends hit back. I remember hitting one with a glancing blow and it had enough sway to come back up and hit my hand. Another time, I cut one which relieved pressure for his buddy to pop up and hit me.

The thorns are sharp but brittle, so they break off after they penetrate your skin. They will fester, forcing the thorns out. I've also found you can use rubber cement to pull them out.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Palmer
2,491 posts, read 3,943,689 times
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The best tool for cutting them is actually not a machete, but a brush cutting tool made by gerber. It looks like a machete but has a hook on the end. I'm not sure it's actual name.

I bought mine at sportsmans warehouse. It is an excellent tool for clearing all underbrush.

Yes, like akck said, they will hit back. Wear leather gloves and heavy clothes.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Alaska
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Years ago, I used a Sandvik, a Swedish safety brush axe. It has a long handle and short replaceable blade, making it less likely you'd be cutting off body parts.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:41 PM
 
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Marty, the ground has good drainage but the old growth trees are pretty thick. I think if I open up the trees a little it may help. I'm not looking forward to the leaves you mentioned. I have a big brush hog I pull behind the four wheeler, I may use that to try and whack this stuff down.
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:39 PM
 
Location: on top of a mountain
7,016 posts, read 6,832,264 times
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a chemical called "Round Up" my friend!! I really hate using this type of chemical BUT some plants you cannot get rid of unless you kill the root....spray early morn'n on the top leaves of the plant only and it will go down thru the plant and kill the root....many times I slap on the rubber gloves and pour some into a container just big enough to dunk the top tip of the plant in so as not to get a lot of it anywhere else...time consuming but well worth it! after plant is brown all the way to the ground bush wack it. and remove...I have finally gotten rid of 2 1/2 acres of throny crap on my property, tried everything from cutting, tilling under (made it grow back with a vengeance!!) "round up" is the key!
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:19 PM
 
Location: The Woods
14,396 posts, read 13,530,392 times
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That stuff sucks. I'm all for allowing native plants to grow, but this is one I wouldn't want anywhere I'll be walking, working, etc. But it'll grow back over and over. Chop it down and dig up the roots and burn it all.

Look on the bright side though, you're not dealing with poison ivy or sumac.
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