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Brush Management

Though brush management is a necessary activity on most rangelands, it is rarely done right- especially in areas predominated by Ashe juniper, endangered species habitat, mixed land uses (cattle, wildlife, oil), highly variable topography, and particular soil types susceptible to erosion.

Avoid ineffective treatments and damaging sensitive or unique habitats that add value to your land  by better understanding the right way to do brush management. It can take a generation to recover from common mistakes so it’s important that you get it right the first time. Choose from Plateau’s brush management services and save yourself time, money, and hassle.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to focus on Brush Management? Brush management is often one of the most important management activities for restoring and enhancing rural land. When natural processes such as fire are suppressed, active control of plant communities is often essential to maintaining a healthy habitat.

What are some typical problem species? It depends on where your property is. In the Hill Country, Ashe juniper (cedar) is often the most problematic native species while the deeper, flatter soils of the Cross Timbers see mesquite invasion as an issue. East of I-35, mesquite, yaupon, willow Baccharis, and huisache to the south are all common native brush species that may need to be managed. Of course, prickly pear cactus can be problematic just about anywhere.

What are the signs of a brush problem? Some are obvious – dense, impenetrable stands of mesquite, cedar, prickly pear or other plants where no other plant species can grow; constant recurrence of species you have tried to control for years with no signs of improvement. Others may be less apparent to the untrained eye – a lack of plant diversity or dominance by plants that are less desirable for deer or your target species. Sometimes what appears to be a problem may be desirable for your management goals. We know how to identify the issues that become more difficult and expensive over time and that will provide you the most benefit toward achieving your goals.

Does Plateau conduct brush management?  While we conduct brush management for many landowners, it is typically limited to small, inexpensive or specialized issues (such as those requiring controlled herbicides). Much of the time, what we recommend as the best option in a brush management plan will be services that we do not provide (such as those that involve heavy equipment). Our plans are designed to give you the best solutions and information to help you make decisions, not to sell our brush management services.

Is Plateau experienced with Brush Management Plans?  We have been consulting with Texas landowners for over 15 years and offering brush management plans as a specialized service since 2007. We deal with brush management issues in the majority of the wildlife management plans we write. The brush management plan simply provides much more detail and specific recommendations that a standard wildlife management plan has room to address.

Will this Plan be all I need to get the job done correctly by a contractor or contractors? Your plan will help you choose a contractor or contractors that offer the proper techniques for the areas and brush species you want to treat. You should be able to take your brush management plan and give them specific areas, target species, and our recommended techniques. The maps we provide will help guide an experienced contractor so they will avoid sensitive or important areas and spend their time and your money on areas that offer the most benefit.

Shouldn’t a good brush contractor know how to properly do this? Why do I need or pay Plateau, to teach him? Good brush contractors are experts in the machines they use and on-the-ground implementation of their techniques to give you the results that suit your desires and needs. However, they are rarely trained in biology or ecology and may not understand subtle differences in plant communities and habitats that inform important management decisions. If you desire a park-like setting with scattered tall trees, short grass, and no shrub cover, they can deliver it, but if you are performing brush management to benefit wildlife, that will rarely be a good result. A brush management plan helps you understand what you need to meet your wildlife and land management goals so you can get the most from your chosen contractor.

As important as knowing where and what to treat is knowing what and where not to treat, either because it conflicts with your management goals or will not give you the result you desire. If we can save you a few days of treatment by identifying areas you shouldn’t treat, then the brush management plan will have paid for itself.

Brush Management Consultation & Analysis:

This consulting service provides landowners with  a basic overview of their property’s brush management issues and presents brief recommendations on how to improve them. Includes:

  • ~ 2-hour visit on your property:  A Plateau Biologist will visit your property  to gather data, analyze your brush management issues, and discuss your goals.
  • A brief report with recommendations:. Includes information on your land’s plant communities, comparing them to the property’s historic plant growth and habitat, and outlines general recommendations for improvement.
    • Overview maps of general treatment regions: Provides an overview of the proposed  treatment areas, illustrating the general geographic areas on the property where brush treatment should and should not be considered.

Price: $800

Brush Management Plan

This comprehensive plan provides landowners with professional, scientific, and ecologically sound direction for brush management to help them avoid costly mistakes or wasted effort. It can be taken to any brush management contractor to ensure that implementation is done correctly or utilized for several years if you wish to do your own brush management. Includes:

  • ~ 2 hour visit on your property:  A Plateau Biologist will visit your property  to gather data, analyze your brush management issues, and discuss your goals if a Brush Management Consultation has not already been performed.
  • A comprehensive plan with site-specific recommendations: Includes information on your land’s plant communities, comparing them to the property’s historic plant growth and habitat, and outlines detailed recommendations for improvement specific to each species: chemical, mechanical, fire, , etc.
  • Detailed maps of priority treatment locations: These maps illustrate specific priority zones where each treatment should be pursued- a very valuable tool that could save you thousands of dollars and wasted effort  when communicating with contractors whose approach is to clear everything . Historical aerial comparisons will be provided if available.
  • Estimated Cost & Budget: Includes the estimated cost range for implementation of treatment options. Also a very good tool when negotiating with contractors to perform the work.

Price: $1,800

($1,100 if a Brush Management Consultation was performed within the last year)

Chemical and Selective Brush Management Treatment

Plateau’s chemical brush management services stand apart from the competition because our technicians are well-trained, professional, licensed (TDA #0495003 commercial pesticide applicator license), and insured for your protection. Our philosophy is also a bit different from other brush management companies because we focus on selective, ecological treatment which maintains the integrity of the habitat for native wildlife, while enhancing the beauty of your property.

Our Wildlife Services Technicians are trained to document the entire brush management process while on site to assure the work performed includes the necessary representative photo, GIS data, and applicator records to support this qualifying wildlife management activity. They will arrive on site with the appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), modern industry standard application equipment, and commercial duty chainsaws and brush cutting equipment.

Key Candidates for Chemical and Selective Brush Management Treatment

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Chemical Brush Control of Native Plant SpeciesTargets species such as willow baccharis  and mature  mesquite/huisache. Our Wildlife Services Technicians utilize the cut stump method for individual plant chemical control treatment, resulting in quick and efficient herbicide application and control of the target species.

$900 per day*

Chemical Control of Invasive Plant SpeciesTargets species such as ligustrum, nandina, chinaberry, and Chinese tallow. Our Wildlife Services Technicians utilize the cut stump method for individual plant chemical control treatment, resulting in quick and efficient herbicide application and control of the target species.  

$900 per day*

Foliar Application Chemical ControlTargets species such as prickly pear cactus, small regrowth mesquite/ huisache, and willow baccharis. This technique involves applying herbicide to the leaves or pads of a plant to provide effective control of target species that cannot be efficiently treated using the cut stump method. Our Wildlife Services Technicians have the expertise and understanding of plant physiology required to maximize kill and while avoiding excessive herbicide run-off that can harm non-target species.

$1,050 per day*

Secondary Ashe Juniper (Cedar) Brush Management– This service is designed to target low density juniper: smaller than 8 feet and with a main trunk diameter at breast height of 6 inches or less.  Removal of Ashe juniper (Cedar) will allow for the increased production of desirable trees, shrubs, grasses, and forbs for forage and nesting or protective cover. While denser stands with the appropriately-sized juniper may be treated if shears or other machines are not available or desired, areas with higher densities will limit the amount of acreage that can be covered each day and are likely better served with hydraulic shears or grinding equipment.

$875 per day**

*Terms and conditions: 1 full day minimum, 4 day maximum, 2 technician crew/6-8 hours on site. Price includes herbicide, mileage not included.

**Terms and conditions: 1 full day minimum, 4 day maximum, 2 technician crew/6-8 hours on site. Mileage not included in price.

 

Mechanical Brush Management –  At Plateau, we believe that proper brush management is an important aspects of a well rounded management plan.  We also realize it can be one of the largest investments you make into the improvement of your property and it’s habitat.  It’s also the place where taking short cuts, poor planning, or worse yet no plan at all can be the most costly of missteps.  The decisions you make about these substantial projects and the results of poorly thought out brush control methods can last a lifetime on the land.  Since this is such an important undertaking we strongly suggest having a qualified Wildlife Biologist involved when making decisions about brush management projects and setting brush management goals.  This is why we have designed the consulting products above, aimed at helping landowners navigate the complex issues surrounding land improvements such as brush management.  A proper plan and some sound advice before moving forward can provide peace of mind and protect your investment.  

  • Do I even have a brush issue?  You may be surprised.
  • What should go?  What should stay? When should I do it?
  • What will the result of brush management be now and ten years down the road?
  • How can I be sure I get the result I am after?
  • What will or won’t grow in the place of what I am removing?
  • What wildlife will benefit from what I have planned?
  • Who should I use to perform my brush management?
  • What is the right method to get the result I want?
  • How much will it cost?  How can I best budget to get to my desired end result?

These are just some of the question a qualified Biologist can answer and a good brush management plan can provide.  It’s a more important step than many realize and something well worth considering.

Plateau does not currently offer mechanical brush services, but we do know a few responsible and reputable folks who do, and can always help with a proper recommendation. One of these service companies who we have a lasting relationship with is Cedar Eaters of Texas.  Cedar Eaters and Plateau are partners in helping landowners meet their land and management goals and requirements.

Cedar Eaters Drone Video – See the machines in action and some great scenery in this cool video shot by drone.

 

For more information about Cedar Eaters of Texas and the services they offer please visit their website at www.cedareater.com, Equipment Rates, or contact your Plateau representative.** 

**If you’re a Plateau client be sure and mention that fact when talking to Cedar Eaters and let them know you heard about them here.

 

 

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