Pipe harrows or Dixie harrows remove thin low, brittle shrubs and scarify the soil surface for seeding. Triangular-shaped blades are welded to 10-foot long pipes attached with swivels to a heavy square beam that is pulled with a tractor. The modified pipes weigh about 300 pounds each, and a 15-foot wide unit weighs about 4,000 pounds. Required tractor horsepower is at least 130. Pulling a 25-foot-wide harrow requires a 210 horsepower tractor, while the 40-foot wide harrow requires a 400 horsepower tractor. The tractor can be equipped to simultaneously broadcast seed the harrowed site.
Pipe harrows are used to remove top growth to release shrubs, scarify soil surfaces, prepare seedbeds, and cover seed. Pipes can be removed from the main beam to reduce brush removal and form special patterns. Users report 50 to 70 acres/day productivity. Pipe harrows are well suited to clearing sites in patterns that benefit wildlife. Users report 50 to 70 acres/day productivity. Seeding is conducted during single-pass harrowing and during the final pass of double-pass harrowing to establish desirable species. If sufficient desirable grasses are present, seeding may not be necessary.
References / Additional Information
Stevens, R.; Monsen, S.B. 2004. Chapter 9. Mechanical plant control. In: Monsen, S.B.; Stevens, R.; Shaw, N.L., comps. Restoring western ranges and wildlands, vol. 1. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-136-vol-1. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 65-88.