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close this bookBetter Farming Series 06 - The Soil: How to Improve the Soil (FAO - INADES, 1976, 29 p.)
close this folderHow to improve the soil for many years
View the document(introduction...)
Open this folder and view contentsIrrigation
View the documentDrainage
Open this folder and view contentsClearing the land and grubbing the trees
View the documentHow to grub trees

How to grub trees

When you grub trees, ask the authorities for permission to farm the field for a long time.

· First way Cut the trees with a machete or axe. Then take out the stump.

Make a hole round the stump so that you can clearly see the roots.
Cut the roots with an axe or a special grubbing tool.
This tool can be made by the village blacksmith from a leaf of a lorry spring.
The blacksmith flattens one end in his forge and sharpens it on a stone.
He turns over the other end to make it hold in a long wooden handle. This is 1.50 metres long.
This tool is used for taking out earth from around roots, and also for cutting roots.
The tool cuts better if the handle is heavy.

Grubbing tool

Pull out the tree with its stump. Do not cut the tree trunk.
Tie a thick, very strong rope to the tree trunk, about half way up.
The rope should be longer than the height of the tree.
Make a hole around the tree.
Cut the roots.
Then several men pull on the rope till the tree falls and pulls out its stump.
The work is easier if the rope is pulled by oxen, by an actor, or with a winch.

The winch is tied to a big tree so it will not move

Tackle reduces the amount of effort needed

The winch is tied to the base of a big tree.
Take the cable of the winch (a cable is an iron rope) and fix it to the middle of the tree that is to be pulled down.
With the winch handle or lever, wind the cable round the winch.
The cable pulIs the tree.
The tree falls, pulling out its root.
Several farmers in a village can get together to buy or hire a winch.
Ask the extension service for advice.