Brush and Forestry Scythe (aka – the Blackberry/Scotch Broom Attacker)
A standard in European meadow maintenance -- this is a remarkable tool for reclaiming land overrun by aggressive, invasive woody plants such as blackberry, scotch broom, gorse, knotweed, giant hogweed – and for managing tough woody native shrubs in meadows (such as wild roses, bracken, snowberry thickets, and tree seedlings).
Weighing in comfortably at less than 5-lbs., the Shroeckenfux Zugmesser brush and forestry scythe is manufactured in Austria, in a factory that has forged scythe blades continuously since the 1500s. These tools are fundamental to the conservation of wild meadows, hedgerows and ancient woodlands in Europe.
The 60-inch tubular steel handle (known as the snath) is curved for efficient, ergonomic power. With smooth, quick pulls, an operator can reach down to the base of shrubs (without bending down into thorny thickets), and cleanly cut off woody weeds at their base.
A super useful secondary pull-knife (located opposite the scythe blade) can be:
- Hooked around especially tough stems for a direct cut;
- Applied to slice through partially dislodged roots during brush extraction;
- Used to pull away masses of thorny bramble branches after the scythe blade cuts them;
- Employed to selectively thin clumps of multiple stems growing close together.
With very lightweight and comfortable European ash-wood handles, this is an extremely sturdy, and versatile land management tool that can probably last for a century with care, regular maintenance, some simple occasional repairs – this is literally a tool that can outlive most of us and be handed down to someone else years from now. (It’s appalling how many mass-produced hardware store “landscaping” tools are only good for a few years before they break and go to a landfill).
The only routine maintenance this tool requires is periodic hand filing of the blades to restore sharp, working edges. Unlike grass scythes, these blades do not require peening (thinning with a hammer), and they should not be sharpened with a power grinder as heat will destroy the blade. They are possibly the easiest maintained brush cutters on Earth.
Along with routine meadow management, this is an excellent forest management tool, allowing for ecological thinning of understory vegetation and seedling trees to maintain optimal stand density, and prevent the build-up of potential near-ground wildfire fuel.
We use this tool ourselves almost daily on our farm, in our meadows, to pull blackberries out of our Nootka rose hedgerows, and to maintain our forest lands for understory species richness.
Note that for ease of shipment, this tool ships partially unassembled (you will need to attach the blades to the snath assembly).
Skip the gas engines, noise, exhaust, and listen to the birds while managing your space.
Specs: 60-inch tubular steel snath (handle); 16-inch scythe blade length; 5-lbs total approximate weight.