Any ideas for a seriously heavy duty weed puller?
Part of my yard -- and my next door neighbor's yard, and other places
in my neighborhood, which is a veritable hotspot of invasive exotics --
is infested with clerodendrum. Beautiful flowers, stinks, highly
invasive, perennial -- and tough. Stems 1/8" to 3/8" in diameter,
probably more if left alone. It sprouts vigorously from the roots, and
so has to be pulled to have any chance of knocking it back. (My next
door neighbor tried mowing it. She ended up with a stronger crop than
Now, when I was 25, I'd have just grabbed the things and pulled them up
-- 90% or so aren't too bad. But it's thirty years later and I have
arthritis in several joints in my hands, and have already aggravated it
trying to pull these things.
And the clerodendrum is the easy stuff. I also have lots of ardesia,
which is ten times tougher to pull. It has seriously tough roots, and
the only reason I have to believe pulling it is a possibility is that
the stem is just as tough.
So I've been looking for some kind of tool to help pull the
clerodendrum. I bought a Weed-Ho at a local store, and while it's a
useful tool, it's too light weight. On the web, the only possibility
I've see is the Extratigator:
It's expensive -- US$122 with shipping and possibly import duty too,
and the fact that they haven't answered my email doesn't bode well.
More importantly, it appears to depend on rather narrow tines pushing
on the surface of the ground, and they'd almost certainly just dig in
to my Florida soil. So I'd additionally have to figure out a way to
attach a board to the tool, or carry one around, to spread the force.
My concept has been a device with a cam (or double cam) to grip the
stem and grip it tighter as I pull up, with handles (solid or rope) and
hand grips to pull up. While this wouldn't offer the leverage of the
Extractigator, it would be a lot easier to manoevre in close quarters.
Or the cams with handles like a lopper, with a ratchet, so that you
pull the toughie by opening and closing the handles.
I would have thought such a thing would have a good market, but I
haven't seen anything like it -- the Extractigator is the only thing
I've seen that grips a solid stem for me.
I will appreciate any and all ideas!