In case you don't know, YET; Removing invasive bushes by any method is not an easy job. My tool simply makes it easier, but its still hard work and you'll need other tools too. One important one is a saw like the Felco 600 I sell.
I'm not sugar coating this. Here is how I describe the invasive bush removal process:
Long periods of hard work laced with periods of frustration interrupted by bouts of cursing and if you don't get bruised, scraped, poked or injured in some way, you ain't doing it hard enough!
All of this is finially followed by a great feeling of accomplishment as you look back at your newly restored area. Simply put, Hard work = Success.
What does it work on? Woody shrubs or bushes or brush, whichever term you prefer. Single trunk and multi-stems. All woody shrubs? No, most of them. Specifically, ones with a shallow or spreading or fibrous root system.
Name some it works on; The honeysuckle popper works on but is not limited to these: Honeysuckles, Privet, Buckthorn, Blackberry, Autumn Olive, Multi-flora rose, Burning Bush (winged euonimus), Holly, Forsythia, Yucca, and smaller evergreen shrubs.
What doesn't it work on? Trees. They have tap roots. Some woody bushes in dry or sandy regions and wet areas also have tap roots. Just pull or dig a small one out. If it has a tap root, forget about it. If it has a shallow or fibrous root system, you're in luck. All the popper needs is a solid 'bottom' for the tip to engage.
Which one should I get? Most of the time the answer to that is 'The big one'. It has more leverage and it can get out both larger and smaller bushes. It is often 'overkill' on the small shrubs though. Sort of like using a regular hammer to drive a brad, but its still very effective.
The Popper-Lite works great on removing bushes up to 5 years old or so and its for 2 things. First, if you have a lot of smaller ones, you save energy using it because the tool is 10 pounds lighter and the T handle makes it easier to use. ( Note: The HD does not have a T handle because it gets in the way and will catch on surrounding bushes.)
Second, its for those that cannot easily use a tool that weighs 28 pounds, but would still like to participate. My wife has popped out a few good sized honeysuckle bushes with the Lite. See her video on the VIDEOS page.
Will that wood platform break? No. It is solidy attached to the steel brackets with bolts.
Many well meaning handymen, not understanding my life long toolmaking experience or the depth of research I've put into this ask: Wouldn't a metal platform be better? Even though metal is obviously more durable, the answer is: No, the wood platform works better. I designed the popper in the way that it works better, not looks better. I tried a couple metal platforms and if a metal platform worked better, thats the way the tool would be made. Trust me on this. For details on why I use wood, CLICK HERE
Will the handle bend? No. My unique, patented design where the solid alloy steel tip extends into and supports the thick walled structural steel tube prevents that. The cost of these speciality steels is why this tool is expensive, and also why its about 20lbs lighter than a solid bar would be. Its not indestructable though, you need to understand that it is designed to be a 'one man' tool. If two men apply leverage under an unmovable stump, or if you slip a pipe on the end to gain more leverage, the handle will bend. If you do not abuse this tool, it will last a lifetime.
Is it guaranteed? Yes, 100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.
What if it breaks or bends? I will replace the damaged part. Please remember this is designed to be a ONE MAN TOOL.
Is it hard work using it? Generally speaking - yes, bushes are not easy to get out, but you can work at your own pace. Smaller ones are easy, but as you work up in size, you will find yourself using considerable amounts of energy to achieve success. Its not all bad though, some people might call it 'hard work', I call it 'good exercise'.
Is a question I often get but I can't say for sure because a lot depends on the weight, strength and mostly determination of the operator. From my extensive experience and comments I've received, I can safely say that the average man can pop out honeysuckles up to 10 ft. high (8-10 years old) fairly easily and 10 to 15 ft ones (10 - 15 years old) with a little work. Regardless of the height though, what really matters is the stump size and shape. Click the link above for a full explanation and pictures.
The softer the ground, the easier they pop out.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out, that's why The Popper was designed with a large platform to prevent sinking in during use. I have tested The Popper in all soil conditions and have found that smaller bushes are not a problem in hard dirt, but I advise you let the bigger ones go until the after the ground has softened up a bit.
My TIPS page has more info about removing bushes in soft or even muddy ground.
The way I talk sometimes, you may think all you have to do is 'show' a honeysuckle The Popper and it will jump out of the ground and run away! I wish that was true.
It requires some strength and physical exertion to be successful. The H-D weighs 28 pounds and it can start getting heavy after a while. I think the physical exertion required is similar to cutting and splitting firewood. Myself (55), I go out and pop for 1-2 hours at a time, then thats about enough of that for me for the day. Typically, I average 16 (yes, I've kept track) honeysuckles an hour. Some take 10 minutes, some pop right out. It took me 20 minutes to pop out the big one on my pictures page. CLICK HERE to see pictures of popped honeysuckles.
The main limitation on the size of honeysuckles you can remove is the physical strength and weight of the operator
No matter WHAT, you've got to KILL those honeysuckles and buckthorn and all those other invasive bushes too, before they destroy your woods and take over everything.
The popper is one good, effective tool to add to your invasives fighting toolbox.