The Original Brush Grubber BG-01 review details the perfect tool to remove shallow-rooted trees and stumps with power and ease.
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Unleashing the Power of Brush Grubber: A Comprehensive Tool Review
Over the last several years, I’ve consumed countless hours experimenting to find the best methods to quickly and efficiently remove trees and extract their roots. During this time, I’ve mastered multiple techniques for various trees of different sizes (I will cover those in future articles). Although I find specific hand tool methods can work very well, they put an unwanted strain on my body when trying to remove more than 5-10 trees. Now that I’m older, these labor-intensive techniques can cause me several days of pain and agony.
Therefore, I wanted to search for an alternative, less labor-intensive method that yielded similar outcomes. I’d seen the Brush Grubber line of tools randomly online or walking through hardware stores and always thought they looked cool. At the same time, I was taken aback by the price of the bigger models and was afraid to purchase them in case they didn’t work. The fact that I still have hundreds of saplings and shrubs to clear around the property led me to purchase the Original Brush Grubber BG-01 to see how it worked.
First Impressions Of the Brush Grubber BG-01
The first time I saw the Original Brush Grubber BG-01, I could tell it was sturdy, high-quality, and well-built. Immediately I loaded the brush grubber and a chain onto my ATV and proceeded to our woods to try it out. Reading reviews on Amazon about people having issues attaching the brush grubber to trees and damaging the tool, I decided to read the included instructions thoroughly. I immediately realized that most people writing these reviews had not done so and created most of their issues through user error.
The first step is to prep your work area by trimming the trees you will pull out, so they do not fall on your vehicle. Additionally, take caution that your chain is long enough so the brush will not hit the operator of the pulling vehicle. The danger level can decrease when using a longer chain. However, I still advise cutting all brush, trees, and saplings approximately 2-4 feet above the ground before removal of the stump for your safety using loppers or a small chainsaw. Specifically, I recommend the Fiskars Powergear Bypass Loppers and the Makita XCU06Z 18V Cordless 10″ Chain Saw, both essential tools in my arsenal.
In short, consider the brush grubber primarily as a tool for removing stumps. For added safety, wear gloves to protect you from the pinch points and teeth on the brush grubber. In addition, the manufacturer states the Brush Grubber BG-01 works on trees that are ½” to 3″ in diameter. However, I recommend only using it on trees 1″ to 3″ in diameter, as anything smaller than 1″ is too much of a hassle.
Best Time of Year to Use the Brush Grubber BG-01
It is important to note that although the Brush Grubber works excellently under most conditions for pulling shallow-rooted trees and brush, it will NOT remove every stump and can cause occasional frustration. The main issues affecting a stump that won’t come out are that its root system is too large, or the ground is too dry or too rocky.
The best time to remove stumps is in the spring when the soil is soft, especially in areas with a lot of snow. If you are in a more southern climate and have hard or rocky dirt, the ideal time to remove stumps is after heavy rainfall. Fortunately, where I live in Vermont, the soil is soft most of the year, making pulling stumps easy.
To Get Started
Place the Brush Grubber on each side of the stump or brush near its base with the spring on the Brush Grubber placed towards the ground. Many people find the brush grubber to be heavy and hard to open. I also experienced this but quickly realized there is a proper technique to make this process effortless.
Put a small amount of pressure on the bottom of the Brush Gruber to compress the scissor joint instead of pulling the jaws apart. This method easily allows the jaws to spread with minimal effort. An alternative method is to bush the rear of the brush grubber on the ground, which is also an effective way to easily open the jaws. Next, open them all the way and hold them open until you place them on the stump. Reading the stump and placing the teeth in the right place is a bit of an art.
It’s All in the Technique
It saved me a lot of time once I figured out the best technique to use the device. Once the Brush Grubber is attached to the tree, I give it a light jerk to set the spikes and see if it will slip off. Once set, the harder you pull with your vehicle, the better it grips.
Occasionally you may not find a good spot at the base of the tree to attach the Brush Grubber, or maybe you are dealing with a stubborn tree that won’t come out of the ground. In this case, mount the Brush Grubber 1-2 ft higher to provide more leverage, potentially making removing the stubborn stump easier.
Connect your chain to the brush grubber and your pulling vehicle, and start slowly to set the teeth into the tree. Do not jerk the brush grubber while there is slack in the chain. Give your vehicle gas and be amazed at how easily the stump and its root system rip from the ground. Seeing how big some of these roots are on smaller trees is impressive.
After every stump removal, examine the Brush Grubber for any damage, then remove any bark or wood fibers from the teeth. Debris in the teeth will cause it to slip on the next stump. You must adjust the position of the Brush Grubber if you have issues with the clamps coming off the stump or sliding. Figuring out the proper position is a learning process.
If you place the teeth in the center of a stump with thick park, then only the bark may come off. To remedy this, I learned to position the teeth further back. I like to place the teeth on the back half of the stump from the pulling action, which allows the stump to come out with ease.
Once you have pulled the stump and roots from the ground, remove the brush grubber from the base by pushing back on the clevis towards the trunk. The easiest way to do this is to put the back end of the brush grubber on the ground and push down on it to open it back up. You are now ready to do it all again on the next stump! Although the brush grubber is a fun and easy tool, you will soon realize the process would be quicker and easier with two people.
A Two Person Job
The hardest thing about working solo is getting on and off the tractor multiple times. To save time and maximize efficiency, you need one person to manage chains and hook the grubber to the stump and one to drive the vehicle. Having two people is especially useful for reattaching the Brush Grubber when it falls off. Although two people make the job much more manageable, you can certainly tear up a good amount of real estate on your own.
In short, the Original Brush Grubber BG-01 does what it claims, and I am very impressed with its stump-pulling power. Moreover, the tool is supper addictive and satisfying and makes an otherwise difficult job enjoyable. The Brush Grubber is undoubtedly one of the handiest and most valuable tools I’ve purchased for our property and well worth the investment.
Watch The Brush Grubber in Action
Below I discuss all the items needed to connect the Original Brush Grubber BG-01 to your ATV, UTV, or garden tractor. These items include a three-way hitch, a 2″ hitch ball, a binder chain, and clevis safety hooks. I also discuss my favorite tools for almost every project outside, the Fiskars Powergear 2 Bypass Loppers and the Makita XCU06Z 18V Cordless 10″ Chain Saw.
Fiskars Power Gear 2 Bypass Loppers
The Fiskars Powergear 2 Bypass Lopper is my all-time favorite tool. The Powergear technology and sharp precision-ground blade edges make cutting through saplings, branches, and roots dramatically easier than any other lopper I have ever used. Moreover, the Fiskars Loppers are super fun to use, effortlessly power through thick branches and roots, and have been part of almost every one of my projects over the past three years. Without a doubt, I recommend this tool above all others for trimming trees and working in the woods.
Makita XCU06Z 18V Cordless 10″ Chain Saw
The Makita XCU06Z 18V LXT Brushless 10″ Top Handle Chain Saw is one of the newest additions to my arsenal, and I’m absolutely in love with it. I used it all winter to clear the downfall on the property. It is small enough to fit in a backpack yet powerful enough to cut through any tree in front of you. I limbed and cut up six full-size trees with one battery!
With zero emissions and minimal noise, the Makita XCU06Z is a welcome addition to my collection. It has a variable speed trigger and high chain speed (0-4,720 FPM) for increased cutting speed, with torque boost mode for cutting dense material. There is no engine oil to change, no spark plug to replace, and no air filter or muffler to clean. And there’s no need to drain the fuel for storage. Attach the 18V LXT Lithium-Ion battery; the saw is ready to use.
Coleman Maddog Three-Way ATV Hitch
I bought the Coleman Maddog Three-Way ATV Hitch because I wanted a cheap yet high-quality way to connect the Original Brush Grubber BG-01 to my Honda Rancher 400 ATV. In addition, I use a Vulcan 70 Grade 8 ft Binder Chain with two clevis hooks with safety latches to connect the Brush Grubber to the Coleman hitch. Additionally, I have used this hitch hundreds of times to take large amounts of brush and limbs to our burn pile and move loads of cut wood around the property using a small garden wagon and 5′ X 10′ trailer with the ATV and a John Deere 570 Garden Tractor.
Undoubtedly it is nice to have the ability to pull different things and trailers with a ball mount (not included) or hitch pin. However, the hitch can move left or right when backing up, which can be annoying. You can prevent this by occasionally cranking it down with a torque wrench or impact gun. Ultimately, I’m pleased with the overall quality and value of the Coleman Maddog Three-Way ATV Hitch, and it’s become an essential part of my arsenal for working on the property. I use a Curt 2″ Hitch Ball with a 3/4″ shank that fits perfectly on this hitch.
Curt 2″ Trailer Hitch Ball with 3/4″ Shank
I attached a CURT 2″ Hitch Ball with a 3/4″ shank to the Coleman ATV Hitch to tow my trailer. The quality forged steel ball with chrome finish resists rust, corrosion, and wear. Moreover, the ball is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds gross trailer weight. Also, it has a zinc-plated hex nut and a helical lock washer for dependable strength.
Vulcan 70 Grade 8 ft Binder Chain
The Vulcan 70 Grade 8 ft Binder Chain is ideal for attaching the Original Brush Gruber BG-01 to the Coleman Maddog Three-Way ATV Hitch on an ATV, UTV, or tractor. Furthermore, the chain is DOT-compliant and rated for a safe working load of 6,600 lbs. Additionally, it comes with a Clevis G70 grab hook on one end and a Clevis sling hook with a latch on the other. Ultimately, I replaced the grab hook with a Curt 3/8″ Clevis Slip Hook with Safety Latch.
CURT 3/8″ Clevis Slip Hook with Safety Latch
On each end of the Vulcan Binder chain, I wanted to have a clevis sling hook with safety latches for added security. However, the chain only had one safety hook and a Clevis G70 grab hook. So I replaced the grab hook with a Curt 3/8 Clevis Slip Hook with Safety Latch. The hook uses high-strength, corrosion-resistant, forged steel construction.
Additionally, it has a hook size of 1″ and offers a gross trailer weight capacity of 18,000 lbs. Furthermore, it comes with a hook pin and cotter pin for solid attachment to a chain link or cable loop, and it also features a spring-loaded safety latch. The safety latch allows for a chain connection that won’t come loose from vehicle vibrations or jarring on uneven terrain.
Does the Brush Grubber BG-01 come with a pull chain?
What Trees Can You Pull Out with the Orignal Brush Grubber BG-01?
The Original Brush Grubber BG-01 can pull shallow-rooted trees and brush between 1″ to 3″ in diameter. Trees and shrubs that the Brush Grubber BG-01 can successfully pull include Honeysuckle, Buckthorn, Russian Olive Trees, Elm, Wild Cherry, Tree of Heaven, Wild Dogwood, Brazilian Pepper Rrees, Willows, Walnut, Locust, Box Elder, Choke Cherry, Yaupons, Maple, Oriental Bittersweet, Catalpa, vines, Mimosa Trees, Scotch Broom, Mesquite, Mulberry, Sumac, Oak, Sweetgum, and more.
Can the Brush Grubber BG-01 be used to transplant trees and shrubs?
The Brush Grubber is an excellent tool for pulling out brush and trees. However, it should not be used to pull out anything you want to replant. The round plates at the end of the Brush Grubber contain eight teeth approximately 1/4 inch thick and 1/2 inch long.
The harder you pull, the deeper the tool bites in, removing bark and leaving deep marks. Furthermore, it will severely damage the root system, making it unlikely that the plant could survive the trauma. Ultimately, the safest way to transplant something you care about is to dig it out with the roots intact using a shovel.
Will the Brush Grubber BG-01 work with a come-along tool?
Although not recommended, you can use the Brush Grubber with a hand-operated winch (come-along tool), but it will be a slow process and most likely not worth the time or effort. To effectively remove stumps and brush, you must have enough pulling force. Since most come-along winches are for straight, hard, steady pulls, you could not properly jerk on the stump or other material with a come-along.
What Vehicle Should You Use With the Original Brush Grubber BG-01?
The vehicle recommended to use with the Original Brush Grubber BG-01 is an ATV, UTV, or garden Tractor. Four-wheel drive is helpful as two two-wheel drive will and the rear wheels dig holes into the dirt. Although it would void your warranty, you may need something more significant, like a large tractor or truck to pull some stumps or brush. Hook this up behind a tractor or to a pickup truck, and any troublesome tree is coming out of the ground.
How do you connect the Brush Grubber BG-01 to an ATV, UTV, or tractor?
To connect the brush grubber to an ATV, UTV, or tractor, you need a strong 70 Grade chain with two clevis safety hooks and a three-way ATV hitch. Moreover, you will connect one of the clevis hooks to the metal loop of the Brush Grubber and then connect the other end to the hook on the three-way ATV hitch.
What size trees can the Brush Grubber BG-01 pull out?
The Brush Grubber BG-01 can easily pull shallow-rooted trees and brush ½” to 3″ in diameter from the ground to eliminate re-growth.
Will the Brush Grubber BG-01 pull Blackberry bushes?
Blackberry bushes are too thin and fragile to be pulled using the Brush Grubber BG-01. Therefore, I recommend the best way of removing blackberry bushes is by digging out their root clusters.
Can the Brush Grubber BG-01 attach to a truck?
The Brush Grubber BG-01 can be attached to a truck, but the manufacturer does not recommend it. The BG-01 should be used with an ATV, UTV, or garden tractor.
Are the Original Brush Grubber BG-01 parts replaceable?
All Original Brush Grubber BG-01 parts are replaceable. View the instruction manual for all replacement part numbers.