Vine pruning tools.

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Vine pruning tools.

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 15 Jun, 2021 7:49 am

After spending a decent chunk of last weekends trip entangled in foot, waist and head high vine!

I'm thinking of adding some secateurs as a permanent addition to my kit.

Any users? Suggestions for models? (light weight please)

Also considering hospital trauma shears as I want to be able to store them in a trouser cargo pant or other easy to reach place without worrying about the sharp tips spiking me if I fall.

Either that or a pouch but haven't seen anything that doesn't leave the handles exposed.. (I'd prefer not to deal with them getting hooked on things as I move through scrub)
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 15 Jun, 2021 8:47 am

There is really only one brand I could recommend and it's Felco
https://www.bunnings.com.au/felco-2-ori ... s_p3358858

You used to be able to buy a safety sheath that had a clip to stop them falling out.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby Biggles » Tue 15 Jun, 2021 10:50 am

I don't see how secateurs are going to improve your rate of clearance. You might as well go for a folding knife of any description on the basis of efficiency alone.

A folding or fixed-length pruning saw (e.g. a Saxon 195mm folding saw — Bunnings have these) or a bowie knife (with its own sheath) is infinitely more useful than secateurs — almost laughable in their slow, tedious operation when faced with a solid wall of e.g. blackberries. You aren't on a leisurely cut-'n-snip in the front garden! Years ago (2007-9) in Victoria I joined working bees on track clearing in the Otways. Our weapons of choice were pruning saws used as slashers, some even using the aforementioned bowie knives. The progress was amazing, even for individuals working in isolation from the main group. I never saw secateurs on these working days. Some of the bigger guys also carried industrial chain saws!
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 15 Jun, 2021 12:03 pm

Thanks MD Il check em out.

Biggles wrote:I don't see how secateurs are going to improve your rate of clearance. You might as well go for a folding knife of any description on the basis of efficiency alone.

A folding or fixed-length pruning saw (e.g. a Saxon 195mm folding saw — Bunnings have these) or a bowie knife (with its own sheath) is infinitely more useful than secateurs — almost laughable in their slow, tedious operation when faced with a solid wall of e.g. blackberries. You aren't on a leisurely cut-'n-snip in the front garden! Years ago (2007-9) in Victoria I joined working bees on track clearing in the Otways. Our weapons of choice were pruning saws used as slashers, some even using the aforementioned bowie knives. The progress was amazing, even for individuals working in isolation from the main group. I never saw secateurs on these working days. Some of the bigger guys also carried industrial chain saws!


Thanks Biggles. I'm not planning to clear tracks though or deal with heavy shrubbery which can mostly be pushed through or if not then it's largely impenetrable for walkers unless the objective is a track clearing working bee. It's lawyer vine (and other types of vine) that is really challenging to move through and after all the rain in nsw is becoming a increasing problem. A quick snip when it's stretched around a leg or torso is reasonable efficient when the previous pace was 500m an hour and a exhausting push, detangle, push through vine. Knives work but I'm not comfortable holding a open blade in that sort of terrain.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 15 Jun, 2021 12:39 pm

A lot of fellers in the North-East deer hunting group carry a pair of secateurs all the time and one of the purposes is such detangling from the blackberry vines, I imagine it would also work for Wait-awhile
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby Zapruda » Tue 15 Jun, 2021 3:09 pm

Scrub can be a pain sometimes but openly discussing cutting through bush in a national park is pretty poor form. If you want to do it, keep it to yourself or go through the proper channels (NPWS) but please don't share it on a public forum.

If the scrub is too much for you then don't go.

People copy others actions without much thought. Leave the garden tools at home unless you have permission to bring them. Lawyer vine or not.

I don't mean to come across as a curmudgeon but our national parks are under enough stress at the moment without an army of gardeners chopping their way through it.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby johnw » Tue 15 Jun, 2021 4:21 pm

Reading the original question and background I'm not sure I see a problem. As a remote bushcare volunteer with NPWS and other groups for many years we often need to disentangle from lawyer vine etc.
Judicious use of a small pair of secateurs is usually the tool of preference and causes less damage than relentlessly pushing through scrub pulling down whatever the vines are connected to.
Also used for cutting bush away from woody weeds, blackberry etc to avoid collateral herbicide damage. The bush recovers well from pruning but not poison.
That said, I do not support unauthorised clearing of paths through the bush, I'm only referring to the odd snip to disentangle yourself.
I agree with Moondog that Felco are the Rolls Royce if you want to spend $$$, but I've found the cheap and lightweight Saxon secateurs from Bunnings will do the job for this sort of occasional use.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 15 Jun, 2021 4:30 pm

johnw wrote:Reading the original question and background I'm not sure I see a problem. As a remote bushcare volunteer with NPWS and other groups for many years we often need to disentangle from lawyer vine etc.
Judicious use of a small pair of secateurs is usually the tool of preference and causes less damage than relentlessly pushing through scrub pulling down whatever the vines are connected to.
Also used for cutting bush away from woody weeds, blackberry etc to avoid collateral herbicide damage. The bush recovers well from pruning but not poison.
That said, I do not support unauthorised clearing of paths through the bush, I'm only referring to the odd snip to disentangle yourself.
I agree with Moondog that Felco are the Rolls Royce if you want to spend $$$, but I've found the cheap and lightweight Saxon secateurs from Bunnings will do the job for this sort of occasional use.



Thanks johnw. Yes this is exactly what I was referring to.

Zapruda Im certainly not advocating making tracks or clearing existing ones.. simply using a tool to detangle oneself when caught in vine.

To get back on topic. Has anyone used emt shears? I'm thinking they should work just as well?? while being quite a bit lighter.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 16 Jun, 2021 5:25 pm

Another use for this tool is cutting up twigs to suit those small wood stoves that seem so popular, saves your knees as you get older
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby stry » Sat 19 Jun, 2021 9:12 am

Secateurs are the go. If more that the proposed disentanglement is needed, it's time for Plan B - detour.

I have a small pair that I haven't carried for while. They may even be Felcos. Because of the weight I only carry them if I am sure that I will need them.

It would take a very long time to do any discernible damage to vegetation using a small pair of secateurs, and the user would need to spend a lot of time in one spot :lol:
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 19 Jun, 2021 9:17 am

Zapruda is correct. If in a NP even freeing yourself from scrub by cutting the fauna is illegal. Pretty poor form from a moderator

If you can't deal with scrub stay on track. I've done many many off track walks in Tassie and never have I thought it would assist in any way. Learn to push through.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby Zapruda » Sat 19 Jun, 2021 9:19 am

Just to reiterate. It’s not the damage caused by one individual. It’s the damage done but multiple individuals who see someone with cutting tools in a National park and then decide it’s ok to do it themselves.

One person is just the out there cutting lawyer vine and the next 10 are out blazing a track in a wilderness area.

I think this topic should be removed. It’s inappropriate. Go to Bunnings for garden tool advice.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby Moondog55 » Sat 19 Jun, 2021 9:25 am

I don't think EMT shears have the strength needed, I find them single use tools as they lose the edge fast.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby Moondog55 » Sat 19 Jun, 2021 9:29 am

ILUVSWTAS wrote:Zapruda is correct. If in a NP even freeing yourself from scrub by cutting the fauna is illegal.

If you can't deal with scrub stay on track.


I think you mean "Flora"
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 19 Jun, 2021 9:30 am

Moondog55 wrote:
ILUVSWTAS wrote:Zapruda is correct. If in a NP even freeing yourself from scrub by cutting the fauna is illegal.

If you can't deal with scrub stay on track.


I think you mean "Flora"


Haha whoops. I gotta get off these drugs.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby Moondog55 » Sat 19 Jun, 2021 10:11 am

I had this weird mind picture of some sadistic person cutting the feet of endangered small mammals
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 19 Jun, 2021 1:15 pm

Moondog55 wrote:I had this weird mind picture of some sadistic person cutting the feet of endangered small mammals



Haha yeh that could well be illegal too
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby wildwanderer » Sun 20 Jun, 2021 12:32 pm

Thanks to everybody who offered suggestions in response to the topic question.

To those who disagree with the content of a particular topic or discussion the appropriate method is the report topic button then another moderator will review and make a decision

Taking the moderator hat off for a moment I'll make a comment on the concerns raised.

I'm not advocating clearing tracks or encouraging people do so.

The key is always ensuring minimal impact. And my belief is that when caught in vine the least impact is a strategic snip with a tool to free the caught area. I don't believe pushing through is the right approach because you will rip up the plant and several other plants in a attempt to free yourself. Which is far more damaging than a small snip.

Snipping is a limited use case and only when trapped by vine.

Those that believe because a tool causes impact it's forbidden.. where does that interpretation end?

If you use a tool such as a tent peg to put up a tent you will cut into and impact several grass plants and their root systems.

The simple act of walking is damaging.

The key is always minimising the impact as much as practicable.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby Zapruda » Sun 20 Jun, 2021 12:56 pm

For the third time, this isn’t about cutting a small section of vine. This is about broader respect for public spaces and being a proper steward of the outdoors. Part of that is not advertising this kind of behaviour on a public forum.

You may not be advocating for the clearing of tracks but this post and subsequently the action of you carrying cutting tools in to a National Park is a green light for others to do so. It’s shocking to me that you can’t see this.

You can make all the excuses you want but this is still not an appropriate topic for a bushwalking forum. A forum that should be advocating for proper use of public spaces. Doubly so from a moderator.

Rule 26 should cover this.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 20 Jun, 2021 1:12 pm

Noted.
Post reported.


Illegal clearing of vegetation
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby wildwalks » Wed 30 Jun, 2021 11:36 am

** Moderation review **
Hi All -- Normally I do not publically discuss moderation decisions, but I think in this case I should as the report is against one of my team members.

First of all I want to say thanks to people for their passion and desire to protect wild places -- I love that it is a central message and passion from people here.

Some context for people who may have not experienced some of these vines in NSW, there are a few vines that are very thin and super sticky - that you get tangled in very quickly and easily. If you have seen 'The God's must be crazy' then you get a feel for it. They grab hold and unpicking them is not always possible, sometimes you need to break them to clear yourself. And you don't always see them coming.

* We all agree that walking through a national park with a chainsaw to clear one's path is a bad idea
* We also all accept that we do some damage to vegetation as we walk off track - but we all make an effort to minimise damage as we go.

* The cutting of a vine to free oneself does not constitute "clearing" of vegetation under the NSW act. https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/reso ... tsheet.pdf (clearing has a very specific legal meaning)

* The Original Post never stated what type of land he was walking on (or even which state - I am assuming NSW) -- there is plenty of great walking that is not on National Park land (eg in state forests in NSW)
(yes we need to respect the land we walk on - but the assumption here is that he is encouraging others to break the law)
* under the NSW NP Act 1974 damaging a plant is "includes gather, pluck, cut, pull up, destroy, poison, take, dig up, crush, trample, remove or injure the plant or any part of the plant." http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/ ... s156a.html
But under any legislation there is a sense of motivation -- eg it is not illegal to walk off track even though it clearly "crushes" and "tramples" vegetation. So is "cutting" always illegal under the act?
Seems to me to be very clear -- the goal here is to minimise the damage when in an awkward situation.

Sometimes we need to choose the 'least worse' option. I see this post as really asking 'if I am stuck in a vine what is the best way out'.

Personally, I have been stuck in vine before and after trying to untangle myself for about 20mins, I was not able to easily break the vine, so I have used trama shears to free myself - so I empathise with the question.

Does this post encourage people to illegally clear tracks? I don't think so, I think it shows that there are nuances in our pursuit when we think about leave no track/minimal impact techniques.

I do not see this post as a breach of rule 26 in my view. Firstly because we do not know what land he is on, and even if in a NP, it is not clearly illegal under the act.

So I will let the post stand and encourage people to keep thinking about how we minimise our impact in awkward situations.

I must admit -- my mind went straight to how do we clean whatever you are cutting with to not spread disease to the plant been cut.

Thanks all

Matt :)
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby stry » Wed 30 Jun, 2021 3:54 pm

Sensible, balanced response Matt.

Nowhere in the original post did I get any sense of track creation where there is no existing pad or track, regardless of the land classification; and certainly to attempt same with secateurs would be akin do trying to dig a hole in water.

Fortunately, I do not need to deal with lantana, but I do encounter various human trafficked footpads which, over the years, become encroached upon by blackberry vine. Sometimes one can step on them, other times not. Pushing through is an unworkable approach for humans.

Try as I may, I can see no damage, either idealogical, or physical, arising from snipping through these runners where they cross a pad that is already in use.

In the places where I encounter thick scrub and regrowth, creating a passage without power tools and a few helpers would be impossible. Even with power tools and help, creating a passage through such areas would be enormously time consuming. And why would anyone bother ? The risk of such unsanctioned passage creation is non existent.

Is lantana an introduced plant ? Certainly blackberry is, but I don't think it matters to the discussion.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 30 Jun, 2021 5:23 pm

Lantana is a pest plant/ environmental weed introduced from South America, eradication is hard even with the Lantana beetle.
I too think that Matts post is pertinent and apt
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby Zapruda » Wed 30 Jun, 2021 6:04 pm

OP never mentioned Lantana. It was Lawyer vine, a native.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby crollsurf » Wed 30 Jun, 2021 6:34 pm

As an ex-software developer, we had a saying. Follow best practices unless you have a good argument not to.

NSWNP Rangers would have zero tolerance for carrying a gun but if they caught you with pruning shears and you had a good reason, they're not going to ping you for it unless you carry on with some self-rightness attitude.

All you need is a good moral/environmental compass and you'll be fine.







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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby johnw » Wed 30 Jun, 2021 6:38 pm

Yes thanks Matt for a balanced and rational view. Given that the need seems likely specific to certain locations/conditions in NSW, I'm wondering if the topic should be moved to that section?

stry wrote:Is lantana an introduced plant ? Certainly blackberry is, but I don't think it matters to the discussion.

While not directly relevant to the original question, yes, both Lantana and Blackberry are horrendous weeds that can completely choke out native vegetation. I've long been involved in the eradication of both from bushland. I've destroyed Lantana in smaller numbers, but even then it requires diligence. Both species are declared noxious weeds in NSW (I think the actual terminology has changed).
Councils can require landowners to control them (and must do so themselves for land they manage). I'd assume other states have similar legislation.

wildwalks wrote:I must admit -- my mind went straight to how do we clean whatever you are cutting with to not spread disease to the plant been cut.

Metho can be used if available. We normally spray soles of shoes with it before entered bushland.
In remote bushcare settings the usual practice is to remove loose dirt from tools, scrub and rinse with collected creek/river water.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Wed 30 Jun, 2021 6:47 pm

Yes my biggest concern is cross contamination.

I think it's a dissapointing decision but if you wernt backing your moderators then you'd look pretty ordinary anyway.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby Warin » Wed 30 Jun, 2021 10:12 pm

Terminology change in NSW; Noxious Weed will be replaced with Priority Weeds or Biosecurity Matter.

To help identify a weeds there is an app ... NSW Weedwise app

Around me the weeds I know are;
Asparagus Fern (easy to dig up the walnut center unless your neighbors have buried it .. had to go down 40 cm to find one!)
Lantana
Privet (both kinds)
Mickey Mouse Plant (Ochna)
Cotoneaster
Camphor Laurel

I do use roundup 360 on stump cut plants.. I find Mickey Mouse Plant (Ochna) will regenerate after ~2 months - I put 360 directly on the regrowth leaves and that kills it off - no further regrowth. All of the above grow in the local National Park.
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Thu 01 Jul, 2021 5:18 am

And what's your point warin?

Because they exist it makes it alright?
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Re: Vine pruning tools.

Postby FatCanyoner » Thu 01 Jul, 2021 8:34 am

I'm glad others have been considering and debating the ethical issues with this post.

I'd just add a couple little things for people to think about.

1) Lots of what people call "weeds" are actually native plant species. You really shouldn't remove them unless you are certain of their identification. For instance, there are native members of the Rubus genus (the same family as blackberries). They can be just as spikey and form thickets. I see the same thing happen with lots of Solanum species. Just because something is spikey and comes up in disturbed land / after a fire, doesn't mean it's a weed or doesn't belong there. If you are concerned about weeds in protected areas, join a bushcare group or similar and learn the skills to properly identify and remove weeds.

2) Modifying nature to make it more convenient for us is what humans have done to 95% of the earth's landmass. It's the reason there are so few wild places left. Paths, roads, farms, etc, etc, have all replaced nature to make things convenient for humans. It's important that we protect what remains. Sometimes that means putting up with some inconvenience. I'm sure no one on this forum wants to see the further loss of natural areas, but it can be a slippery slope. If it's okay to cut away vines, then why not add steps, or build huts, or roads, or anything else that makes our enjoyment of the bush easier? Drawing a line in the sand about minor issues may seem pedantic, but it's about ensuring a consistent argument that prevents more damaging actions from taking place.

3) Less experienced people don't always understand the nuance. For instance, the debate here might be over snipping the odd lawyer vine, but they may see that as acceptance of any vegetation clearing. There was a situation a couple years ago where some quite experienced canyoners decided to create some new abseil routes in Blue Mountains National Park. This group not only bolted their routes, but they took a saw with them to clear vegetation that got in the way. I have seen photos of what they removed, and it included chopping down small trees with a diametre of about 15cms. It was completely illegal, and very damaging. But for many people, understanding exactly where the boundary is between snipping the odd plant, and clearing entire inconvenient trees, can be difficult. The last thing any of us would want would be to encourage the latter behaviour. I think that's why some people reacted so strongly to this thread.
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