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To reduce woody vegetation in and along right-of-ways and easements, a butchering device attached to a tractor is used by municipalities and state road crews to "knock back" or reduce the incursion. The result is a disfiguring and hideous butchery. I asked a state forester if this type of "pruning" is used because testing has proved it to be more effective. The answer was no, rather it was simply based on financial consideration. ADVICE: If woody vegetation is encroaching along a roadway, and you do not want this butchery, do the pruning yourself. Better yet, rather than pruning, completely remove the problem species--much easier done when the plants are young, making certain to remove at least part of the root system or it will often be no more than a pruning action, and pruning often stimulates growth.

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