Meet Your New Best Friend for Property Clean-Up: Root Grapple

By Staff

Meet Your New Best Friend for Property Clean-Up: Root Grapple

Sponsored by John Deere

April 2020

Cleaning up piles of tree limbs by hand is . . . well . . . not really any fun. It’s not therapeutic. It can take a long time. Especially depending on the size and number of the piles. But if you’ve outfitted yourself with the right equipment for the job, then you’re headed for seeing your limb-free property sparkle in no time.

Time to get started.

Step #1 for any project around your property is to get all your tools ready to work. At, you’ll find a video on how to do this project featuring a 53-inch Frontier Root Grapple with a John Deere 2025R Compact Utility Tractor. It has plenty of horsepower and a hydrostatic transmission that helps make any project like this go as smoothly as possible. When we spec’d the tractor, we also added a third function hydraulic valve, which will allow the grapple to open and close. We also added a Mauser cab for operator comfort and safety, and a 120R loader with a lift capacity of more than 1,000 pounds.

And finally, we added a Frontier Land Plane for ballast.

Using a chain saw and extended limb lopper, the property owner we were helping had already trimmed several trees around the house and tossed all the branches into a pile. Our job is to use the Root Grapple to pick ‘em up and load ‘em onto a trailer attached to our John Deere Gator.


As you’ll see in the video, a great tip for picking up a big pile of branches like this is to drive the root grapple into the pile with the bottom of the grapple level with and slightly above the ground, and the grapple clamp wide open. This way, you can really maximize the volume of debris you can grab in one load.

Once you’ve gripped the pile of branches, you should roll back the fully loaded grapple and raise the loader just high enough so you can see underneath the load. That’s so you can get a clear view of where you’re going and where you’ll dump the limbs.

A little practice goes a long way.

If you’re new to operating this kind of loader attachment and how it’s controlled with the joy stick, you’ll get a feel for it and be very comfortable after just a little practice. And when you’re using it for this kind of work, remember – it’s debris! You can’t hurt it!

If you’d like to see more tips and videos about getting all kinds of jobs done around your place, and the equipment you need to do them, visit

And lastly, always read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment and follow all operating and safety instructions.