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Old 04-08-2012, 05:40 PM   post #1 of 5
jerry_nj
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Default Use of electric blower/vacuum to break sweet gum balls

I have a couple of mature Sweet Gum trees and the annual production of seed balls is at the maximum in the spring. I have used my high speed tractor sweeper (see GT6000 avatar) and have tried a gas powered vacuum/blower shredder/chipper as well as a Yardman (Walmart with the Honda engine) to deal with the seed pods. This afternoon I tried (maybe again) the gasoline powered vacuum and it will not pick up pods that are embedded in the grass which needs mowing) unless I use the hose. This is heavy duty backbreaking work...so I though "what about one of those electric blower/vacuums?" Of course, I have a 20 year old one and decided to try it in the vacuum mode for the first time and found that it sucked the pod up fine, but the plastic/nylon... impeller could not break the pod down.

Looking I found: Toro 51599 Ultra 12 amp Variable-Speed Electric Blower/Vacuum with Metal Impeller, which has a titanium (or whatever) metal impeller. Any experience with a metal impeller to break up stuff harder than leaves?
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:15 PM   post #2 of 5
Walt 2002
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Default Re: Use of electric blower/vacuum to break sweet gum balls

Don't take this wrong, don't want to irritate anyone, but the best way to deal with them is with a chain saw.

Walt Conner
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:19 PM   post #3 of 5
89YT12
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Default Re: Use of electric blower/vacuum to break sweet gum balls

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt 2002 View Post
Don't take this wrong, don't want to irritate anyone, but the best way to deal with them is with a chain saw.

Walt Conner
I was going to suggest dynamite

but why not just kill them by cutting the grass???
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:33 PM   post #4 of 5
mla2ofus
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Default Re: Use of electric blower/vacuum to break sweet gum balls

Why wouldn't a big shop vac w/ 2 1/2" hose work to pick them up. That's what I used for harvesting pecans out of flowerbeds etc.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:29 PM   post #5 of 5
jerry_nj
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Default Re: Use of electric blower/vacuum to break sweet gum balls

Hum, chain saw, too bad it isn't good fire wood.

A shop vacuum may work, and a lot easier to move around than is my gas powered vacuum. But, I kind of like the idea of breaking the balls into pieces.

Well, in any case, I finished as well as I'm going to the area around the two trees I have. We planted them ourselves about 20 years ago after seeing such nice shape and pretty colors on corporate drives that were lined with these trees. I suppose the corporate grounds keepers know how to clean up and that's why I didn't see the mess.

Still interested if anyone has used one of the electric blower/vacs to mulch anything harder than leaves.
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1989 Craftsman LT 12 HP 38" 2-blade deck - Retired

1993 Craftsman GT6000 18 HP B&S twin L-head 44" 3-blade deck, - Avatar and duty GT
2005 Craftsman DYT4000 42" 2-blade deck - B&S 18.5 Intek - new head gasket twice in 500 hr. Was hit by a Pine tree blown down by Hurricane Sandy Oct.2012. But I now have the PYT9000 and a real mowing machine
2011 Craftsman PYT9000 B&S 26 HP Professional and 46" 2-blade deck. Wife said "ANOTHER TRACTOR?"
I replied "Yep"
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