Driftless Prairies: Native Habitat Restoration

Nature inspires awe!

Parsnip Predator

I love this tool and can’t imagine doing ecological restoration without it!! It’s great for gardening as well. About mid-summer, there is just too much collateral damage to be foliar spraying herbicide, so I use this tool to sever the root of various invasives and weeds.  This shovel was specifically designed for use on the invasive Wild Parsnip, but I find it works great on thistles, Queen Anne’s Lace, burdock, and anything else you don’t want setting seed that doesn’t have a rhizomatous growth.

The design is ideal for carrying for long periods. It has a narrow blade for less cutting resistance and less potential damage to non-target species, it is light weight, and the D-handle is turned to be perpendicular to the blade for ergonomic comfort. Whenever I head out to work in the prairie, savanna, or woods, I have one of these with me.

The most important thing to note about these is that they are not for prying or digging. They are intended to go down at a 45-degree angle, sever the root, and come back out the same angle. We routinely sharpen one side of the blade, depending on how much we use it. This helps to make the severing a bit easier!

If you want one for yourself, The Prairie Enthusiasts (TPE) sell these. They are $35 each. You can have them shipped for $12 or we can arrange a convenient pick up site. Contact TPE at the following address if you’d like to order one or more: Nick Faessler, W1156 Stateline Road, Juda, WI 53550, 608-214-3852, nfaessler@wildblue.net

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