I love the Parsnip Predator and can’t imagine doing ecological restoration without it!! It’s great for gardening as well. About mid-summer, there is too much collateral damage to be foliar spraying herbicide, so I use this tool to sever the root of various invasives and weeds. The Parsnip Predator was specifically designed for use on the invasive wild parsnip, but I find it works great on thistles, Queen Anne’s Lace, burdock, sweet clover, 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 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 the Parsnip Predator is that they are not for prying or digging. They are for severing. 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 cuts the root a bit easier!
To use: Set the Predator at a 45-degree angle to the root of the target plant, put your foot on the side, press down, then pull the Predator back using the path it went down into.
Jim is demonstrating the angle. It’s down and up, with no prying or shoveling action.