Tree Spades, Manual

I have the standard all steel short shooter spade, the handle has gotten too short for my back. I’m not digging in compacted soils or through turf. Any root structure will be small side shoots.

I plant in 2 gallon fiber grow bags, been using them since the 80’s for field grow dogwoods, this year the apple grafts will be rowed out in good garden soil.

I need a very tough long handle spade, ash or fiberglass shaft, no hoop or tee handle is required and there is not a lot of leverage required to pop the fiber bags up/out.

We have a good nursery supplier in Ashe County, they have only the old standard all steel shorty available, for the X-mas tree diggers. Before I order one, sight unseen, it would be nice to know what the quality, specially the handle to blade union is put together.

Forestry Supply keeps good stock, a long handle requires extra handling/shipping, so once it gets here it ain’t going back. There is a selection of trencher/diggers 7 inch blade. Anybody recommend a few goods ones?

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What you want is a Long-Handled ‘King of Spades’ Shovel from WW Mfg.

I have a LH-S-15; One-Piece steel construction - 15 inch blade, 50 inch handle. I have been digging/prying oversized pecan and oak seedlings out of my nursery beds for 20 years with mine… have not broken or bent anything on it. Clifford England first turned me on to the “King of Spades”.
The reinforced-back tree-digging spade I bought before it, with hickory shaft and D-handle… I broke the shaft on the first or second pecan I tried to ‘horse’ out of the ground. Not the King of Spades, though!

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I usually put too much leverage and break them…especially fiberglass and ash handles…even steel once.

You have An “ACE”? Or 'True Value" or “DoIt Center”? Building supply store?
I’d check these places probably first. I suppose I’ve only been in Ashe as I traveled the B.R.P. I have shopped the building supply store in Sparta once in Allegheney Co. And in Elizabethton over in Tennessee.

Sounds like a good one! I did break a steel one once, may have been a “Razorback” but I cannot remember. Thanks for the link…I’ll keep it in mind too. But mostly I use the short handle ones, and a 7 foot spud bar.

Not sure what that LH-S-15 is going for these days… I know I paid over $100 for mine, way back when… but, it’s been worth every penny, and it’ll be an ‘heirloom’ and pass down to whichever of my children decide to do anything resembling gardening/orcharding.

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Those king of spades are indestructible. I use one at work and can’t break it: King of Spades All Steel Closed Back Shovel With 54in Tubular Handle

I pry out rocks, roots, etc. Doesn’t flinch.

This doesn’t fit your handle criteria, but you aren’t going to find a tougher handle/blade union than this one piece Fiskars. I have 2 of them, and I love them. I keep them out in the orchard year round.

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Found a professional landscape supply company about an hour from here late today, they are new to the region. They have these in stock. That surprised me, they run $130+. Somebody is gonna get a lot of good stuff when I check out…pennies on the dollar I’m sure.

I ran over my shorty with the big cultivators/tractor and kinked it, gonna try and get my welder to cut the tube and drive a piece of oak inside for good measure. Agree, the steel handle is way to go .

Any time the help sees me throw the spud bar in the bucket they ask to go home early.

Thanks Folks.

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Site One in Johnson City is a landscape supply chain … probably some good places in Bristol, VA.

You got it BB, SiteOne in Hickory. I like the folks working here, very helpful.

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Didn’t realize one in Hickory…but then again been almost 10 years since last time in Hickory. I used to love Blue Max in Charlotte before it became SiteOne.
Dirt, rocks galore, bricks, mulch of all kinds…yep, glad they also had your spade.

I went to a town nearby to visit SiteOne store yesterday. Came home with a 7" blade long-handle Histand spade and a 7" Komelon Speedcut hand saw. I was impressed with the inventory and the kind knowledgeable folks that helped me.

That looks great. Just a word of warning on out-of-stock items at A. M. Leonard. Definitely find out when they are getting things in since the wait can be very long for some items. I ordered 2 different Rogue hoes last spring and just got a shipping notice for them yesterday. I’ve gotten about 6 different emails with updates of when they expected to have them. I don’t blame the vendor and really like them, but best to find a place that has what you need in stock so you can get it if you need it.

I may need to get one of those King of Spades.

I also love my spearhead spade with a long strong, fiberglass handle, but I did eventually break the handle after 4 hard years of abuse by prying out an ancient azalea. They are really great when you need to be able to cut through roots or dig in heavy soil. I’ll be buying a new one soon. Spear Head Spade with Straight Fiberglass Handle

The all steel handle/blade will outlast me, it is cold on the hands, may beat the elbows up, but it is unbreakable. I was going for the fiber handle, I have a stupid habit of throwing the long handle tools on top of the tractor bucket, and then not remembering to leave the bucket tilted. Nobody to blame but the old man in the driver’s seat, haha.

If you have one of those SiteOne stores, I can recommend the inventory.