ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Safe Agave Removal

Updated on October 21, 2009

Hello Agave, meet my machette...

It looks innocent... well except the spikey leaves, okay well it looks mean, and it is mean, sneaky mean.
It looks innocent... well except the spikey leaves, okay well it looks mean, and it is mean, sneaky mean.

Protect yourself or face a nasty itchy burning sensation

Agave americana, also known as the century plant due to it's long flowering cycle (actually not one hundred years), is a pain to remove unless you have access to heavy machinery. The spikey tips of each of the leaves stab deep and can cause swelling and bruising, while the juices feel like a chemical burn that eventually turns into red itchy blisters that look like poison ivy, which luckily do not spread, but still itch like crazy for a couple of weeks. Before going out to tackle these prehistoric looking super plants, make sure you are covered from head to feet. Leave no skin exposed, and the thicker the clothes the better. Make sure you have a pair of heavy duty leather work gloves, so when you do have to touch the plant, it can't touch you back.

It's not about the tools, its how you use them

Most people, like myself, can not afford to rent heavy machinery to remove these plants. I prefer to go at it with only two tools: a machette and a hand-held tiller mattock. These plants have a crazy root structure that holds on real tight to the soil below it. The first tricky part is getting past all this plants defenses. Use the machette to cleave through all the long stabby leaves until you are left with only a stubby defenseless core (defenseless as long as you have no exposed skin!). Use the tiller end of your tiller mattock to break up the roots and soil around the base of the plant, rocking it back and forth to further release it's grip on the ground. Hack through any stubborn roots with the mattock end. Pretty soon you should be able to just pull the final remains out of the soil.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Chris 

      6 years ago

      As a landscaper in Florida, we don't see too many of these, so when a customer asked us to remove one, we said sure.

      I knew it was agave from seeing it on tv before. I had no idea what a nasty thing this thing was. We got about 5 minutes into it before we had burning legs, arms, and necks. Felt like someone smeared jalapeño cream on me. I found this great article after the fact, I had to jump online to find out what the deal was with this horrible plant. This thing was a gift from the devil!!!

    • profile image

      Ray 

      8 years ago

      Very helpful info....wish I had read this before I went out and tried to cut mine down...with a tank top on. You know the rest.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)