Letters to the Editor

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I can identify the double tree on page 5 of the January 2008
issue, as shown illustration at right. They are used on a 4-horse
hitch and were factory built by John Deere, probably optional with
equipment purchases at extra cost.

In the photo, the single tree dangling by the chain does not
belong in that location and the chain is not even part of the
hook-up. The dangling single tree, plus three others identical to
it (but apparently missing), belongs on the upper side of the
set-up. Each of the four single trees had a hole in the center
(where the chain is hooked) that attached to one of the four
clevises (hooks). In the upper portion of the photo, there should
be one single tree for each clevis. (The fourth clevis is cut out
of the photo.) In turn, each single tree was pulled by one horse.
The harness tugs from each horse where connected to the single tree
ferrels (hooks), one at each end of the single tree. The right
harness tug hooked to the right ferrel of the single tree, left to
the left ferrel. The set-up is now referred to as a double
tree.

I grew up on a farm in northwest Missouri. We farmed with horses
and mules until 1952. My dad had a John Deere 14-inch riding plow
that had the same factory double trees, except ours were designed
for a 3-horse hitch. My brother still has them. Dad used the
3-horse hitch on two pieces of equipment: the John Deere plow and a
7-foot Deering grain binder. His 4-horse hitch had wood double
trees and was used to pull a 7-foot McCormick-Deering disc. As a
kid I used to disc with two horses and two mules.

Ray Christie
9980 W. Tittabawassee Road
Freeland, MI 48623

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