The idea for the Weed Eater trimmer came to him from the spinning nylon bristles of an automatic car wash. He thought that he could come up with a similar technique to protect the bark on trees that he was trimming around.
George Ballas died on June 25, 2011.
- Timeline: Husqvarna
- Wozny, Nancy. "H-Town's Own Dance Man: Mark Ballas opens up on the naive miracle of Bristol Palin & his John Mayer ways", CultureMap Houston, December 13, 2010. WebCitation archive.
- See "Weed Eater inventor dies at 85," June 29, 2011, Associated Press, as published by the Lake Charles American Press, at .