How to Clear Land - Land Clearing Techniques In 2023

Written by Ivy

Dec 15 2022

How to Clear Land - Land Clearing Techniques In 2023

This comprehensive beginner's guide to clearing land will describe how to clear to your property and what kinds of equipment to use.

Mulchers, bulldozers, excavators, chainsaws, and vegetation burning are a few of the tools that can be used to clear land. Each method of clearing land has its advantages, but they all have particular difficulties of their own. The most popular land clearing techniques include:

  • Grubbing and Dozing
  • Burning
  • Hand Clearing
  • Mulching

Land Clearing Techniques

1. Grubbing and Dozing

You can cover a lot of ground quickly when using this method of clearing land. However, this quick pace leaves behind significant holes, resulting in a shoddy, disorganized finish. Occasionally, a product with this finish may be a suitable final product. However, you'll probably need to return and bring dirt in to fill the holes left behind if you intend to use the land for haying or pasturing animals.

As a result, the speed at which you cleared is quickly negated, necessitating a second pass to complete the task. In the end, you'll have a huge pile of waste that needs to be either hauled away or burned. This extra step can be somewhat time-consuming and expensive.

2. Burning

You can quickly clear your land with a prescribed burn. Clearing land in this way is efficient. There are several significant factors to take into account with this:.

  • You are not able to selectively eliminate trees or other vegetation
  • There is risk a fire that gets out of control and causes unwanted damages to property
  • The heat from a fire can heat the ground to the point of sterilizing it and making it nearly impossible to grow anything for some time
  • This way of clearing also eliminates all the ground cover and increases the potential for erosion

While erosion is a major factor, you should also think about the possibility of letting invasive vegetation become established. It is difficult to stop and regain control of the spread of invasive species once it has begun.

3. Hand Clearing

While hand clearing may be the least invasive method of clearing your land, it will also take the longest. The selection and deliberate use of handheld options is very careful. If you want to create a secure buffer against fire risks and are planning to thin a small area so that you can build a house or other structure there, this is a good option.

4. Mulching

Instead of grubbing and burning, use a mulcher as a great substitute. Mulching allows for efficient selective cutting and processing of vegetation, whether using a disc mulcher Pro X, drum mulcher DC Pro X, or drum mulcher OD Pro X.

By mulching, you can get rid of trees and bushes while also redistributing organic matter. Put the mulch back where you removed the vegetation to create a natural barrier that will help prevent the regrowth of invasive species and encourage the growth of native vegetation. By clearing the land with a mulcher, you can do so with less need to return later and make repairs.

You'll want to keep in mind that you'll need to maintain this when you're thinking about your options for clearing land. No land management option will give you the "one and done" solution to maintain your land. For the unwanted vegetation to be eliminated, timely and consistent management is essential.

A Beginner's Guide to Clearing Land

Step 1: Assess the Land

Never just start using your tools without first surveying the area. The strategy you should use when clearing land will depend on a variety of factors.

Some questions to ask yourself include:

  • How do I intend to use this land?
  • Do you mind if I keep any particular plants or animals, like trees?
  • What size are the trees and shrubs? Do any of them have extensive roots? Will I have to get rid of the stumps?
  • Exist any buildings on the property?
  • How does the soil compare? Should I take out the rocks?

Choose the tools you'll need to complete this project once you have a clear idea of what needs to be removed. Ask a reliable friend or neighbor for advice if you're unsure of what tools are required for a particular growth or structure. Sometimes a worker at a hardware store can also assist you in determining the equipment needed to clear the land.

Step 2: Create a Budget and a Plan

A project budget needs to be created after the land has been thoroughly assessed. Making a plan to clear the land will be made easier by this. Certain tasks will call for more powerful, expensive tools. It might also be necessary to hire a bulldozer if you need to remove challenging objects like a stump or building.

Make sure there is money available in your budget for renting any equipment that may be required. You will probably need to ask a tree removal service for a quote for larger trees. Before making a decision, it is always advisable to compare quotes from various businesses.

You can proceed with developing a plan for how long it will take and the sequence in which you will complete the tasks once you have a set budget and an understanding of the project's cost.

Call Ms. before beginning any digging-related work on your property. Having them mark the areas where digging is safe will be useful for your neighborhood.

Here is a general outline to follow when clearing land:

  1. Remove structures such as buildings, sheds, chicken coops, barns, or fences if possible
  2. Cut down unnecessary trees
  3. Clear large rocks
  4. Dig up tree stumps
  5. Clear any brush or weeds
  6. Level the land
  7. Plow the soil

For some land clearing projects, not all of the steps will be required. To help you create your unique strategy, here is an outline.

9. How to Clear Land2

Step 3: Check for Any Necessary Permits

You must get in touch with your local government to confirm that no permits are needed for your land clearing project. For more ambitious projects, this step is particularly crucial. There may be rules governing the cutting down of trees and the disposal of wood.

Identifying and avoiding any gas, sewer, or water lines on your property is also necessary.

Additionally, clearing land can occasionally cause environmental problems, so you should have your project approved before you begin.

Step 4: Clear the Land

You'll start to see results at this point. When working with tools, be certain to adhere to all safety precautions. If necessary, put on gloves and safety glasses. To avoid hearing loss while using power tools, it may be beneficial to wear earplugs. Remember to take frequent breaks and drink lots of water because clearing land can be exhausting work.

Step 5: Clean Up and Dispose of Waste

Following the completion of all the cutting and uprooting, you must remove the wood, structural pieces, and pulled weeds from the area. You can put the weeds in the yard waste container and take them out with the trash.

If the remaining wood is still useful, you can sell it or keep it for another project. It will be necessary to properly dispose of the structural pieces. Any materials that can be used again should be saved. Any additional components can usually be discarded in a big dumpster.

We frequently burn the scrap wood left over from clearing areas of our property, but we must be careful not to burn any poison ivy or other poisonous plants, as doing so could result in health problems for anyone inhaling the smoke.

If you can use wood chips on your property for gardening or mud control, take into account renting a wood chipper.

Step 6: Prepare Your Land for Use

The final step is to get the land ready for its intended use after it has been cleared. A grass seed or sod installation may be necessary. A fence might also be necessary for any kind of farmland or yard.

Hand Tools to Clear Land

The least expensive method of clearing land may be to use hand tools. For hand clearing of land, your neighborhood Sunsouth dealer carries a wide range of Stihl products. When it comes to dealing with anything from weeds to felling your largest timber, they have both gas and electric options.

  • Chain saws- For urban landowners, newer battery technology has produced another option. A number of models provide a level of convenience and noise reduction that many homeowners appreciate while outperforming their gas counterparts in terms of performance. Most Stihl chainsaws sold in the US are assembled in Virginia. They have a long history with logging companies and currently have over 30 gas and electric models available.
  • Battery- The MSA 200 C-B is an outstanding option for a smaller trim saw. It is a small, 36-volt saw that runs for about an hour on a single charge and has a ten-year battery life. If you have neighbors nearby, it's the ideal option for some quiet early-morning cutting.
  • Gas -For smaller trees or limbs, a saw like the Stihl MS 194T, which weighs only about 7 pounds and uses cutting bars with a diameter of 12 to 16″, is ideal. The Stihl MS 261 can use a cutting bar from 16 to 20 inches in diameter and weighs about 10 pounds, making it suitable for larger trees.
  • Clearing Saw- A bladed trimmer can easily cut small saplings up to 4″ in diameter for difficult-to-reach areas. A line of specialty saws from Stihl, ranging in horsepower from 2-4, can cut through brush and saplings with ease.

Tractors to Clear Land

Tractors come in different sizes, and choosing the right size tractor depends on the amount of land that needs to be maintained and the kinds of attachments that are required. You can consider your options for the best machinery to clear land by starting at your neighborhood Sunsouth dealer.

  • Small Compact- With the appropriate attachments, the 36 horsepower John Deere 2038R can maintain 5 to 15 acres. It's a great option and currently qualifies for special financing with its hydrostatic transmission, 4-wheel drive, and 36 horsepower.
  • Full-Size Compact– The John Deere 50hp 5045E model has the power to maintain larger properties with a minimum of 20 acres and can handle the larger accessories.
  • Attachments- Mowers for grass and brush, discs, planters, augers, blades, backhoes, front-end loaders, mulchers, and sprayers are just a few examples. You can figure out which options are best for your circumstances by speaking with your neighborhood Sunsouth dealer.

Best Season to Clear Land

The best time to clear land is NOT during the height of the bloom. In our region, early fall and early spring are excellent times to clear the land because the vegetation isn't growing or isn't growing as quickly. Having more time allows you to clear things out without having to contend with new growth.

If you begin in the fall, you will have some time before new growth begins to compete before you clear the area and sow grass seed. The drawback is that rain or snow in the fall may result in more mud.

Because there is absolutely no growth to contend with, winter is a great time to work. However, the ground might be frozen, and I don't always enjoy exercising in that kind of weather.

The main problem I have with working in the winter is that it's nice to work when poison ivy and other poisonous plants are easy to spot at this time of year. It can be challenging to identify these plants once winter arrives and the leaves start to fall. Sadly, because the oils are produced by the entire plant, poison ivy can still strike in the winter.

Here are some images of the areas that we are working to clear in the late winter. As you can see, my husband was out here using a chainsaw to cut some older trees down or apart. They have been slowly transported to our woodshed by us.

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How to Clear Land – Final Thoughts

Choosing the right tools to manage your property can save time and money if you're a practical person who enjoys the outdoors. With the right equipment, clearing land can be made easier and even enjoyable. There are many different methods that can be used.

Any landowner can develop a plan to accomplish their forest management objectives by consulting with a company like BCS, regardless of whether their property has wetlands or hills, is a few acres large or hundreds of acres large. Call Brian to discuss your property needs and learn about the best options for your circumstances, or visit the Sunsouth dealer that is closest to you.


How to Clear Land by Hand

First use a very sharp spade to dig around the plant and get an idea of its root structure. Then use a sharp hatchet to sever exposed roots. You can continue digging or use a Brush Grubber or other similar tool to pull the plants with the aid of a vehicle or lawn tractor if they are currently too large to be pulled by hand.

How to Clear Land of Trees and Brush

  1. Clearing: To thin out the overgrowth, use your hand tools to remove the small trees, bushes, and shrubs.
  2. Axes, hatchets, chainsaws, and pruning implements should be used to chop down trees and remove their limbs.
  3. Cleanup.