Clearing land can seem like an enormous chore, but with the right tools, it can be done much faster than you think. The land in question probably has rocks, trees, brush, and tall overgrowth that needs to be removed. Here’s what you need and how to get it done.
Have the right gear
It should go without saying that you’ll need a good, strong tractor. Your tractor should have a mowing attachment or even a rotary cutter, depending on how dense the brush is. A loader attachment will help you get dirt out of the way, and a heavy duty root grapple is the right choice for taking away small trees and roots, dense brush, and fallen sticks.
You may also need a chainsaw, as a rotary cutter won’t be able to handle trees any bigger than about six inches in diameter. You’ll also need a backhoe attachment to pull out larger stumps. You might also rent equipment to turn your felled trees into firewood or mulch if you desire.
Ask the right questions
Before you start any major project like this, you need to clear everything with the local authorities. If you start clearing then find out you are violating a zoning ordinance of some kind, you could put out a lot of work and money for nothing.
Get with the zoning department of your town as well as the building or construction department and make sure you have covered all the essentials. It doesn’t hurt to double check that there won’t be any issues with neighbors, either.
Prepare for clearing
The first thing to do is to mark everything clearly. This includes the boundaries of the property, the outline of whatever buildings you might be putting up, the line of driveways or parking lots, and a mark for anything like a well or septic system.
If you are leaving some of the trees, make sure you mark those clearly so they don’t accidentally get taken down. If the land is prone to flooding or any other type of natural disaster, work with a professional to develop a plan to guard against that as you clear, dig, and build.
First clearing steps
The first thing to clear on your land are any existing buildings that you aren’t planning to keep. Use a bulldozer, a wrecker, or the loader on your tractor (depending on the building’s size) to knock it down. You may want to rent a construction dumpster so you have somewhere to dump all the debris.
The next things to be removed should be all free-standing junk. This would include fallen trees, larger limbs, existing stumps, trash, and any big rocks. Use a chain and your tractor to remove boulders and stumps — never use your pickup truck for this job — and make sure you know what you’re doing before you start.
Getting rid of trees
Once buildings and free-standing debris are gone, you will want to cut down any trees you don’t want to keep. If you have a mulching attachment or a firewood splitter, it’s a good idea to take care of those chores right away rather than haul fallen trees away first.
Once the trees are down, you will need to take care of the stumps. If you have very large trees or ones that are particularly old, you should probably hire professionals to take them down.
Once buildings, rocks, trash, and trees are gone, you are ready to clear out the brush and mow any tall grass using your root grapple and mowing attachment. If you have time and want to get really creative, you could even use goats to clear your land. They will eat everything, and they will do so very quickly.
Once everything is cleared away, you are ready to add fill dirt, landscaping, and buildings as you desire. It may all seem like a daunting project now, but once it’s done, you’ll be able to enjoy your property for years to come.