Have you recently bought a new piece of property or finally gotten around to the idea of clearing out the back 40 that’s behind your current homestead? Here are six tips to make your land clearing process as fast and efficient as possible.
Start by Cutting Down the Low Brush
Grass, brush, and small shrubs can make jobs seem bigger than they actually are. A brush hog allows you to quickly cut through overgrown areas as well as very small trees. Clearing the undergrowth areas makes it easier to pinpoint the bigger trees that may need to be removed. Before you start to mow it down, be sure to look out for plants such as poison ivy and poison oak, which may need to be treated with an herbicide first.
Make Sure Your Equipment is Sharp
Even if you have a reliable chain saw, you might be making more work for yourself than you realize. Make sure it’s well maintained and that the blades are sharp enough to handle the wood (and number of trees) you need to remove. Otherwise a quick job can take twice as long.
Check to See if You Need Permits
Depending on where you live, how much land needs to be cleared, and how close your property is to others, you may need to have appropriate permits set in place before you can go in with noisy machinery to clear out land.
Get the Right Attachments for Your Small Dozer
Owning a personal sized dozer provides you with more time and flexibility when it comes to clearing out property, removing brush, and a plethora of future “honey-dos.” Another option is to rent a commercial sized dozer, but if you choose to go this route you will need to work non-stop until the job is done, so that rental fees don’t raise your budget if you need a break.
Mark the Trees You Want to Keep
Sometimes working on a dozer or large rented machinery feels like playing with toys…and if you’re not careful, some of the landscaping that you’re hoping to save may wind up being removed in the process. To prevent yourself (or a contractor) from accidentally taking down trees that you intend to keep, make sure they’re adequately marked. You can consider using bright marking tape wrapped around the tree, or spray paint a large line or “X” on each side that’s easy to spot from several yards away.
Have a Plan for Fallen Debris
Whether you’re selling timber, hoping to create large burn piles, or want to turn it into mulch/compost, you’re most likely going to have a lot of brush and fallen trees to dispose of after the job is “finished.” Research the best ways to remove the remaining stumps, so that the ground can be leveled out for your new home, garden, lawn, or driveway. If you’re planning to have a controlled burn, make sure the area around it is moist and that proper permits are in place.