If you have a patch of unusable land that you want to make use of, then land clearing is the first step in starting that project.
Whether you want to clear the land for a new house, a shed, hunting trails, or just a yard, land clearing can be a monumental task.
Whether you have trees, brambles, furrows, rocks, or more on your land, we can clear it and make it usable for you.
Here are the top 3 land clearing tips from our professionals here at Timber Works Tree Care:
Tip #1: Get Professional Help–Or At Least Equipment
The first thing to realize about land clearing is that it isn’t for the faint of heart.
Even on a small lot, the amount of work required to adequately clear land is enormous.
Tim Carter of AskTheBuilder.com has this to say about land clearing:
I can think of lots of do-it-yourself projects, but I have to be honest; land clearing would be either at the bottom of the list or left off on purpose. -excerpt from this article
While we strongly advise you to call a professional, especially for the dangerous portions of the job, there may be cases where a DIY land clearing job isn’t out of the question.
For most jobs, you will need, among other things:
- Hand tools (shovel, pickaxe, crowbar, etc.)
- Chain saw
- Bulldozer / skid steer loader
Depending on the type of brush, trees, or rocks which need to be removed, you can need anything from a couple of hours with a chainsaw to several weeks are hard labor with a mid-sized excavator.
Not only will you need a chainsaw with a sharp chain to fell the trees, but you will also need it to cut the tree into manageable logs to remove from the land you’re clearing. Make sure you have suitable training with cutting down trees, as it can be extremely dangerous. If you are even remotely unsure, call a local tree removal company.
If you’re clearing the land in order to use it, stumps cannot remain in the ground. Stump removal by hand is out of the question, and sometimes you have to clear land quickly, so you can’t use the rotting or burning methods. An excavator will do the trick. If you don’t have experience using heavy machinery, then be sure to call a professional.
Tip #2: Use The Trees, Don’t Just Timber Them
Before you clear your plot of land, be sure to inspect all the trees for their value. If you have rare hardwoods on your property, there are companies that will pay quite a bit of money to get their hands on that wood.
If you have trees such as Eastern Red Cedar, Ash, or Black Walnut on your lot of a merchantable height, then you might want to consider timbering the land and selling the logs for profit to a timbering company. The price you will get for these logs depends on a variety of factors.
For non-valuable wood, there are several options. Some companies will buy it in order to grind it into wood chips to use for mulch or fuel. Additionally, some companies will purchase it to use for fuel in a wood-burning power plant. Or you yourself could use the wood for firewood!
Be mindful, though, that if you hire a company to remove the logs or a timbering company purchases them from you, they will leave the leftover branches for you to deal with yourself.
Tip #3: Get Your Permits
Land clearing is a very disruptive process to the environment, so it is important that it is done safely and responsibly.
In Virginia, if land clearing impacts wetlands or surface water, then a permit is required in order to clear land. Sometimes, an inspector from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will have to come out and approve your project.
Click here to learn more about land clearing permits.
Additionally, any land clearing projects which impact more than 2,500 square feet of land require a Land Disturbing Activity (LDA) permit, issued by the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program.
Clicke here to find their LDA permit fees.
If you think these land clearing tips have shown you that your project needs more than just your set of hands involved, then don’t hesitate to call a professional land clearing expert.