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How to Efficiently Clear Your Land

Megan Wild

Clearing overgrown vegetation doesn’t have to be difficult.

Neglected land doesn’t waste time reverting to a mess of weeds and other vegetation. Clearing it can seem like a daunting task. How long it takes for you to clear that acreage depends on how many and what types of plants have overtaken the area. It also depends on what you want to do with the land.

With the right tools and a little time, clearing that tangle of plants can be easy and stress-free. Below are five things to consider when clearing your land of unwanted vegetation:

1. Plan Your Project

The first step in clearing your land is knowing what you’re going to do with it. Planning helps you determine how much time the project could take and what tools you’ll need. If you have a wooded area with lots of trees but only plan on putting a hiking trail through it, that will take a lot less time compared to chopping down all the trees to create cropland.

If you have lots of trees on your acreage that you plan on cutting down, you’ll need equipment to help ease wood removal. One of these machines may include a hydraulic thumb, which helps lift felled trees and other heavy materials. Check with local businesses to see if someone can install your hydraulic thumb to make your job that much easier.

Should your task involve the removal of trees, consider contacting a landscaper, greenhouse, or someone from an agriculture extension office to see if any of those trees have value. You might be able to make some extra money selling the trees to a company that uses them.

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2. Calculate the Costs

Once you’ve created your land plan, then you can figure out what equipment you’ll need for your project. If you own some of the equipment, your expenses will be lower. If you must rent equipment or purchase it, your budget could see a substantial increase. Costs associated with clearing land vary from project to project.

At this point, you might consider accepting bids from companies to do the work for you — it could save you both time and money, especially if you’re selling wood from your property or working on other projects across your homestead.

However, there’s nothing wrong with doing the job yourself, either. If you’re passionate about doing this do-it-yourself (DIY) project, keep in mind that you may experience unexpected setbacks, like equipment failures and repair costs, as well as longer removal times.

3. Begin With the Big Stuff

No matter what you’re doing with your land, whether it’s a complete clear-out or just creating a path for hikers, beginning with the big stuff will give your project a smooth start. Remove any large trees or stumps first, so that the smaller vegetation is easier to access with your equipment.

If you’ve decided to sell your trees and stumps, you’ll have to get them ready for transport. Or, if you’re handling the wood yourself, you can either put the trees through a chipper or chop it for firewood.

4. Break Out the Equipment

After clearing the thick, heavy undergrowth, you can work on getting rid of smaller vegetation. This step is where mowers, trimmers, and other equipment comes in handy. The size and height of the remaining ground cover will decide which machine is best for their removal, but having the right equipment ensures the job is effective and efficient.

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5. Prepare the Area

Once you’ve cleared the remaining vegetation, then you’re ready to setup your land. If you’ve decided the acreage is ideal for crops, you’ll need to rototill the area, so it gets infused with nitrogen and other nutrients for a prosperous, first-year yield. After the land’s prepared, you can plant at your convenience.

If you’ve just cleared a path for hikers, you may consider smoothing the area and removing any tripping hazards, such as plants or leftover roots that are growing over the walkway, so it’s easy to hike on. For any other plans for the area, like a shop for your equipment, prepare the land to best suit your needs.

It doesn’t take long for an area to become overgrown. Being able to use all your land for whatever purposes you have in mind requires a little bit of planning and work, but the results are well worth the time, sweat, and money.