Tools for Taming the Woodlot

Make swift work of clearing and caring for overgrown land by tackling the task with the right equipment.

Photo by DR Power Equipment

When we purchased our rural land several years ago, one of the first tasks I hoped to accomplish was clearing land for a storage building. I also wanted to plow some small, fallow fields that had become overgrown with brush over the years. One of the lessons I learned from those early projects is that whether you’re clearing land or harvesting timber, land management is much easier and more efficient if you have the right tools for the job.

The only tools I had available at the time were a chainsaw — which was underpowered for the tasks at hand — a shovel, and a mattock. I also owned an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and a trailer with all-terrain wheels designed for hauling material. After about a day of extensive work with these tools, I only managed to make a small dent in clearing the needed space for my building project. On my way home that night, I stopped at my local hardware store, and, after a discussion with a knowledgeable salesperson, I walked out with a new chainsaw. I also rented a self-propelled brush mower to use the next day.

The new chainsaw and sharpened chain allowed me to cut trees faster and much more efficiently than my underpowered saw. Using the rental brush mower, I was able to cut brush and saplings that had grown up at the field edges and clearings — some up to 2 inches in diameter — with minimal physical labor, and much quicker than before.

In the years since those first projects, I’ve cut and maintained trails through the woods and felled many trees for heating and firewood; along the way, I’ve compiled a list of the equipment I’ve found most helpful.

When clearing land and overgrown brush, take the time to find the right equipment for the job. Once you’ve acquired what you need, keep your tools in tiptop shape for years of quality performance. From top to bottom: photos by Echo and DR Power Equipment, respectively.  

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