Five Basic Land Clearing Steps

If you are building on your own land, one of the first tasks that need to be done is land clearing. The following are the basic steps of this process.

1. Large Tree Removal

The first task is to remove the large trees on the land. If the trees have any value, you may choose to sell them to a timber company who will then handle the removal. If the trees don't have value, they will either be cut down if there are only a few trees, or they will be pushed over with heavy equipment. They will then either be gathered for transport away from your land or loaded into slash piles for burning.

2. Stump Removal

Once the trees are down, you may have stumps to deal with. If there are only a few, your clearing specialist may grind them down. If you have a lot of stumps, you will need to decide whether to go the labor intensive dig them out route or to use the quicker burn them out method. This will depend on your budget, the number of stumps, and your timeline for needing to have the land cleared.

3. Brush Clearing

Any brush, including overgrown weeds and small shrubby plants, can usually be cleared with heavy equipment. The brush will be mowed down and then the root balls will be dug up if they will pose a problem. The removed brush is added to the slash piles that were started during the tree removal phase.

4. Debris Cleanup

Some debris is cleared along with the brush. This includes old slash piles, mounds of dead leaves, and small garbage. Larger debris, such as large garbage like dumped appliances, as well as rocks, may need to be transported by heavy equipment. What happens to the debris depends on its type. Most small, organic debris will end up in the slash piles, which will be burned to finish clearing them. Garbage will need to be disposed of in the dump. Rocks can be re-sited to a better location or moved off-site completely.

5. Grading

The final step for any land clearing is to grade the land so that it is ready for your building project. This involves filling any holes left behind by stump removal, as well as leveling out the ground to get rid of any swales or ridges. How the land is graded will depend on your project as well as an environmental survey. Generally, grading should ensure that water runs away from your building site and that no natural water, like a stream, will be downstream from your septic once it is installed.

Contact a land clearing service to learn more.


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