What Does Land Clearing Consist Of? (Step by Step Process)

August 9, 2022

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Land clearing is an excellent investment for anyone planning new construction on a property. Also, you might consider clearing a lot if you’re planning a farm or large garden, pool construction, or other installation. Additionally, removing thick weeds, withering trees, and other vegetation completely can mean healthier soil conditions and a more attractive property!

However, some property owners might not realize the value of full-scale clearing only because they don’t know what it includes. Moreover, some property owners might not need full clearing, or assume that this service always leaves behind a barren lot. To help you decide if land clearing is right for your needs, check out what this term means. Then, discuss your property with tree care and lot clearing professional near you as needed!

clearing debris on a property owners land

What are the steps in clearing the land?

First, note that clearing a lot isn’t always as severe as you might expect. Second, knowing how contractors perform this work can help you better understand its advantages! While every company and lot are different, consider the typical process of land clearing:

  • A one-on-one meeting and onsite inspection are typically the first steps to clearing a lot or parcel. Your contractor should note why you need this service before making their plans. For example, are you planning a small farm or new home construction? This information can help determine what vegetation needs clearing and how to plot out needed clearing.
  • Inspecting trees and vegetation, measurements, and other such note-taking are the next step in the process! Your contractor will typically evaluate tree growth and root depth, and schedule needed marking of underground pipes and wires.
  • Along with marking off vegetation needing removal, your contractor will rope off vegetation you want to keep. This might include mature trees, hedges, and the like.
  • Felling trees and stump grinding are typically performed before any other clearing services. This step gets those larger growths out of the way of clearing equipment.
  • Removing other unwanted vegetation along with brush, rocks, and the like is typically next in the process. Your contractor might also pull up grass and other growth, to turn the soil as needed.
  • Once cleared, a contractor then fills in any remaining excavations or pits on your lot. Also, he or she might grade the lot and add topsoil layers as needed. Depending on your preferences, he or she might also compact the soil.

Is land clearing the same as excavation?

Excavation refers to a hole or pit. In turn, excavation services involve digging needed holes, trenches, or other openings on your lot. While excavation and land clearing might go hand in hand, they are not the same service!

For example, you might schedule full-scale clearing for a neglected lot overgrown with unhealthy trees and brush. Also, a contractor might schedule excavation before pouring new concrete or asphalt, or before installing a patio. However, you might not need excavation or any specific digging for these projects!

On the other hand, a property owner might need excavation but not land clearing for various installations. This might include new plumbing pipes, a built-in pool, or new trees and other plantings. These installations only need digging and not necessarily brush removal, stump grinding, and the like.

professional completing land clearing

How do I prepare for land clearing?

To prepare your parcel for clearing, first note any legal requirements and restrictions. For example, you might need a permit for removing trees, digging an excavation, and so on. Also, your city might require you to have them mark underground fixtures even if you’re not planning any excavations.

These requirements are one reason to consider a professional for needed clearing and tree removal! Most if not all such contractors will pull needed permits and know other such requirements. In turn, you can rest assured of a safe and legal clearing when using a pro!

Also, consider if you can leave any trees or vegetation in place, for maximum soil health. Trees provide needed shade, keeping soil from drying out. Additionally, vegetation helps keep moisture in place and encourages healthy wildlife. Your clearing contractor can also typically help decide what vegetation you can keep, depending on your plans for the lot.

Above all, schedule a land survey if needed. In some cases, fences and other installations mark boundaries clearly. If this isn’t the case on your lot, it’s vital that you have those boundaries marked! You don’t want to clear a neighboring property or damage someone else’s lot in the process. Consequently, it’s vital that you schedule this service or have your clearing contractor include it in their work.

clearing land with heavy machinery

What is the cheapest way to clear land?

There is no doubt that manual clearing is the cheapest way to remove trees, brush, and other vegetation. However, it’s also the most time consuming and dangerous! Using chainsaws is not as easy as many amateurs think. Also, digging up hedges and other vegetation puts tremendous strain on the back, shoulders, and other areas.

Additionally, property owners must consider how they’ll dispose of that vegetation. Using woodchippers is also dangerous and doesn’t just get rid of vegetation and brush. Consequently, you still need to plan on disposing of mulch and chips if you rent a chipper.

In some cases, burning might offer a cheap clearing option. Many contractors recommend controlled burns for small lots or areas needing clearing. While burning is cheap, it’s also the least environmentally friendly! Not only does it release ash and smoke but burning can dry out topsoil, making future planting sometimes impossible.

Mulching offers an eco-friendlier clearing option. This process uses equipment similar to a pavement compactor but with “teeth” along the roller. Those teeth dig up vegetation and mulch it immediately, then deposit it back onto the soil. In turn, soil remains healthy, and you don’t need to worry about disposing of that mulch.

Bulldozing is a common but sometimes expensive clearing option. However, bulldozing typically means the quickest and most thorough clearing services! Your clearing contractor can also offer added advice for the best choice when it comes to your property.

Ann Arbor Tree Trimming & Removal Service is happy to provide you with this information about land clearing. Hopefully, you found it helpful and useful! If you’re in the market for tree removal and other such services, call our Ann Arbor land clearing contractors. We offer FREE consultations and price quotes, and guaranteed satisfaction. To get your property started, contact us today.


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