How to Clear Land for a House

How to Clear Land for a House?

Dec 12, 2022

If you want to build a house in a wooded area, you may be wondering what’s the best way to clear the land?  There are several lot clearing techniques available, and each one has its own pros and cons. In this post, we will discuss six ways to clear your land for a home, as well as considerations before you begin the project.

Let’s dive in.

Start by Consulting a Professional Land Clearing Service

Turning raw, wooded land into a space suitable for a building project is an enormous undertaking. At Patrick Musser Tree Service, we have 30 years of experience in this field, so you can rest assured we will get the job done right the first time.

We conduct a professional survey to help determine the best approach, exactly how much lot clearing you’ll need to do, and what equipment will be needed. We also assess any hazards like large hidden rocks, find out if you need land clearing permits, and determine tree removal from areas needed to build roads, driveways, and other essential utilities. 

Once you give us the green light, expect 5-star land clearing services from our licensed and insured experts. We have the crew, training, and equipment needed to fell trees, remove brush, grind stumps, dispose of debris, level the surface, and make the entire construction site fit for your upcoming project. 

Methods of Land Clearing: 6 Options

Here are six popular solutions to clear land for building:

Grubbing and Dozing Land Clearing

If you’re looking for a quick way to clear a large tract of land, grubbing and dozing is the best option. Dozing, also known as the pushover method, is where heavy machines such as a bulldozer are used to push over and fell unwanted trees. Grubbing is the process of removing the remaining tree stumps and roots using equipment like backhoes.

The downside to this method is that it leaves behind large holes, which isn’t the finish you may have envisioned. You’ll need to bring dirt in to fill the holes left behind or bring in machinery to level the land. You’ll also be left with a huge pile of tree material that will need to be hauled away or burned.

Cut and Grind Lot Clearing

If the site you want to build your house doesn’t have many trees, you can opt to cut and grind. This lot-clearing technique starts with removing weeds and brush using a brush mower, skid steers, or root plow. Next, you cut down the trees on the piece of land using chainsaws. Large machinery may be used to put the downed trees in a pile for easier removal.

To remove the tree stumps, a stump grinder is brought in to create sawdust. This sawdust may be hauled away or spread across the land as mulch. Cutting and grinding leaves a neater impression compared to dozing, but you may still need to remove the stump roots in the structure area.

Land Clearing Using Controlled Burning

Controlled burning, also known as prescribed burning, is a quick and inexpensive way of clearing land. This technique involves setting the vegetation on fire and controlling the blaze until all trees and brush are burned to the ground. 

**This method is rigged with risks and can be destructive and even deadly if not planned well** The burns should be coordinated with local authorities to ensure the fire will not pose a threat to the public or to fire managers. After burning the vegetation, a bulldozer is brought in to clear the lot. It’s also an effective method of reducing insect populations and destroying invasive plants. This is not a method we recommend at Patrick Musser Tree Service, but no matter what, you should always work with a professional if going this route. 

Clearing Trees With a Tow Chain

Clearing land without leaving stumps behind may be achieved by pulling the tree out. This method involves attaching large anchor chains to a tractor or truck and then pulling away. However, this option only works for smaller trees that don’t have a deep root system. Note that this comes with risks and can be dangerous if done incorrectly or if you attempt to do it with a weak chain.

Selling the Timber

Another inexpensive method of clearing land is to sell your trees to loggers. This method only makes sense if you have a big tract of land with trees that will produce high-quality timber. Some lumbering companies offer free tree removal if they stand to benefit a lot. However, after the trees are taken away, you’ll still need to use grading equipment.

Hand Clearing

Hand clearing is the most time-consuming method when you want to remove trees. Plus it only works for small areas. You mainly use chainsaws to fell the trees, but you’ll still need machinery to remove the wood and stumps. The main benefit of this approach is it’s easy to select which trees to cut down and what to preserve. It’s best used for clearing small bushes.

Key Considerations When Land Clearing

Before you begin to clear land for building, you need to consider a few things:

Do You Need Professional Assistance? 

Always size up the job at hand to determine if you need outside help. Is it just shrubs standing in your way or do you need to take down huge trees? If the area you need to work on is expansive or beyond your skills, always use a professional land clearing service

Are There any Hazards? 

One of the biggest mistakes to avoid when clearing land is attempting a DIY job on a tract of land that’s rigged with hazards. Consult the pros to help you identify hidden dangers. Always work with qualified lot clearing experts if your land has large trees, boulders, steep hillsides, flooding history, poisonous plant species, and power, gas, sewer, or water lines that should be avoided.

Is a Land Clearing Permit Necessary?

Research the zoning laws in your area and ask the local authorities if you’ll need special permissions. Permits are necessary for areas with protected ecosystems. The benefit of working with a local land clearing contractor is they are aware of the laws for lot clearing in the region, and will help you with the permit application process.

How Will You Clean up and Dispose of the Remains? 

While it’s easier to deal with small brush piles, it’s a different story when you have a load of downed trees to dispose of. Determine whether you need a mulcher machine to put the organic matter back on the ground or to call a tree waste removal service. If you decide to pile and burn the waste, you’ll need permission from authorities and help from people who are skilled at it.

Work With Professional Land Clearing Services

The contractor you choose to clear your land will impact your happiness for years to come. At Patrick Musser Tree Service, we care about your aspirations; that’s why we work diligently to mold your untamed, tree-laden land into a safe and useful space that can host a home. At Patrick Musser Tree Service we have our own process of lot clearing that takes away the complexities and stress. We only remove by cutting and grinding, leaving no trace and no danger to you or your family!

Our lot clearing specialists in Montgomery and Frederick Counties, MD, have the skills, commitment, and equipment to help you clear and dispose of trees, brush, and stumps. Schedule an on-site free estimate visit today or learn more here!