How to Clear a Section of Woods for Farming


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Farming on property you own can be a great decision because it’s sustainable and profitable, but it’s also a very involved project. Before you can begin, you need a plot of land to use — and that can mean clearing brush, trees and other items. So, you probably want to know how to clear a section of woods.

There are several ways to clear an area for farming and remove the vegetation there to allow you to plant new crops. The method you choose will be decided by how dense the current vegetation is, how much time you have and how much money you want to spend. We’ve compiled a list of the most popular methods, along with their pros and cons.

Cheap and Dirty

If the plot of land you’re trying to clear is not particularly large, you have access to cheap labor and there’s no rush involved, there’s no need to use equipment. The chainsaw will be your weapon of choice, and you might be surprised at how quickly a few workers can knock down a small thicket. The more time-consuming tasks will be stacking and disposing of green waste and leveling the ground once the cutting is done.

For a DIY stump removal solution, use a brush grubber attached to your pickup truck.

Tractors Necessary

When trees exceed 5 inches in diameter, it might be time to bring out the big guns. In this scenario, you’ll still be able to fell trees using a chainsaw. However, if a bulldozer is available, it might do a better job of clearing out mature trees quickly. The leftover stumps won’t all be removable using a brush grubber, and a stump grinder will likely be necessary. Grinders can be rented for jobs such as this, and will make it easy to clear stumps from your new homesteading plot.

Bring in the Professionals

If you’ve got the money, teams of landscapers can be assigned to clear a plot for you in a very short time. They will bring a combination of heavy equipment, chainsaws and other hand tools. Because the service is being carried out professionally, you can expect to have a well-manicured flat plot of land available to you at the end of the project. Your wallet will be flatter too, so think carefully about how badly you need to employ this type of service.

Disposing of Green Waste

You must treat green waste responsibly when clearing land for a new homestead. While burning is a popular option and arguably the simplest way to eliminate things, it requires a permit in most areas and can damage your air quality. Consult your local authorities to learn how you can get a permit before you choose to burn your cleared green waste.

Many landfills have dedicated areas for green waste, and if you can gather all your removed brush in a trailer, you’ll have the option to dump it. Some facilities charge for this, so call ahead and learn what to expect before you get hosed on a dumping fee. Ultimately the waste has to go somewhere for you to begin farming the land, so it’s a necessary evil if burning or processing the wood isn’t an option.

You’re Cleared for Farming

Have you got some advice to share after a recent homesteading project? Are there methods we neglected to touch on here? If so, drop us a line in the comments below. Remember to always work safe and use the proper protective equipment when handling chainsaws, tractors and other items involved in the clearing process. Before you know it, your land will be ready for anything.

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