Land Clearing 101: Everything You Need to Know About Clearing Your Land

Land Clearing
Date: September 18, 2020
Category: Land Clearing

Land Clearing 101: Everything You Need to Know About Clearing Your Land

Regardless of what purpose your commercial property will serve, the land where the project is taking place needs to be prepared. Land clearing is an important process that requires professional planning and experience. Choosing a company that specializes in commercial land clearing is vital to your return on investment.

Two Main Types of Land Clearing


In the past, commercial land clearing services were offered primarily by bulldozing companies. Bulldozers – though valuable for grading plots – are also destructive to the land and surrounding environment. To remove vegetation, this heavy equipment completely disrupts the ecology of the land, introducing erosion on a large scale. Though bulldozers can remove unwanted trees, the weight of the machines also crush or expose the roots of surrounding trees. Once trees are felled, the logs then will need to be transported with further heavy equipment or piled and burned. Bulldozing often leaves an unsightly mess.

Forestry Mulching (or Forestry Mowing)

Over the years, more investors are seeing the value of pursuing a different type of commercial land clearing: forestry mulching. Both the purpose and specialty-built mulching equipment leave a lighter footprint – their weight being more evenly dispersed as not to disrupt the root systems below. Mulching machines fell trees and remove vegetation leaving surrounding roots intact, avoiding unnecessary erosion. Instead of exposing roots of the remaining trees, this method of land clearing creates a layer of organic material that will break down over time to nourish the soil, and in turn, the remaining trees. Additionally, the trees are mulched from stump to tree top, eliminating the need to transport or pile and burn the logs and heavy branches. Forestry mulching leaves a beautiful finish and healthy environment.

Should your project be based on aesthetics and/or preserving the natural resources, forestry mulching will clear the land and increase the value of your property.

What does forestry mulching land clearing entail?

Here, we’ll take you through everything you need to know so you feel confident when the time comes to hire a land development company.

What equipment is used in forestry mulching land clearing?
The type of equipment needed will largely depend on the terrain, soil stability, square footage, the density of vegetation, and your desired finish.

Two examples of equipment:

Purpose-built machines

Purpose-built mulchers are equipped with steel tracks for rough terrain and the power to remove large mature trees.

These machines excel at mulching masses of trees and vegetation and right-of-way land clearing, a type of lot clearing that removes unwanted trees, underbrush, weeds, and stumps from large areas reserved for transportation, public pedestrian walkways, canals, utility lines, gas pipelines, oil pipelines, highways, and rail transport.

Specialty-built machines

Lightweight skid steers with rubber tracks and finely tuned heads to leave a light footprint, can fit into smaller spaces, and produce a finer mulched finish.

This type of equipment is ideal for land clearing service to prepare the property for site development where trees, shrubs, weeds, and stumps need to be cleared out of an area before the construction of a building or other design project can begin. The machines are strong enough for view clearing, woodlot beautification, reclaiming overgrown land, road clearing, and trail creation, yet gentle enough to leave the ground intact and healthy. Specialty-built mulchers are also an excellent choice for municipal and community site clearing where there is a need for a cost-effective way to remove unwanted trees and underbrush yet still leaves an aesthetically pleasing finish.

An experienced commercial land clearing company will have a fleet of purpose and specialty-built machines to ensure they are able to meet the size and detail requirements of your project.

How can I prepare to clear my land?

Clearing land is more than removing unwanted trees. It requires planning and precision. The length of time it takes to prepare the land for construction depends on the scope of your project and the amount of land.

The first step in the process is having a professional land clearing company inspect your property and analyze the elements based on the needs for your construction project. From there, the company will advise accordingly in the removal of obstacles and vegetation and the possible need for permits.

Once your site consultation is complete, you will need to check on your region’s zoning laws. Not all land clearing jobs require permits, but it’s important to hire a company that knows when a permit is needed so you can ensure you’re abiding by the law. While this process may be long and frustrating, the consequences if you don’t follow the proper guidelines could be worse. That said, make sure you have all the permits you need before you go onto the next step.

After this you will be ready to clear your land.

What is the land clearing process?

The site consultant will have carefully considered the scope of your project therein determining which machines would be best to clear your land. Mature trees usually prove to be the biggest obstacle for your construction project and will require the larger purpose-built mulcher. Bushes, underbrush, and smaller trees will often require the specialty-built machine.

Most of the trees can be felled and mulched, with their roots left to slowly break down. In locations where you are planning future buildings, larger trees and roots must be removed to ensure a proper foundation. In such cases, your land clearing company will most likely use an excavator to remove tree root systems.

This process involves digging the area around the stump to expose as much root as possible before breaking down the roots into smaller pieces. The stump and its roots are then pulled up out of the soil and then mulched.

Your chosen land clearing company should be in close contact through the duration of the work to ensure your project goals are met and you are completely satisfied.

Click here to learn more about hiring a commercial land clearing company.