When talking about clearing land there are actually a few different approaches that produce different results. At Urban Land|Tree|Soil we use all of these techniques to produce the desired result within an appropriate cost structure.
This is the most basic form of land clearing where our crew goes in with chainsaws and brush cutters (think giant weed whacker) and removes trees and scrubs at the base. Typically, they either chip the brush into our truck or for slightly larger projects, load it out on semis with a Bobcat. This technique is low impact on the land, can be done where there is difficult terrain and the mobilization cost (the cost to get people and equipment to a job site) is relatively low. This is great for projects under a couple of acres that are not dense or in conjunction with other techniques. Unless a stump grinder or a machine is brought in as well, stumps are left in the ground. The hand clearing option for land clearing is not suitable for a building pad.
This can be done with a variety of techniques, but it is best with a hand crew. In Select Clearing often only Cedars (Ash Junipers) and dead trees are cut down while we typically lift canopies and remove deadwood on oaks. This can also mean that only certain select trees, typically as part of a survey, are removed for a specific purpose: a house, fence, road, etc.
CEDAR EATING/FORESTRY MULCHER/HYDRO AXE
In this technique a purpose-built head is attached to a skid-steer or loader and run through stands of (mostly smaller) trees. This can be a very cost effective way to remove brush and trees over a few acres. This is a good technique for opening up hunting grounds or clearing fence lines. It does leave the mulch on the ground which will take years to decay. As such it is not suitable for pad sites or places where grass is desired. The cost of later removing the material zeros out the cost savings up front. This technique typically leaves the stumps in the ground.
In this land clearing option either a bulldozer or excavator is used to knock down trees and rip up stumps. On small jobs (under four acres) it is usually more cost effective to haul that material off to our processing facility. On larger projects a grinder (see below for the definition) is brought in. This grinds the material into a pile that is easy to haul off. This is the preferred technique for construction sites where mulch cannot stay on the ground, or where the size of the job is over five acres.
There is a perfect clearing technique that’s right for your project. Urban will look over your job and give you an honest assessment of what you need to achieve your goals. We’ll let you know what should be done now, what can wait and offer other suggestions if necessary. Call us today to schedule your free estimate.
LAND CLEARING TERMS
Chipper – A machine that chips up tree waste. Typical of the sort seen behind tree service trucks
Cedar eater/mulcher – a purpose-built head is attached to a skid-steer or loader
Grinder horizontal/tub – Similar to a gigantic chipper, grinders process huge amounts of tree material. Our grinder can do more work in one hour than our chipper can do in two days. Tub grinders were used a lot in the past but are being phased out in favor of horizontal grinders, mostly for safety reasons.
Stump grinder – A relatively small machine that has a head that grinds stumps into the ground