The Basics of Land Clearing

Land clearing refers to the removal of trees as well as other vegetation from a land site in order to prepare for some type of development. In addition, it can include grubbing, which refers to the excavation of roots and stumps. Tree removal and grubbing (in addition to clearing stumps, shrubs, and other vegetation) must be done in preparation for a new pipeline, utility line, or road.

Some of the basic terms that you may hear when it comes to land clearing services are as follows:

  • Clearing – the cutting down of brush and trees
  • Grubbing – the clearing of stumps and roots by digging and/or grinding
  • Scalping – the removal of any remaining roots, grass, sod, and other vegetation so the soil can be exposed. This process does not include the removal of the topsoil.

Consider Erosion

Land clearing should reduce off-site erosion, sedimentation, and sediment discharges to streams, lakes, or wetlands. The best practices regarding land clearing include various steps that help to prevent erosion, especially on sites that have steep slopes. Sites that have fine, dense soils, such as clay or silt, might be less vulnerable to erosion due to the fact that they’re more cohesive. However, in the event that erosion occurs, the soil particles tend to be more challenging to remove from the runoff, meaning that contaminated lakes and streams are close by.

Consider Nearby Bodies of Water

Other practices of land clearing that take the local ecosystem into consideration include a vegetated buffer area close to a stream that protects it from adjacent uses of land. Buffers like this enhance the quality of water in rivers, streams, and lakes by shaded them. This ultimately maintains stable water temperatures, protecting fish and other animals that live in them and nearby.

What About Permits?

Shrubs and trees are able to be cut by hand without the need of a permit, but a permit in some areas will be necessary for the removal of stumps.

What Does It Cost?

The price of land clearing depends on several factors, including the following:

  • The size and condition of your property. Is it hilly or flat? Is it heavily wooded or grassy?
  • The local market. Land clearing costs are more in some areas of the country and less in others.
  • Local environmental regulations. Are zoning variances and permits necessary?
  • How the cleared debris will be removed. For instance, will the debris need to be hauled away or can it be burned on-site?
  • The total amount of land being cleared as well as accessibility to the land.
  • Whether grading (leveling) is required. This tends to be a requirement if the property is being cleared before construction takes place.

Why Not Just Clear the Land Yourself?

You may be tempted to perform the land clearing yourself. Many people find the cost of the rental of land clearing equipment to not be worth it. For instance, you may be out $100 to $350 per day to rent a backhoe, and it can take longer than anticipated to clear your land.

Safety Is Always a Priority

Land clearing and grubbing requires a contractor that puts safety first at all times. Kurtz Excavating has a safety consultant on retainer to ensure all requirements are met. Our operators are properly trained and certified and are ready to tackle your project. Contact us today with any questions or concerns that you may have.