Living on a homestead or farm means you’re probably self-sufficient or working toward that end. Making sure you have the space and capability to achieve everything on your property that you want to achieve might mean you have to clear some trees or other vegetation to make more room. Clearing land can create more space for crops or for grazing livestock.
It might seem like a daunting, back-breaking task to remove trees from your property, but be confident you can handle anything thrown your way. Before tackling the job of clearing land, below are a few things you’ll need to know.
Develop a Plan
Before you clear your property, have a plan in place for what you’re going to do with the land. Will it be used for crops? Grazing livestock? Building a barn? It’s your land, so no matter what you decide to do with it will be acceptable, but having a plan in place will help you determine how many trees will need to be removed and how much space you’ll need. This will ensure that you don’t work unnecessarily hard.
Determine Which Crops or Livestock Thrive in Your Area
Once you’ve developed a plan for your land and have determined what crops or livestock you’d like to raise, then you’ll need to figure out if they thrive in your area. It would be pointless to plant crops that won’t ever grow or have animals that won’t survive — this wastes your time and money. Talk to local farmers or the local extension office to find out what will thrive in your area.
Have the Soil Tested
After deciding whether you’re going to plant crops or pasture for livestock, test the soil to ensure that you’ll be able to grow the crops or pastureland before removing the trees. If you clear the area and then find out you can’t grow anything as you intended, you will have wasted time and money.
Of course, if you test the soil and find out it’s not perfect for crops or pasture for livestock, there are ways you can improve it, including adding fertilizers and mulching. This will take time, but it can be accomplished.
Determine How Much the Timber Is Worth
If you’re clearing land near a forest, keep in mind that the trees you remove are worth something to someone. Hire a professional to assess what types of trees you have and what they’re worth on the market. Working with someone who is familiar with the timber market and doesn’t have a stake in the profits will ensure you get the highest and fairest amount for your lumber.
You may discover the price you get paid for your lumber will offset the costs of clearing your land. Which is fantastic! You’ll be able to make more room for crops or livestock and break even, or maybe even make a profit, in the process.
Obtain the Proper Equipment
When it comes to clearing land of trees and other vegetation, there are a variety of different tools you can use, including:
- Brush mowers
- String trimmers
- Stump grinders
- Track harvesters
All of this equipment will make clearing your land easier. When it comes to removing trees, harvesters help you carefully pick up and store trees. If you don’t own this equipment, find out how much it costs to rent or hire a professional to help you.
Clear Enough Acreage to Fulfill Your Needs
What you’re doing with your land will determine how much acreage you need. Using your land for livestock grazing will probably require more acreage than growing crops. Again, developing a plan will ensure you don’t waste time and money clearing your land.
Be Aware of the Costs
When it comes to clearing your land, even if you do it yourself, there will be costs involved. From renting equipment to paying people to help to hiring professionals, make sure you know how much you’ll spend on the project. Check that you have the funds to get the job done right and within budget. Issues always arise on every project, so give yourself a cushion to cover the costs of the unexpected.
Clearing your land will give you the opportunity to increase your acreage to grow more crops or feed more livestock. It may also improve the aesthetic value of your land by getting rid of unsightly vegetation. Knowing exactly what you want to do with the land before clearing it will save you time and money.