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Your Complete Guide to Land Clearing (How it Works)

February 21, 2023

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You may have had to get services from a tree company due to fallen trees in your local area from major storms.  But outside of emergency services, you may not have had much involvement with a local arborist. Tree companies provide various services, including trimming, pruning, pest control for trees, bracing and cabling, transplanting, and more. But another important service they provide is land clearing. What is land clearing, and how beneficial is this service?

land clearing service

What is Land Clearing?

Land clearing is the process for a tree company to remove trees, vegetation, stumps, boulders, and other debris from a specific plot of land so that it is used for development, growing crops or other significant reasons. It is a task that is necessary for both commercial and residential customers. The task is very arduous and will require professionals to perform it.  although some homeowners may attempt to perform land clearing for themselves, this task is best left to professional tree companies.

Land Clearing Process

Whether you need land clearing for commercial or residential purposes, the process can be easier if you seek the help of professional arborists. Here is the process for land clearing

Get Permission

All land cleaner processes must start with permission. You will need to get clearance from the local land authority to ensure that the land that you want to clear can be cleared and used for the purposes and intent that you plan to use it for. Clearing land without getting permission first may result in very costly fines. So, it is best that you make sure that you are able to clear the land that you want to develop. When you hire a professional tree company, they may be able to get these clearances from local authorities for you.

Survey the Land

After getting the proper permissions, another important part of the process is to survey the land. This involves combing every aspect of the land that needs clearing and determining what is necessary to clear the trees, boulders, vegetation, and debris off the land. It will also involve finding the legal boundaries of the land so that you won’t encroach on a neighbor’s property. A tree company may charge set costs for these land-clearing activities.  However, they may charge additional fees for land surveying, stump and root removal, grading, and excavation.

Determine Costs

According to Home Advisor, the cost to clear land could range from $1,360 to $5,624, with some customers typically paying $3,399. But this is the most base cost involved in land clearing. The price can go up substantially based on the company's fees. Cost factors include the following.

  • Labor
  • Equipment costs
  • Permit costs
  • Grading or leveling
  • Debris removal
  • Erosion control

These are some of the most basic additional costs a tree company may charge. But there can be variations from company to company. Therefore, it is ideal for you to research each company you are considering, get a written estimate and compare the charges on each of the estimates. For charges that don’t seem substantiated on the estimate, ask questions to get clarification. 

tree cutting for land clearing project

Clear the Land

After getting an estimate and approving the estimate, a professional tree company can clear the land. Stump removal, root removal, grading, and other tasks may not be included in the land-clearing process and may incur additional charges. Make sure you’re clear on this before the tree company starts the process. 

Clean Up Debris

Another important task in the land clearing process is clean up. As with other tasks, this may incur an additional charge. So before a tree company starts the land clearing process, you may want to find out if cleaning up debris is included in the package or is something that they will do for an additional fee. 

Perform Excavation

Excavation involves digging holes beneath the earth's surface to help prepare the land for development. Depending on your project, you may not need this service. This service could also incur additional charges. 

Land Clearing and Development

One of the reasons customers need to get land clearing is that they want to work on a development project. Here is more about why each different type of customer may want to get land clearing and development.

Why Commercial Customers Need Land Clearing 

When it comes to land clearing and development businesses, developers and agriculturalists will most likely need this service more than anyone.  This is because They will need the land for development purposes. Businesses will likely need land clearing in order to expand their existing business. Developers or builders will need the land in order to put critical buildings on the land, such as houses, business parks, or other critical need buildings to help with growth in the local area. Finally, agriculturalists will need land clearing in order to plant crops to provide food for the local market and to sell across state lines.

Why a Residential Customer Will Need Land Clearing

Although land clearing and development will likely be needed by commercial customers primarily, there are times when residential customers may also need land clearing. If a residential customer has plenty of land on their property that is full of trees and vegetation, they may need land clearing for a specific project. This could include removing the vegetation and trees for recreational purposes, such as building a tennis court or installing an inground swimming pool.  other improvements for residential customers could include improving the overall Landscaping by clearing vegetation to install hardscapes. Or it could also involve clearing trees and vegetation to make way for driveways and pathways, such as sidewalks.

after land clearing project

Other Reasons For Land Clearing

While most customers will rely on tree removal companies to clear land for development projects, these aren't the only reasons tree companies clear land. Here are some other reasons why local governments or businesses may call tree companies to clear land.

Prevent Fires or Potential Hazards

One of the most significant reasons to get land clearing outside of land development is to minimize the potential for fires in the local area.  if an area is filled with dead vegetation, this could create a potential risk for fire caused unintentionally by passersby or by natural weather elements such as lightning. Local government or owners of a plot of land may get a tree company to remove the dangerous vegetation from the property to prevent hazards.

Clear Away Diseased Vegetation

Another reason why local governments or landowners May hire a tree company to clear land is that they discovered that the particular vegetation on the land is spreading disease. Land that is uninhibited could have a host of lung diseases, tree diseases, and even pest infestations that can spread to healthier lawns nearby. To minimize the chances of disease or pest spreading in healthier areas nearby, a customer may request land-clearing services.

Make the Local Habitat Better For Wildlife

Another important reason for land clearing services is to help the environment. While most land clearing is strictly for the purpose of development, some land clearing may be critical to help keep healthy habitats for local Wildlife to thrive. Overgrown trees and bushes may make it dangerous for useful Wildlife such as squirrels, deer, and other animals to move about freely. This will allow for such beneficial wildlife to move about and continue to improve the overall environment safely.

For Greenspace or Recreational Use

One more important reason why land clearing is necessary is simply for public recreational use.  Parks and other green spaces are very critical and important in local neighborhoods. They provide a place to relax and enjoy the environment in a safe and comfortable atmosphere. Additionally, local governments may need to establish recreational spaces great for running, biking, or hiking. So tree companies May need to perform land clearing to allow local governments to establish spaces in the community that are beneficial to residents for relaxation and recreational use. Private companies may want to develop the land for golf courses or other recreational uses. 

land clearning involving a wood chipper

Frequently Asked Questions

After reading this guide, you have learned what land clearing is and why it is useful. Here are a few answers to pressing questions that you may still have about the land-clearing process.

Can I clear land on my property myself?

Yes, you can clear the property yourself if you go through the process of getting proper clearances and have the right equipment to do so. However, clear and land can be a very dangerous process for an amateur. It involves felling trees, clearing huge boulders, excavation, and various other tasks.  if you aren't skilled in land clearing, it is best to leave this to professionals.

How much can I expect to pay for land clearing? 

According to Home Advisor, land clearing Services could cost between $1.30 to $2 per square foot. So depending on the amount of square age you need clearing, this price could be in the low thousands to several thousands of dollars. For larger commercial projects, the cost of land clearing could end up costing upwards of $30,000 or more, depending on the amount of acreage that needs clearing.

Does land clearing only involve removing vegetation?

No. Land clearing is much more than removing trees, vegetation, and stumps off the property. It could also involve excavation, grading, and other important tasks. What's needed for land clearing will vary by project, and a professional tree company will provide an estimate that will detail all the cost guidelines associated with clearing the land. 

Is stump and root removal included in the land-clearing process?

No. It is best that you ask your local tree company whether this or other tasks are included. In many cases, tree companies charge extra fees to do additional tasks such as these. 

Land clearing is not a safe or easy task. as with regular tree felling or other tree services, it requires a lot of skill and proper safety measures to prevent injury and minimize damage to property. When it comes to land clearing, it is best to work with a highly skilled local tree company such as Rhode Island Tree Removal. Our professional arborist helps you get the results you need and as little time as possible. We also strive to remain within your budget. Call (401) 496-9496 to schedule a land inspection and get a FREE estimate on land clearing services. Also, don’t forget to take a look at other stories on our professional tree blog for answers to some of your most pressing questions about tree care and removal.

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