We have a wonderful property. At 7 acres it is not too small or too large. Though a bit more land wouldn’t hurt my feelings.
One unusual thing for our area is that our property is mostly deciduous trees. Sure, there is the good old pine here as well, but at a much lower proportion that one would normally expect for our area.
But we have so many more hopes and dreams for our property than just to have a deciduous forest.
That is not to say that we want to rid the land of all of our existing forest. In fact, there are a lot of nice old trees that will stay right where they are.
However, there are even more young trees that we can clear out and put in more functional trees, like fruit and nut trees, to help restore nature but also to meet our needs.
To accomplish this task, we are using our Kubota L4600 with Bush Hog BH16 Rotary Cutter. The equipment is rated to clear vegetation up to 2 inches thick. It can do a little better than that.
The most difficult task is that there are many dips and curves and other hazards on our land that can make it dangerous to just “plow through the woods”. Every action has to be pre-planned to ensure that the tractor can be operated safely and not get stuck.
Chop and Drop
The majority of the vegetation that is cut is left where it lays. Some of the larger trunks we will move to process through the wood chipper for use in the garden or other areas.
By leaving the vegetation where it falls we can help enrich the soil with that material while we prepare to plant the more useful trees and other plants for our needs.
Why Not Bulldozer
One obvious option to make quick work of this project would be to bulldoze the land. Essentially using the bulldozer as an eraser to give us a blank canvas to work from.
The primary issue with that idea is capital. I might consider a bulldozer if the money were available.
However, for the same money I could use a grinder that mulches the trees as it fells them, again creating a “chop and drop” situation. I certainly like that better.
I have seen what a bulldozer can do to topsoil, and I would rather that the rich soil in our forest stay right where it is and not be plowed off in huge piles.
Long Homestead Project
With our time and equipment there is no way for this to be a single season project. It will take a long time. Areas that are cleared will have to be continually maintained until we are ready to plant them or otherwise the forest will simply reclaim it.
However, it is worth it. Even if it takes 10 years before fruit and nut trees are flourishing, once they are we will be self sufficient for our food needs. If we do nothing, we can only expect more of what we have now – and that would not be very beneficial.
If you would like to see this in action, please take a moment to watch our Land Clearing Video below. If you do, we would appreciate a “Thumbs Up/+1” for the video: