best way to clear brush and small trees

The best way to clear brush and small trees?

Brush and small trees take up space, create areas of ground shade, and grow very large if left unchecked.  Clearing brush and small trees is not a difficult task if tackled as soon as possible.

The best way to clear brush and small trees will really depend upon the area that you need to clear, and the strength of the growth you are facing.  Here we will look at the way to clear brush and small trees on both small, garden plots, and larger areas.

 Clearing Land By Hand – Better for Small Plots

If you are considering clearing the area by hand be realistic.  This is hard labor, and to get a good result you will need to invest in the appropriate tools.  It can, however, save money on a contractor, whilst giving you the satisfaction of working on your own land.  If it is a small area, fairly level, and you have no rush to get it finished, then good on you!

What tools do I need?


Make sure that you can operate this safely, and you have suitable protective gear.  You will be amazed though at the ease of clearing with a good chainsaw.  Make sure you keep it sharp, have the right fluid levels and the correct tension on the chain.

Heavy Duty Spade

If you don’t buy heavy duty it won’t last the day.  A spade is necessary to loosen roots and clear space around the base of plants before you can remove them.


For cutting smaller diameter branches and trunks, and roots, underneath ground level.


These can tackle slightly larger diameter branches and trunks where access is an issue or you are unable to use the chainsaw.


These trimmers can be fitted with either cord or alternative attachments such as a brush cutting blade.  They are superb for clearing land quickly of overgrowth, can take on quite dense growth and enable you to see the larger plants that you will need to deal with separately.

Loppers and other pruning equipment

Cutting back before you start dealing with the roots and trunks means that you can see where you are working and clear the area in a more manageable manner.

Brush Grubber – but only if you have a tractor or 4 x 4 to pull it.

These can uproot trees up to 5 inches in diameter making short work of clearing the ground for you.  Attach them to the tree and your vehicle, drive off, and the shrub will come with you.

Clearing Brush and Small Trees from a Larger Area

A professional land clearing Company will come in and charge you an hourly rate for clearing the ground as quickly as possible.

The additional equipment that they are likely to bring to the project would almost certainly be;

A Bobcat

Mini excavators have a multitude of applications and use and cannot be beaten for clearing and leveling.

A Backhoe

Bobcat’s big brother.  These guys can shift serious amounts very quickly, and nothing gets in their way.  A skilled driver can leave a completely level surface for you to landscape from.

A stump Grinder

To really cut the trunks back underneath ground level so that you can landscape over them you need to get out the remains of the tree with a stump grinder.

A shredder or tipper truck to dispose of the waste they have cleared.

These can almost always be hired in locally, with or without an operator often, so even if you do have a large area with major overgrowth you can still take it on yourself – and save the money – if you are prepared to.

No matter how large, or overgrown, the area you are looking to clear is the best way to clear brush and small trees is to make sure that you have the tool for the job.  It’s perfectly possible to clear brush and small trees yourself, but you need to have the time to invest in the project and make sure that you operate the equipment safely.

Author: Kyle Baxter

Kyle Baxter is married with one young son. A very short career in investigative journalism, and a particularly unfortunate experience over the purchase of a major household appliance that took many months to resolve when he could ill-afford the costs led Kyle to his current position as a consumer champion. When not seeking out guidance on the best-on-the-market Kyle enjoys watching baseball and tries to get away from the house long enough to do some off-road cycling.

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