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Land Clearing Cost Guide 2021
Update: 2 March 2021
Land clearing is a common activity when you want to build a house or just make better use of your land. However, understanding the cost of clearing land with trees is crucial before you start your work. In this guide, we will break down for you every single detail about the cost of clearing the land of trees.
The average cost of land clearing is $3,680 per acre. This is the price of a lightly wooded acre with some larger trees. A heavily wooded plot of land with mainly large trees can cost upwards of $7,569 per acre.
The cost of land clearing will vary depending on the following factors:
- Tree density in the area
- Rocks, bush or stumps
- Clearing service provider
- Time of the year
- Size of trees in the area
It’s important that we make the distinction early on so there is no confusion. “Land clearing” is a fairly open term that can refer to rubbish removal, tree removal, undergrowth removal, and the grading of the land so it is flat and ready to build.
In this article, we are looking at clearing trees from your land. Prices do not include the grading or land with a bulldozer. This is a different service. There is some overlap in what companies can handle depending on their equipment. Some companies just do trees, others just grading and others do both.
Take a short cut
You could go through this article and try to calculate the cost for your lot. You are not really going to know until you get some prices from local tree services.
Go Tree Quotes is a FREE service that matches you with the top voted and best priced local tree services.
Just scroll to the top and enter your postcode and answer a few questions about your land clearing job.
Your details will be forwarded onto the current top-voted local services who will then contact you with a price.
In a lot of cases, they will need to swing by and have a quick look at the land being cleared so they can give you an accurate estimate.
This is an obligation for free services.
Cost of land tree clearing by lot size
|Small||5,000 sq. ft.||$950||$5,250|
|Medium (Average)||¼ acre||$1,200||$6,100|
|Standard Range *acre||Average range||National average|
$1,500 – $8,000
$3,200 – $5,500
Land clearing cost by acre
When it comes to the cost of clearing land per acre, there are several factors that can easily affect the costs.
These factors include the size of the land, nature of clearing required, land gradient, rocks, among others. As a result, you can pay as low as $1,500 for a quarter of an acre and as high as $8,000 depending on the size and other factors.
¼ Acre Lot Clearing Cost
Expect to pay $950 for a ¼ acre where the land has young trees less than 9′ tall hence requiring light clearing work. In such cases, the land will also be flat; hence there is little work needed to remove rocks or grade.
If the land is high wooded and there is a need to remove stumps and rocks, then the price can go as high as $1, 650.
½ Acre Land Clearing Cost
When clearing half an acre, similar factors will apply. If the lot requires minimal work where there are light bush and no rock removal or grading, then you will pay around $1,550.
In cases where it is wooded and a high level of grading and rock removal required, expect to pay around $2,700.
1 Acre Lot Clearing Cost
For a full acre where there is light underbrush hence requiring minimal work without any rock removal or grading required, the cost is around $3,750.
3 Acre Land Clearing Cost
Lightly wooded, no grading, no rock removal- around $10,900.
Heavily wooded, lots of brush, needs grading and rock removal – around $19,500.
10 Acre Tree Clearing Cost
Flatland, young trees requiring light clearing without rock removal or grading – around $35,000
For a lot that is heavily forested with a brush, requires grading and rock removal expect to pay approximately – $62,000.
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Does tree clearing include grading the land?
Yes. Under certain conditions.
Land grading can be part of land tree clearing. However, this depends on the purpose of the clearing. When you are preparing your land for construction, then there is a need for grading. Even when the land is flat, once the trees are removed the land can be left with uneven ground which would make construction difficult.
When land is sloppy, grading is even more necessary.
Grading costs can range from $100 to $200 per cubic yard. However, this is affected by the terrain and erosion control level.
In situations where the land is being prepared for construction or any other work that needs leveling, it can be scraped, or part of it removed during the grading process.
Should I use a tree removal company or a construction company?
Tree Removal Company. Since you are looking for someone to do land tree clearing, it is advisable to use a tree removal company. Land clearing is a complex process where there is a need to use professionals who are experienced in the field.
A lot of the time land clearing is included in the price of construction, but DIY land clearing can be a lot cheaper before construction begins.
Tree removal companies have a more in-depth understanding of how to handle tree removal and clearing professionally without any damages or possible accidents. Many tree removal companies are licensed for tree removal, land clearing and landscaping, which makes them the best option for this type of work. Tree removal companies also have the right equipment for handling any kind of trees.
Where to find lot clearing services near me
The process of finding a suitable land or lot clearing service near you is fairly straight forward, but you need to be careful to make sure that you find the right contractor.
If you are after straight tree clearing then I implore you to use this FREE service.
Go Tree Quotes will match you with the best priced local tree services as voted by previous users.
Just scroll to the top and enter your Zip code and answer a few questions about your land clearing job.
Your job details are then forwarded to top local services for an estimate. This is an obligation free service.
If you are after grubbing or grading/ leveling services, then I suggest a location-based search in Google search.
In so doing, you will find a list of several land clearing services. However, there are several competing companies, and you should compare them to get the best. Here are the factors to look at.
- Should be bonded and licensed
- The company should have all the certifications
- Should have years of experience in the business
- Check for good ratings and reviews
- Check for their online quote to compare them and narrow down to the best
Other than getting a quote, you can get the company to visit the area for assessment before hiring them.
Grubbing vs. land clearing
Grubbing and land clearing are both needed when preparing land for development.
Land clearing entails the removal of all the vegetation on the land. This includes cutting and removing trees and bushes. It can also include the removal of rocks in the area.
Land grubbing, on the other hand, it is a process that involves removing roots remaining in the soil. The process is done after the vegetation is cleared in an area. This can include logs, debris, brush, and grinding of stumps.
This is important because organic matter below ground can breakdown over time leaving small voids in the band below your development.
When would you use a forestry company?
The use of a forestry company for land tree clearing is only necessary when you have a home forest. In such cases, the forest may be complex, and there is a need for special attention from a forestry company.
However, in such cases, it is even more important if you are not planning to clear the entire forest, or it is neighboring another forest.
The use of a forestry company would also be ideal when the land will not be used for construction immediately. In such cases, you can do forestry mulching.
Will they do it with a bulldozer?
A bulldozer is one of the machinery used during land clearing. If there is a need for it, yes they will use a bulldozer. It is used in cases where the amount of work required is complex and needs a heavy machine.
This may include cases where the land is not flat, and there are heavy rocks and dense bushes. When it comes to grubbing a bulldozer may also be used since it has more power and will save on time.
Land clearing companies will use all available machinery to do the work to make sure that they give you the best results.
Does the size of trees matter to price?
Yes. Large tree removal will require more workforce, machines, and time to remove and clear as compared to small-sized trees. Prices will vary depending on the size and number of trees on your land.
How much is bush clearing per acre?
Unlike tree clearing, bush clearing is not as expensive. The cost of bush removal will range from $20 to $750 per acre in areas where the bush is thin and light.
However, in cases where the bush is heavy, you can pay as high as $2,300 per acre.
In cases where the brush is even denser and wooded with small trees, the price can go to as high as $3,700 per acre.
Is it illegal to clear your land?
No. Clearing your land is not illegal. However, in some areas, you will need a permit from the local government to carry out the work. For some areas, you do not need a permit.
In cases where a land clearing permit is required, it is done to protect the soil from erosion by ensuring proper control measures to prevent protected trees from destruction, among other reasons.
The best thing to do is to look at land clearing guidelines in your areas to understand better. You will find out under what circumstances you need a permit or not.
Do I need a land clearing permit if I have DA approval?
No. In cases where your tree or vegetation work requires a Development Application approval, then you are not required to obtain a land clearing permit.
A Development Application is made when you need to removes trees and vegetation in an area mostly for the purpose of development. Such an application takes into account both protected and unprotected trees within an area. As a result, it is all-inclusive.
Author: Ben McInerney – Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.
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