The Q&A Archives: Land Clearing And Underbrush

Question: I have recently purchased 3.5 heavily wooded acres south of Houston, TX, and I would like to clear the land myself. The land has many small saplings that I will have to cut down. It is also has lots of weeds and woody plants including poison oak (which I'm very allergic to). What are the best steps I should take to clear the land?

Answer: There are several approaches to clearing land. Depending on the species and size of trees and brush, you will have to choose between mechanical (dozer, tractor & brush hog, chainsaw, machete(!), etc.) and chemical (herbicides - many of which are not available without a license) options.

Do you want to clear the entire lot? Perhaps you can set aside a portion for the wildlife and birds. The closer you can leave it in its natural state (i.e., not clearing out all the underbrush, etc.) the happier most of the wildlife will be. Also, many birds and animals thrive on the edges of woods, where they meet an open field. You might have your very own nature show!

You can contact your Agriculture Extension Agent, Mr. Mike Shively, at the Harris County Extension Office for more specific assistance in developing a plan based on your timeframe, resources, etc.

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