What is the main purpose of land clearing?
During construction work, land clearing is one of the important parts that are necessary for site preparation. For many projects, it may simply not be possible to start the construction if the area has not yet been emptied. Because of this, many people consider land clearing as the first stage of building a new structure.
Essentially, land clearing primarily aims to prepare a site by removing trees, stumps, vegetation, and other surface debris. This process is usually performed by an excavation or tree removal company that specializes in the industry and has the necessary equipment to do the work properly and safely.
The purpose of land clearing is to rid the property of any debris or vegetation that may be unwanted by the owner or may be hindering the start or completion of their specific construction project.
What are the negative effects of land clearing?
Before starting the construction of a building or certain structure, this may not be possible if there is a lot of debris and obstructions in the way. Unfortunately, land clearing has been known to produce its fair share of negative effects on our environment, such as the following:
- It poses a threat to the survival of wildlife
- It increases the risk of flooding and erosion
- It causes damage to marine ecosystems
What types of land clearing are most popular?
To prepare a site for a particular construction project, there are a variety of land clearing methods we can choose from. Of course, some techniques may not be possible for areas that have limited space or may practice strict laws and codes.
Here are some of the most popular land clearing methods:
1) The Cut and Grind technique
This is the best method for clearing properties that only have a few trees. First, vegetation such as bushes and weeds are removed, then the trees are cut down and transported to another location or turned into mulch.
2) The Pushover or Bulldozing technique
This method makes use of massive machinery that pushes the debris such as bushes and trees out of the way. Although it is fast and convenient, bulldozing may damage the topsoil in the property.
3) The Pullover technique
The opposite of pushing, this technique makes use of anchor chains and attaches them to a tractor to pull the obstructions away from the soil.
4) The Pile and Burn technique
The method is done by placing all the removed branches and vegetation and then burning them in their neat pile. This technique is convenient and easy to do, however, poses a huge threat to the environment.
How is land clearing done?
Before the process of land clearing can be started, we recommend a proper inspection of the area first. Doing this allows the owner to make a note of the things that they want to remove or clear away. Also, it would be better to take some pictures (preferably with scale) so that they can have ample data which they can show when contacting potential contractors.
Now, let us go into detail about the usual steps of a land clearing project. As an example, we will be showing the process of land clearing with the help of a professional contractor. After all, most land clearing projects require the help of experts, as DIY-clearing may be illegal in some states.
Step 1: Hiring a contractor
Some states and certain projects require the assistance of a professional contractor. Since land clearings can be dangerous and may damage the ecosystem more if done poorly, there are rules we need to follow while keeping our site debris-free.
Step 2: Actual contractor inspection
During this stage, the experts will go to the site and determine important information. This can be about the necessity to secure permits, the machinery or equipment they will need to use, the path they will take to transport the machines, and more.
Step 3: Starting the land clearing process
Once the schedule starts, this is where the land clearing process begins. The contractor will make use of certain techniques and machinery to remove all obstructions in the area. This includes the trees, rocks, shrubs, branches, and other debris that will be in the way of the construction.
For bigger sites, it may take a few weeks to complete the land clearing. Owners should expect a bit of noise as the workers may make use of bulldozers and excavators to clear the property.
Step 4: Proper waste disposal
After the clearing comes to the waste disposal. Depending on the option the owner chose, the contractors may haul the debris to a recycling area, or they may want to reuse the materials themselves. As an example, trees and stumps may be converted to mulch for gardening or may be turned into wood chips for kindling.
Step 5: Proceeding to the next construction stage
Once the land clearing is complete, the owner can finally proceed to the next step of their construction project. In some situations, land grading may be requested to fix the slope of the property.
How does land clearing affect climate change?
Since land clearing removes trees and vegetation in a particular area, it is admittedly one of the factors that may affect our environment.
From what we can remember from our science lessons many years ago, trees are essential for humanity’s survival. Not only do they produce oxygen which we need for respiration, but they also regulate our temperature and aids in slowing the effect of global warming on every living being here on Earth.
According to the United Nation climate changer report, land clearing is considered to be a huge contributor to the world’s greenhouse gases. Cutting a number of trees and vegetation removes the beings that absorb carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and as a result, makes our climate significantly hotter. Unfortunately, this makes land clearing a practice that can be harmful to our environment once not properly regulated.
This valuable information allows both owners and contractors to think and make use of ways and techniques that will be more sustainable for our environment. Hence, hiring a contractor that respects the regulations and follows the laws allows us to use good disposal methods during the land clearing process.