Landowners....... how difficult is it to clear land for pasture?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SeaChick, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    So--- we just put our suburban house on the market and we're looking at houses with more land. We looked at one possibility the other day which has 8.7 acres, however, only a small portion of it around the house is cleared. behind the house is an area that used to be a Christmas Tree farm, now the trees are all 25+ feet tall.

    We're thinking that we'd want to clear another acre or two back and have it as pasture/hay... both for the scenic quality and so that we can have the space for more livestock (goats, sheep).

    What's actually involved in doing that? Anyone have experience? Either the cost involved in hiring someone to do it, or the actual work involved in doing it ourselves? Unfortunately the trees in that section can't be used as firewood, since they're just pulpwood.

    How much do you have to do if it's just for pasture or hay (not crops)? Can you just cut down the trees to the soil line or do you need to grind or haul out all the stumps as well? Can animals be employed to help deplete any low vegetation (there isn't much under the Christmas Trees, though)?

    Any advice appreciated!!!

    Thanks!
    Stacey
     
  2. Bi0sC0mp

    Bi0sC0mp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2008
    Raiford,FLA
    ok goats will help to eat the brush and such you can cut the tress down yourself and burn them in a burn pile as for the stumps.. if u going to use it for hay stumps will have to be grined i would not leave any stumps if you plan to put horses in there also..i would say do it yourself it will take a litte time and sweat but will be worth it.. cause with the way the ecominy is these days with gas prices and all wont be cheap to get it cleared
     
  3. antlers

    antlers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2008
    East Cent Minnesota
    How much work? Well that will be directly proportional to the amount of equipment you have to help. A good tractor with backhole will make it MUCH easier. A 25 foot pine will not have a huge stump and the backhole should be able to pop those out fairly easy. Cutting the trees down? Pretty simple for 25 footers but if you have never used a chain saw before, its not as easy as it looks.
    Now up on my soap box. Cutting the tress will not lessen your carbon foot print. If you want open land there is a lot of places for sale now a days. Look for something else that already has open land. 8 acres is a lot of trees and they are just startign to get to where you will get rapid growth and they are becoming habitat for wildlife and future timber .
    Ok I'll shut up now.
     
  4. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    I would check around with a tree removal service or advertise to sell the trees (they pay for the removal of course) before destroying them. It's worth a shot and could result in some extra cash. I know around here that happens alot.

    Another option would be to sell the pine wood when you cut the tree down. Trees that big would makes some nice pine wood to line chests or closets.

    Advertise on cheap cycle, oodle, craiglist...etc (all free) [​IMG]
     
  5. IrishM

    IrishM Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2008
    It would be a fair amount of work. I had a friend in the same situation. He contacted some local timber companies and only made a few phone calls before he found free labor to clear the timber. If the trees are big enough that they could be used as timber or paper pulp you may be able to find a company to clear them for you for free. In his case he had some nice hardwood and was paid for the timber. Then I would rent the biggest stump grinder you could find and buzz the stumps down, rake out the chips, till, then plant whatever you wish. Sounds like fun to me! Good luck.

    ---Mark
     
  6. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    Definately check with a couple of timber company. You may not make a lot of money on the trees, but maybe they will take them for the wood.

    Clear more than you originally think, because you will want more goats, sheep, chickens, cows, ducks, geese, horses, etc. etc. etc.
     
  7. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Quote:Or find another piece of land... 25 year old trees being cut down for pasture just makes me want to cry... What a waste!

    (Sorry, just my opinion...)...
     
  8. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    Quote:Or find another piece of land... 25 year old trees being cut down for pasture just makes me want to cry... What a waste!

    (Sorry, just my opinion...)...

    I agree, but if some (or all) of them have to go, at least dont make it a total waste. I would love to have those trees in my front yard. We bought some 2' ones last year, so its going to be a long wait. We want a row of trees to block the railroad tracks & road from our front yard.
     
  9. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Thanks for your replies...

    Just to be clear, the trees are NOT 25 years old, nor are we talking about clearing the entire lot. The trees are only maybe 10 years old, are not a native species (they were planted as a crop for Christmas Trees) and that section of the land (ex-Christmas tree farm) is only maybe 1-2 acres. The rest of the lot is native woodland and we wouldn't be touching it.

    Also, the cleared land around here is way, way, way more expensive and not in our budget. We are moving primarily because of educational opportunities for our daughter so we're constrained to a pretty high-cost area. This particular lot is long and skinny with not enough road frontage to subdivide, which is why it's escaped development.

    We're certainly looking for already-cleared land, but since we havent' found any yet, and we like the location and house on this property, we're just looking into what it would take to open it up a bit more. For what its worth, we are ALL ABOUT not developing land further. However in our area, the problem is that all of the good farmland has been swallowed by subdivisions and McMansions, so those of us that want to farm can't afford it. It's a conundrum. As far as carbon footprints go, I believe that the clearing of 1-2 acres of previosuly-farmed pasture, so that we can raise our own produce and livestock, is a reasonable tradeoff.

    Sounds like I need to call some timber companies, etc and see whether anyone's interested in the pulpwood.

    Thanks again for all your suggestions and keep them coming!

    Stacey
     
  10. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I agree, but if some (or all) of them have to go, at least dont make it a total waste. I would love to have those trees in my front yard. We bought some 2' ones last year, so its going to be a long wait. We want a row of trees to block the railroad tracks & road from our front yard.

    So, how hard is it to dig up established trees and transplant them?????

    We were thinking that we'd need to plant a row of fast-growing evergreens between us and the one neighbor, whose house is sort of close. I had not though about trying to transplant some of the "Christmas Trees" to that location. I wonder if we could do that ourselves with rented machinery .... or whether hiring someone to do it would cost the same as buying 50 new Arborvitae. Wouldn't digging them up disturb the root system a lot, though?​
     

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