My lot has a considerable amount of trees in both soft and hardwood varieties of varying calipre.  Should I:

a) clear the property with a timber service in exchange for the value of the timber.


Nope.  It may sound like a great idea..."they take the trees and leave me the cleared lot."  It's semi-true, the lot is leveled of trees that the timber company is willing to take to market. can't build a house, auxiliary structures, flat concrete, septic tanks/fields, etc. on the stumps left behind.


b) clear the property with a tracked bulldozer at $85.00 per hour.


Part correct; part wrong.  The flat bladed bulldozer can push many smaller diameter trees down; however the machine is geared for scraping and leveling relatively flat ground and is either useless, or cost prohibitive in attempting to dislodge trees of any bulk.  The time spent attempting to work the ground around a large tree to uproot the stump is still on the clock.


c) clear the property with a tracked front loader (bucket loader) at $85.00 per hour.


A 2 cu.yd. bucket attached to the right horsepower can remove all types of trees.  Like a dozer, it can clear out scrub trees with a quick push.  However, the art of clearing a heavily tree'd lot is part horsepower and part leverage.  The timber service will cut the trees flush to the ground which leave quite a chore for a front loader to dig up in the form of a stump.  The bulldozer will push trees over and hopefully the stump will "pop" out of the ground with the weight of the tree coupled with the weight of the equipment...however, with a dozer, you're stuck with the hopes of the stump coming up with the tree going down.  With the Front Loader, the operator can tell the tree with a trial push; back up and push more or use the bucket to clear the soils from around the stump in preparation of pushing the tree down.  The weight of the healthy tree along with the action of the front loader brings the tree down, and the stump up out of the ground.  At that point, the timber group or loader crew can chainsaw the tree into loadable sections and clear the property.



What's the diff?  Well the "diff" is $2200 per acre to clear and grub vs $120-$140 per tree for raw property with old growth.  This little exercise has just saved you an unknown lump of money that you can now figure into your cost estimate. 


"Cost estimate?"  Yep, you either value your construction costs or let the lender value your construction loan to comparable square footage costs to the area...which will NOT include the above cited mistake.  At today's low rates, the lender is making HIS/HER/IT'S money on the costs of financing your case, re-financing fees because you've now spent your foundation money on digging up huge stumps to haul away.


"Haul away?" 


Geeez.  Give me a call....770.922-4411.