Gain Way! How Much It Costs to Clear Land (2023)


  • Land clearing typically runs from $1,290–$5,030.

  • Expect to pay more per acre for heavily wooded lots.

  • Tree clearing, mulching, and excavation all factor into the cost.

Get quotes from up to 3



Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

A walk in the woods is a nice way to spend an afternoon, but if you’ve got other plans for the landscape, that forestry can really hinder your progress. If you’re wondering, “how much does it cost to clear 1 acre of woods?” the answer isn’t going to be the same for every site. Considering tree clearing cost and the site’s accessibility is the best way to determine your final land clearing prices. The cost per acre starts at $500, but can go up significantly depending on the amount of trees and type of terrain. Here’s a breakdown of costs to budget for when planning your project.

National Average Cost$3,150
Average Range$1,290 – $5,030
Minimum Cost$500
Maximum Cost$5,030

How Much Does It Cost to Clear Land by Size?

Most projects are priced on a per half-acre or per acre basis and take into account the level of vegetation and trees to be cleared.

(Video) How Much Does It Cost To Clear OUR Land?

Average Cost to Clear Half Acre of Land

Generally speaking, the land clearing cost per half-acre is around $250 to $2,800. This is only for your basic clearing of trees, brush, and other debris. To get your lot ready for building, there are additional expenses for services including topsoil stripping, landscape grading (aka leveling your lawn), digging, hauling yard waste, and otherwise prepping the land.

Land Clearing Cost per Acre

The cost per acre is approximately $500 to $5,600. The price accounts for the range of vegetation that will need to be removed, as well as the intended use for the lot. Common sizes and cost ranges include:

Trees have a big impact on the cost to clear land. Clearing a heavily wooded lot might cost you as much as $3,000 to $5,600 per acre. But if it’s only sparsely wooded, you could pay as little as $500 to $2,000 per acre.

Land Clearing Cost per Hour

Some pros may charge an hourly rate for a land clearing project, which typically runs between $110 and $245 per hour. This includes removing vegetation, trees, and debris, as well as disposing of waste from the project.

Cost to Clear Land by Condition

Gain Way! How Much It Costs to Clear Land (1)

Photo: Hanna / Adobe Stock

Whether you want to clear land to build a home, an addition, or add a gazebo or pool, the price you’ll pay depends on your land’s current condition. Here’s a look at average costs based on tree density.

(Video) How Much Does it Cost to Clear Land?

Land Clearing Cost by Density

A major factor that affects land clearing costs is the number of trees. Heavily wooded land goes for an average of $3,000 to $5,600 per acre. If you have fewer trees, your land clearing cost could be around $500 to $2,000 per acre.

Average Cost of Lightly Forested Lots

Average Cost to Clear a Wooded Lot

  • Half-acre: $1,800–$2,800

  • 1 acre: $3,600–$5,600

  • 2 acres: $7,200–$11,200

  • 3 acres: $10,800–$16,800

  • 4 acres: $14,400–$22,400

    (Video) Cost to clear land

  • 5 acres: $18,000–$28,000

Cost Factors to Clear Land

To figure out your total land clearing cost, you’ll need to think about the size of your lot, how you’ll get rid of debris, tree clearing costs, and a few other factors.

Tree Clearing Cost

Trees make a big difference in how much it costs to clear land. You could pay between $500 and $2,000 per acre for lots with fewer trees, and between $3,000 and $5,600 per acre for heavily forested land. If your lot only has a few trees, you might pay around $700 per tree. Fallen trees cost far less, at $75 to $150 apiece.

Brush Removal Cost

Trees are one factor, but how much does it cost to clear underbrush per acre? If you only have brush to worry about, this is much cheaper to remove. You might only pay around $20 to $200 per acre to clear shrubs and smaller overgrowth. This is much easier to DIY, too.

Forestry Mulching Prices

Forestry mulching goes for about $400 to $600 per acre. This involves the use of heavy equipment to cut down trees and shrubs, followed by mulching the material afterward. Consider it a win-win, as you won’t have to worry about brush removal and you’ll have a nice layer of mulch for your landscape.

Land Condition

The condition of your acreage also includes whether it’s on a slope or is relatively flat. Pros will need to bring in the right equipment to get the job done and will charge accordingly. For example, if you want to clear a hilly property, more specialized equipment is needed you’ll likely pay more for the project. Erosion is another factor when assessing the land condition that is likely to increase your project total.


If you need to excavate the land to prepare your building site, this could cost around $1,500 to $5,100. You’ll want to find a local excavation company to handle this for about $40 to $150 per hour.


Terrain and market demand varies across the U.S. See how these different areas stack up against the national average of $3,150 to clear land.

StateAverage Cost to Clear Land
New York$2,700

How Much Does It Cost to Clear Land Yourself?

Because trees don’t always fall where you want them to, land-clearing can be a dangerous DIY task. You should always leave this up to a local landscaping pro rather than attempting it yourself.

When it comes to debris removal, though, you can don your yard work gloves and save some money by handling it on your own. It’s tough work, so you should ideally have other (gloved) hands helping you.

Tools Needed

Tools are a major factor in your DIY land clearing cost. For big jobs with lots of debris and trimming, budget around $400 for all the supplies you need. If you’re just clearing a small amount of pre-cut landscaping waste, you might only need around $30; this will get you gloves, a bucket, and a steel rake.

Yard Waste Removal

Once you’ve rounded up all the landscaping debris, there’s still the matter of getting rid of it. Hiring a landscape clearing and prep pro will make your life a lot easier, but you’ve got a few options for doing it yourself, too.

(Video) Day 2: What does it cost to clear land? Removing stumps, smooth land for planting grass or pasture

Brush Burning

If it’s safe (and legal!) to do so, you can burn the brush and wood you’ve piled up. Only burn a small amount at a time, and be sure to have a water source handy to put out the flames.

Yard Waste Bags

If your municipality offers yard waste removal, you can get a five-pack of 30-gallon bags for around $5. These fill up faster than you’d think, so they are best suited for plots that are one acre or smaller with minimal debris.

Landscaping Dumpster Rental

If the yard waste bags aren’t cutting it, you might want to consider renting a landscaping dumpster. Depending on the size of the lot, the level of debris, and the area you’re located in, final costs vary.

  • 10-yard dumpster, for debris and dirt removal: $200–$600

  • 20-yard dumpster, for some trees and shrubs: $300–$700

  • 40-yard dumpster, for larger landscapes: $350–$800

FAQs About Land Clearing Cost

What does land clearing consist of?

A land clearing project begins with assessing and preparing the property and pulling any necessary permits with your municipal building department. Clearing can begin after the project details are ironed out between you and your pro and a written contract is signed. Pros will bring out the necessary equipment and crew to first remove trees, stumps, brush, and vegetation. All of the project debris will then be loaded up and hauled off-site to be disposed of properly.

How long does it take to clear 1 acre of land?

The amount of time needed to complete the project depends on the size of your acreage, the land’s condition, the size of the pro’s crew, and what type of equipment they are using. Smaller projects typically take a few hours, while larger projects may require one or two full workdays.

What is the purpose of land clearing?

Land clearing prepares an area for development, such as a new house, barn, or outbuilding. Land clearing might also address land maintenance, soil health, or clean-up after a natural disaster.

How much does it cost to prepare land for a mobile home?

Costs vary, but you might spend around $1,000 to $4,000 to prepare land before you build a house or add a mobile home.

Is it possible to remove my trees for free?

Some logging companies and firewood sellers will remove your trees for free, as this is an easy way for them to source lumber they can then sell for profit. Don’t expect them to leave you with a cleared lot, though—they just want the good, saleable parts of your larger trees. You’ll still need to do all the other prep work to get your landscape ready to build on.


How much does it cost to clear an acre of land in Georgia? ›

Expect to pay between $733 to $2,333 per acre to clear a lightly forested area. Clearing a heavily forested area ranges from $3,395 to $6,155 per acre. These land clearing prices do not include the cost to grade or level the land. The more forested land you need to clear, the higher your bill will be.

How much does it cost to clear an acre of land in North Carolina? ›

Clearing wooded land in North Carolina usually involves removing trees, costly stump removal, raking, grading and seeding the land and more. In general, clearing land costs $3,000 – $5,000 per acre.

How long does it take to clear an acre of land with excavator? ›

As a general rule, a professional takes approximately two-and-a-half hours to clear an acre of land.

How many acres can a forestry mulcher clear in a day? ›

The lay of the land, the complexity of the project (such as working to avoid certain objects or areas), and the thickness of the material to be cleared all factor in how many acres can be cleared daily; but on average, forestry mulching can clear 1-4 acres per day.

How can land pay for itself? ›

How to Make Money with Your Land Quickly
  1. Host a Billboard. If your vacant land borders a busy road, having a billboard could put a substantial amount of money in your pocket. ...
  2. Harvest Timber. ...
  3. Provide Storage. ...
  4. Open a Campground. ...
  5. Offer to Rent Your Land as Pasture. ...
  6. Host Bees. ...
  7. Lease Land to Hunters. ...
  8. Allow Farmers to Lease Land.
13 Feb 2021

How much does it cost to clear land in Alabama? ›

Land clearing cost per acre ranges from $1,500 to $3,000 on lightly wooded lots and between $3,790 to $6,710 for a heavily wooded area.
Land Clearing Cost.
National Average Cost$2,680
Average Range$1,150 to $3,790
2 more rows

What are the two types of land clearing? ›

The most popular land clearing techniques include:
  • Grubbing and Dozing.
  • Burning.
  • Hand Clearing.
  • Mulching.
16 Apr 2020

How do you get rid of roots after clearing land? ›

Grubbing refers to the removal of the roots that remain in the soil after clearing. Grubbing removes logs, brush, and debris. Stumps are then ground or removed with a root rake or similar machine. This requires some heavy machinery such as a bulldozer, dump trucks, compactors, and scrapers.

Can you clear land with a bulldozer? ›

Bulldozers are powerful, productive land clearing equipment suitable for dense forests, rocky ground and sloped terrain. They're built with the right combination of stability and power, making them perfect for clearing land. With a variety of sizes, you can find the ideal model for the lot you're clearing.

What is the best way to clear overgrown land? ›

For clearing most large areas overgrown land, a brush mower is your best bet. Choose a walk-behind (also known as 'self-propelled') model for walkable areas, and a tow-behind model (often called a 'brush hog') for really large fields and meadows.

Is clearing land hard? ›

Land clearing can be a difficult task. Once you've bought a plot of land, it is often necessary to clear the land before you can begin any building. In some cases, clearing land can be simple and nearly cost-free, especially if you have the right tools.

What size tractor do I need to clear land? ›

Don't take on a project bigger than your equipment can handle. A 25-35hp tractor can easily tackle the job of clearing small trees (less than 6” diameter) and brush, but if you're looking at multiple acres with medium-large diameter trees, you'll want to hire professionals or rent a bulldozer.

What size excavator Do I need to pull stumps? ›

The usual rule of thumb is that a stump with a root ball size of 50-60” or a stump diameter of 28” can be removed using a mini excavator. This will of course also depend on the weightage of the particular machine you are using. A medium-sized excavator should only be needed while removing large tree stumps.

Can you clear land with a skid steer? ›

What Is Land Development? Clearing an overgrown property can be tackled with a skid-steer or compact track loader (CTL) by leveraging vegetation management attachments. Skid-steers offer agility, speed, and flexibility due to their compact nature.

Can an excavator remove trees? ›

Can a mini excavator remove stumps? As long as it's equipped with a mulching head capable of removing stumps, a mini excavator can absolutely take out a full stump — and the right mulching head won't just cut it clean on the surface either, but mulch several inches or even a few feet into the soil.

Will trees grow back after forestry mulching? ›

Undisturbed root systems ensure selected keeper trees do not die post clearing. The process of forestry mulching returns all of the unwanted vegetation material back into the soil.

Will a forestry mulcher grind stumps? ›

Can a disc mulcher grind stumps? Yes, disc mulchers will cut stumps to ground level, but you'll be risking the sharpness of the teeth and the overall longevity of the mulcher.

Is forestry mulching profitable? ›

Forestry mulching attachments aren't anything new, but purchasing one would cost $30,000. Jenkins instead chose to rent the attachment from Caterpillar and proceeded to be amazed at the market he discovered. “It's going nutty,” he says. “It's so profitable and so cost effective.”

How do empty lands make money? ›

Answers ( 2 )
  1. Open a Commercial Complex. Developing a commercial complex on your vacant land is a great idea if your vacant land is near a residential area. ...
  2. Construct a House and Rent it Out. There are a lot of people who are still looking to buy or rent a decent house. ...
  3. Cell Phone Towers. ...
  4. Storage space or Warehouse.
8 Sept 2021

Is it smart to buy land? ›

Owning land gives you financial security and peace of mind. Experts recommend raw land investing and buying land for future development, such as housing or building. No maintenance is required, and you can sell your land at a higher price in the future.

How can I make money with 10 acres? ›

How To Make Money On 10 Acres: 81 Creative Ways To Kick-Start Your Earnings
  1. How To Make Money On 10 Acres: Grow Small Acreage Crops. ...
  2. Raise Animals For Food. ...
  3. Sell Your Own Products From Your Plants or Animals. ...
  4. Set Up Structures or Rent Out The Land. ...
  5. Create Classes To Teach People About The Outdoors.
1 Apr 2022

What kills brush permanently? ›

Triclopyr: This is the most common chemical found in herbicides that are used to kill brush. Triclopyr is a selective herbicide, meaning it will kill only particular types of plants, such as broadleaf woody plants like locust, sweetgum, mesquite, and more.

What is the easiest way to clear brush? ›

5 Tools for Clearing Brush by Hand
  1. Axes and Hatchets. A good, sharp ax and a smaller hatchet allow you to hack your way through thick brush and shrubs. ...
  2. Chainsaw. For bigger trees or large clusters of them, a chainsaw is far more efficient than an ax. ...
  3. Brush Grubber. ...
  4. Spade. ...
  5. Pruning Tools. ...
  6. Rotary Cutter. ...
  7. Root Grapple. ...
  8. Clearing.
19 Apr 2019

How much does it cost to grade a lot? ›

Factors Involved in the Grading Process

If you decide to grade the land on your own, the costs associated with the project could be as low as $100. On the other hand, hiring a professional to do the job typically costs upwards of $1,000-$1,500.

How do forestry mulchers work? ›

Forestry mulching is a land-clearing method that uses a single machine to selectively cut trees, brush, and vines to clear unwanted vegetation while leaving behind a fine layer of mulch that is operational as well as beautiful.

How much does an acre of wooded land cost in PA? ›

Over the last 20 years, the price of farmland per acre in pennsylvania has risen by an average of 4.4% per year to $7,100 per acre as of 2019.

Can a bulldozer knock down trees? ›

With the right tools, clearing land doesn't have to be a time-consuming, labor-intensive, and resource-draining project. A bulldozer can help make quick work of tasks like downing small trees, pulling up stumps, combing for roots, and collecting brush and other debris.

Why is land clearing important? ›

Land clearing can be used to remove dead plants, rotting tree stumps, and other such threats, preventing the spread of wildfire and protecting the structures on the plots nearby. Dense areas with a lot of trees and plants provide natural shelter for pests, increasing their population.

How should you clear the roots from a construction site? ›

Pushover, cut and grind, and burning are three of the most used land clearing methods. The pushover method of land clearing often involves the use of major construction equipment. The trees are pushed over and hauled off the land with the roots intact.

Do roots continue to grow after stump grinding? ›

While stump grinding takes care of the visible remains of the tree, the old tree's roots are still spread out underground, sometimes 4, 8 or 12 feet beyond where the stump stood. After grinding, these roots will naturally decay, but it's a lengthy process. It can take 10-plus years for the roots to fully break down.

Will a stump grinder remove roots? ›

This power tool is used to grind tree stumps, and a contractor is generally called upon for this purpose. You may have removed a small tree from your garden including the base. A stump grinder suitable for consumer use is a valuable tool for removing the remaining roots.

What kills tree roots quickly? ›

The fastest, most effective way to kill roots is with chemical herbicide, as soon as the tree has been cut down.

How do you grade land with a bulldozer? ›


Can you clear land with a skidder? ›

A skidder is a wheeled machine with a low profile that is equipped with a grapple or a winch, so it can drag trees from the cutting area to a processing area. “A skidder—or dozer equipped with a winch—can be used to remove the trees, depending on the size of the job,” says Horstman.

What are small bulldozers called? ›

Mini Bulldozer

This smaller bulldozer is also known as a compact bulldozer. A mini dozer is great for projects that require more maneuverability and versatility than larger machinery.

How do you clear land with tall grass? ›

Clearing Overgrown Land - YouTube

How do I get rid of tall grass and weeds? ›

How to Deal with Overgrown Weeds
  1. Weeds next to a curb or driveway. Mow down the crabgrass seeds. Aerate or use a dethatching machine. Add compost. Add fertilizer. Spread the grass seed. ...
  2. Weeds in flower beds.
  3. Weeds in the garden. Spray the weeds. Deprive them of sunlight. Weed eat the area. Torch the weeds.
  4. Overgrown “jungle lawn”
17 Jun 2022

How do you prepare clear land for grass? ›

Remove existing grass, weeds or perennial plant materials from the new lawn area. Begin several weeks before seeding or putting down sod. Use a rototiller to turn the soil under two to three times at 10- to 14-day intervals, with the final tilling the day before planting.

What are the methods of land clearing? ›

Some of the procedures for mechanical land clearing are: surveying, knockdown of trees, windrowing, burning and removal of debris, and pioneer ploughing. Survey helps to determine the size of tractor, the type and size of matched equipment, and the clearing method to be used.

How do you prepare land for building? ›

Steps to prepare land for building a home may include:
  1. Survey the Land.
  2. Evaluate the Accessibility of Utilities on the Land.
  3. Check Zoning and Permitting with the Local Governing Body.
  4. Create Clear Expectations for the Land.
  5. Create a Plan of Action for Hiring Experts.
  6. Work with Your Homebuilder.
4 Dec 2019

Which tractor is best for 5 acres? ›

If you live on a property that is 5 acres or smaller, in most cases, a sub-compact tractor like those found in the John Deere 1 Series should be sufficient for gardening and light landscaping work. This type of equipment is the smallest out of all the tractor sizes and is made to fit in a standard garage.

What size tractor do I need for 10 acres? ›

Subcompact tractors typically have between 25 and 35 hp engines and are excellent for use on properties between 5 and 10 acres. Compact tractors typically have between 35 and 50 hp engines and are the right choice for properties between 10 and 20 acres.

What does a tractor cost? ›

The cost of a tractor will range from $1,000 to $300,000 for a used model and $3,000 to $600,000 for a new one. Factors that determine the final price include the size of the unit, its horsepower, the manufacturer, and the addition of attachments and accessories.

How much does it cost to clear land in Alabama? ›

Land clearing cost per acre ranges from $1,500 to $3,000 on lightly wooded lots and between $3,790 to $6,710 for a heavily wooded area.
Land Clearing Cost.
National Average Cost$2,680
Average Range$1,150 to $3,790
2 more rows

How much does an acre of wooded land cost in PA? ›

Over the last 20 years, the price of farmland per acre in pennsylvania has risen by an average of 4.4% per year to $7,100 per acre as of 2019.

How much does it cost to grade a lot? ›

Factors Involved in the Grading Process

If you decide to grade the land on your own, the costs associated with the project could be as low as $100. On the other hand, hiring a professional to do the job typically costs upwards of $1,000-$1,500.

How can land pay for itself? ›

How to Make Money with Your Land Quickly
  1. Host a Billboard. If your vacant land borders a busy road, having a billboard could put a substantial amount of money in your pocket. ...
  2. Harvest Timber. ...
  3. Provide Storage. ...
  4. Open a Campground. ...
  5. Offer to Rent Your Land as Pasture. ...
  6. Host Bees. ...
  7. Lease Land to Hunters. ...
  8. Allow Farmers to Lease Land.
13 Feb 2021

How much is an acre of land worth 2021 pa? ›

For an acre in crops, Pennsylvania saw a 9.2 percent increase, from $7,600 in 2021 to $8,300 this year. Across the northeast, cropland value climbed 8.8 percent, from $6,490 to $7,060, while the U.S. average climbed by14. 3 percent, from $4,420 to $5,050.

Where is the cheapest land in the United States? ›

New Mexico is the state with the cheapest land according to our land prices per acre page. This is largely due to the fact that it has a lot of of rural desert acreage.

How much does farmland rent for per acre per month in Pennsylvania? ›

Pennsylvania's average cash rental rate is $94 per acre, while New York state's average cash rental rate is $69 per acre. Maryland's average cash rental rate is $111 per acre. Average land cash rental rates decreased in Maine, New Jersey and Vermont.


2. First Thing To Do With Any Wooded Lot (Before Clearing Land)
(Justin Hitt, PDC)
3. Clearing land for New Home in Florida: It's Not as Difficult as You Think! | Forestry Mulching
(The Tree Shop)
4. Land Clearing 101 | What You Should Expect From A Land Clearing Company
(Kenny's Tree Removal)
5. Costs for Clearing Land in North Carolina
(Pittsboro - Eric Andrews Realtor)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ouida Strosin DO

Last Updated: 02/18/2023

Views: 6054

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ouida Strosin DO

Birthday: 1995-04-27

Address: Suite 927 930 Kilback Radial, Candidaville, TN 87795

Phone: +8561498978366

Job: Legacy Manufacturing Specialist

Hobby: Singing, Mountain biking, Water sports, Water sports, Taxidermy, Polo, Pet

Introduction: My name is Ouida Strosin DO, I am a precious, combative, spotless, modern, spotless, beautiful, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.