Despite constant reports of deforestation, and the damage that humans do, the world is fortunate enough to still contain an almost uncountable number of trees. It is thought that there could possibly be something like 73,000 different species of trees. And, perhaps surprisingly, experts believe that there are still maybe around 9,000 species of trees yet to be found.
Scientific American reported that there are now over 3 trillion trees on the planet. While this is certainly a wonderful thing, it is inevitable that at some point, a tree will be in the way of construction of some type.
If you have bought land with trees on it, with the express purpose of building a home, you will likely have to fell them. However, you can’t just wield an ax and chop every tree down. There are key considerations, and it is worth knowing a few tips before going head-on.
Is it legal to cut down trees?
Before you do anything to clear your land, you should try and understand the law, and the need for permits.
Some laws around pruning and felling trees can be confusing. For instance, according to FindLaw, it is perfectly legal to trim branches on your neighbor’s tree, up to the property line, without their permission.
Yet, it may not be legal for you to chop down a tree that is on your very own land. The reason this is true is that each state and city can have its own Tree Protection Ordinance. This means that while you can normally remove trees from your own land, there may be some that are protected.
At this juncture, it is probably worth consulting with a local tree surgeon, or finding out about the laws in your area.
What are the key tips if you need to clear trees to build a new home?
One of the best tips when clearing land to build a house is to survey the land, and then work out a budget. A tree surgeon can assist with creating a detailed survey.
Understanding how much work will go into tree clearance will help you to set a financial budget, and know how much time everything will take.
Other tips for tree clearance are as follows:
Check for any hazards
Again, a tree surgeon can provide invaluable advice in this area. Storm damaged, or dead trees can be extremely hazardous for anyone working nearby. Especially with this type of work, and if it involves large trees.
Check for obstacles
If your plan is to build a home then you are unlikely to want huge boulders or craters around. You’ll need to remove anything that is going to impede construction, and tree removal.
Tree removal assistance
Tree felling is dangerous and should be carried out by those that are experienced and have the right equipment. It is likely that you are far more focused on your construction project, so why not use professionals to tackle this area.
This is one aspect of why an initial survey should be done. Many people budget for buying land and then building a home, but it is easy to forget that land clearance can be time-consuming and costly also.
You need to extract tree stumps not just the trees
Tiny homes are in vogue at the moment. And there are certain essentials that tiny homes need. One thing they may or may not need are foundations, if they do, then you will need to remove tree stumps.
It is possible if you are planning to use the land to live off-grid, and in a tiny home that you can leave tree stumps in place. You may also want to keep some of the trees, once again, this is why you should carry out a professional survey.
Prepare the site for building
If you are building something with foundations, then you will need to prepare the ground. This also means making sure there is access to heavy equipment. You will need to remove soil, and on occasion, fill in holes too.
Digging to prepare foundations will require heavy equipment which needs to be able to freely access the area.
Don’t forget land grading
The land will need to be graded also. This means making sure the land is level with no deviations, making it perfect for laying foundations.
There is much more to tree clearance on land for new building work than can fit into this article. One essential point though is not to forget the professionals. Bringing in tree surgeons right from the start can ensure a survey is done, a plan is put into place, and budgets can be set.
It seems strange that there could be reasons to call for tree removal while living off-grid. After all, for many, it is about simplifying their lives, and returning to nature. However, if you want to build a sturdy home you will have to put in foundations. This might mean you need to look into more tips for tree clearance.