“What is the Easiest Way to Clear Brush?” | Brush Clearing FAQs

Let's hack through some of your growing brush clearing questions.

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Whether your backyard is becoming overgrown or you’ve decided to cut some trails through the property, clearing brush is a task that anyone with the right tools and motivation can tackle. But what is required? On this edition of Task Tackler Academy, we’re answering some frequently asked questions about how to clear brush.

“What does clearing brush mean?”

Brush clearing is the process of removing medium-sized, wild-growing unwanted vegetation from a section of land in order to create everything from just a beautiful landscape to more functional purposes. This process can be performed using brush grubbers, mowers, string trimmers, saws, and various other items of brush-clearing equipment. Some private landowners clear brush and weeds with farm equipment to give their properties a tidier appearance while others may clear brush preceding road construction, real estate development, or service connections.

The clearing of larger trees, even dead trees or tree branches, does not usually fall under the category of "brush clearing” due to requiring different tools, skills, and disposal.

brush clearing excavator attachment

“What is the easiest way to clear brush?”

The easiest way to clear brush is with the proper equipment. What constitutes "proper equipment"? The tools that clear the most amount of brush in the least amount of time would likely be using brush cutter attachments for heavy equipment. Depending on the brush clearing attachment, they can be mounted on excavators, skid steer loaders, tractor-mounted rotary cutters called "brush hogs", backhoes, or even ATVs with front-mounted brush clearing machines. Other such means of brush clearing include using root grapples or brush grubber chains equipped with metal jaws to dislodge smaller trees from the soil. 

For safety purposes, it is essential that all such equipment operators don protective clothing and gear to reduce the chance of injury. 

If you find yourself regularly needing to clear large amounts of brush or you need to clear brush professionally as a service, investing in a brush cutter attachment may be a wise investment. If you’re only cutting such amounts of brush seasonally or annually, renting said attachments or equipment may make more sense.

The second easiest way to clear brush would be with brush cutter attachments for riding lawnmowers followed by walk-behind brush cutters—also known as brush mowers. The third easiest means would be with hand-held mechanized tools, such as standard chainsaws and weed trimmers that are outfitted with the appropriate hard forestry blades.

“Is a machete good for clearing brush?”

The fourth easiest way to clear brush is with manual hand tools—such as machetes, saws, axes, hatchets, and pruning shears. As far as hand tools are concerned, machetes are especially good for clearing brush due to having curved blades that allow them to easily pass through thicker vegetation without getting stuck.

Your Brush Clearing Plan

Before you begin clearing every piece of brush you can see, it is important to have a plan. This plan typically has two parts:

  1. What Brush to Clear
  2. How to Dispose of Cleared Brush

What Brush to Clear

You probably won’t want to clear every medium-sized bush or small tree on a particular piece of property. To preserve a natural look to an outdoor space and save resources, consider creating a hand-drawn map to carefully choose how much brush to clear and from what areas. This doesn’t have to be a detailed schematic of the property—any hand-drawn layout will do.

Knowing how much brush to clear and from where will help you plan how much time to allot to the task, how much help you may need, what tools you should get, and our next point: how you will dispose of what brush you cut down.

How to Dispose of Cleared Brush

To keep an outdoor space tidy, you will need to have a plan for what to do with any brush you cut down. Not only will you need to choose a pathway for debris but also how you will physically collect it.

“How do you get rid of a large brush pile?”

If you have a large amount of brush, you may need the help of a backhoe, skid steer loader, or truck. Once collected, you have several more options for removal. You can choose anything from an appropriate yard waste dumpster for permanent removal to an offsite facility, a wood chipper with a trailer to reduce the debris to wood chips, or plans to burn brush debris in a safe manner. You may also choose to let a brush pile decompose on its own, though this can be a long process and leaves you with an unsightly brush pile. Brush piles can also become habitats for snakes, rabbits, rodents, and certain birds.

“What time of year is best to clear brush?”

Winter is the preferred time to clear brush due to the bare nature of vegetation. Without leaves to deal with, clearing smaller branches and plants is much easier in the colder months. Also, there is less of a chance of disturbing healthy soil if the ground is hardened due to frost.

“How do you clear brush so it doesn't grow back?”

Though it is nearly impossible to guarantee that brush vegetation will never return, there are a few methods that can help limit the amount of maintenance required to manage brush growth, including:

  • The use of landscape fabric over a space
  • Herbicidal treatments to the soil, though you may want to consider more natural weed management solutions
  • An exhaustive brush and stump removal process—including removing the root systems of all vegetation from the soil on a regular basis

To reduce your chances of woody weed invader species from returning to your property, the University of California has created a step-by-step guide to weed management.
brush clearing working

“Where can I find brush cutter attachments for sale or rent?”

For periodic brush clearing jobs, it likely makes the most amount of sense to rent brush mowers from your local hardware or heavy equipment supplier.

However, if you’re looking to make brush cutting a service to offer clients or you’re needing to regularly clear brush for other reasons, having your own brush cutter attachments for heavy equipment may be a wise tool investment. Fortunately, My Little Salesman, your heavy equipment marketplace, has been connecting such equipment buyers and sellers since 1958. Search through listings to find the right brush cutter attachments for sale from a seller near you.

Find Brush Cutter Attachments for Sale Today

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About Ken Lane
Ken’s affinity for the heavy equipment industry was fostered as a curious youngster—becoming happily lost on his grandfather’s tractor sales and service lot (his favorite color is still Allis-Chalmers Orange). Since then, he’s perfected the art of turning black coffee into helpful buyer resources and marketing materials for My Little Salesman.
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