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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Tree clearing - what does it cost ?

    I have a medium size Farm tractor. ( not a dozier)

    I have quite a few cedar trees that I would like to have cleared from 50 acres of land. Also many small mesquites.

    What can I expect in cost/practice for hiring someone to clear cedar trees ?
    I want stumps and all to be removed and discarded or pushed in a pile.

    I have known of cedar tree cutters coming onto a track to remove cedars for making fence posts. Would I have to pay for that ?

  2. #2
    Silver Member Megado's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Posts
    108
    Location
    Houston, TX & Burton, TX
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40A

    Default Re: Tree clearing - what does it cost ?

    I paid a dozer operator $70/hr last summer to clear approx 2 acres of cedars. He took out everything including the stumps and pushed it all into a pile and then went back and smoothed out what had been torn up. He did separate out the larger trees which I "donated" to a neighbor who had them hauled off to a local mill to create 1x's. Took him about 2 days to finish it all. He didn't charge me a "trip charge" since he was going to be doing alot of work about a mile away once he finished my small job.

    I have no idea what the price tag would be these days, but I'm pretty certain it's gone up due to the price of diesel alone.

    Jim H.

  3. #3
    Super Member
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    Sep 2000
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    6,595

    Default Re: Tree clearing - what does it cost ?

    Last I saw the price is still about $1000 an acre to clear. You probably will have to pay more to have the ground finished smooth. Larger tracts of land will allow the use of larger equipment. While it is more per hour, it is much more productive in each hour. You may expect a fuel sur-charge as it hits $4

    Wood prices are down down down down down down down down so low an ameoba would need a ladder to look up. If you have a full semi load waiting, you might get something from it.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    May 2003
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    15,769
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Tractor
    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Tree clearing - what does it cost ?

    When you say that you have a medium sized farm tractor, how big is it? Cedars are about the easiest tree there is to take out. Shallow roots and soft wood make the just about pop out without much effort at all compared to the hardwoods or certain types of pines.

    For select harvesting, whis means just taking out cedars, I use my backhoe. I cut the roots on either side with a small, shallow trench, then either push it over with the side force of the boom, or change positions and push it over that way. I can do allot of trees in a day. Getting them on the ground is the easy part.

    What are you going to do with them? If you are just burning them, then draging them to a burn pile is easy enough. Just wrap the trunk with a chain and pull it over to the burn pile. One of the added bonuses to draging trees is how nice of a job they do smoothing out your land. For roads, I love to drag them over the same route. For pasture and large areas, I go a different route each time.

    When I get the cedar to my burn pile, I cut the limbs off and then the trunk into 8ft 6in lengths. These come in handy for all sorts of things. Fence posts, gazebo's, porches and when cut in half, they are awesome shelves!!!

    If you hire a dozer, be sure it's big enough to actualy be productive. I know you can get a tree out with a small dozer, but teh amount of time it takes is silly compared to a bigger dozer. My dozer is 168 hp and can push over just about any cedar in one try. Some of the bigger ones might take a few pushes from differen tangles, but it's pretty quick.

    The dozer tears up the ground, so I use my backhoe most of the time. One advantage to the dozer is it can push 20 or more trees to the burn pile at one time. If it's all stuff I want to burn, then that's the way to go.

    A medium trackhoe would take them out better then a backho, but don't do so well at moving them to the burn pile if it's any distance away. Something over 100 hp should be able to do it pretty easily. More HP would mean faster removal and better productivity.

    Eddie

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Treemonkey1000's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    1,894
    Location
    Renton, Washington
    Tractor
    Kubota L3750

    Default Re: Tree clearing - what does it cost ?

    Depending on what area you are in might determine what you have to pay. I cleared some tree's for a guy which made enough for 2 log trucks. Now these were big doug firs and cedars. He got about $2000 per truck for his tree's. If you are in an area with logging outfits you can see if they will cut the tree's and pull the stumps for you. Around here in Seattle tree thieves will take cedars and maples. You need a permit to cut cedars in certain towns around here because of theft. If you call in loggers get a few bids and tell them that is what you are doing. It may help the cost. If the trees are good enough quality then it shouldn't cost you anything. If they aren't big enough or high quality then you can still offset your cost by selling the timber if you don't keep it. Like one guy said root balls might come out easy. Especially here in the spring when the ground is wet. I have seen some 80' to 100+ feet cedars though that are pretty old. They are standing because they have a good root structure.
    Jim

  6. #6
    Silver Member thunderworks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    169
    Location
    Kansas
    Tractor
    L5030, Ford 4610

    Default Re: Tree clearing - what does it cost ?

    I cleared approximately 6 acres of hedge, locust and cedar trees. Most of the hedge trees were 4 to 6" caliper trees. I hired a guy who had a Bobcat with a hydraulic driven 24" diameter rock saw. He made the saw itself. The saw was on the end of an eight foot, articulating arm and it was awesome. He limbed the trees, I followed with my tractor with a Bodozer grapple moving the brush tops to a burn pile, then he returned to cut the trees an inch or so below ground level. It was incredibly efficient. His total time (at $65 per hour) was around 15 or 16 hours (can't remember exactly) He was much faster making a mess than I was cleaning up the brush tops so he put a grapple on his machine and helped with that some of the time. I'm still cutting the downed trees for firewood, fence posts etc. so the project is not complete. My total out of pocket expense for getting 6 acres of trees on the ground was around $1000. Counting my own diesel fuel, and paying a high school kid to help finish the cleanup, I'll probably have another $500 total in the project.
    Grand L5030, Ford 4610, BoDozer grapple

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tree clearing - what does it cost ?

    Quote Originally Posted by G McCall
    I have a medium size Farm tractor. ( not a dozier)

    I have quite a few cedar trees that I would like to have cleared from 50 acres of land. Also many small mesquites.

    What can I expect in cost/practice for hiring someone to clear cedar trees ?
    I want stumps and all to be removed and discarded or pushed in a pile.

    I have known of cedar tree cutters coming onto a track to remove cedars for making fence posts. Would I have to pay for that ?
    I do this for a living and I cant do this for $1000 a acre as some has stated. I could take the mulching machine and do a acre, if it was no larger than 4", but that leaves the stump, just under ground. I dont know what size the trees are, but I would think you need at least a Cat D5 dozer. A lot of options, if you were in my area (NC) use excavator and dozer, working together. clear different sections (about 1/2acre) and stock pile the debris. Separate the larger trees, put them to the side (for sale, freebe, reuse, etc) dig a hole and put debris in it and take the dirt (if its a good dirt)and spread it around, building up the land, or stock pile it and sell it. If this is not an option, burn the debris or have it turned to mulch. In our area, the rate is around $2500 up an acre and it depends on how many trees is on the lot.
    Use at least a 200 series excavator (Cat 320, Komastu PC200, etc) and D5 dozer. anything smaller, is just too slow, an less productive and you need power/speed to clear this many acres

  8. #8
    Silver Member DrRick's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
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    197
    Location
    san angelo, texas
    Tractor
    dk55, jd 450,case 811b,kioti mechron,farmal cub & super c

    Default Re: Tree clearing - what does it cost ?

    In texas the NRCS estimates that the cost of cutting cedar and not stacking is about 300 per acre. I have been using my JD 450c dozer to clear, gather and push into piles the cedars on my ranch. I can clear and stack about half an acre per hour. I have a large track hoe that I use in areas of BIG cedars. I also use a backhoe for some, but the dozer is the fastest by far. The cedars seem to come out best after a little rain. Mesquite is a different story, The ball on the root about 6 inches under the ground MUST be dug up or the mesquite wil regrow with a vengence. I root grubber on a trackhoe or backhoe is the best on these . One can also spray the trees at the time of uprooting withsome REMEDY/RECLAIM mix herbicide.
    rick

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Tree clearing - what does it cost ?

    Isn't there a market to sell the cedars ?

    My land is near Lake Whitney, Texas and I was thinking someone would purchase the cedars for fence posts. The cedar trees that I have to cut range from 2 to 6 -8 inches at the most and may be 10-15 feet tall.

    Any cost saving means helps.

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    Jul 2006
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    3,015
    Location
    midwest
    Tractor
    JD 4520, Toolcat 5610, Bobcat S300, Case-IH 125 Pro, Case-IH 245, IH 1086, IH 806

    Default Re: Tree clearing - what does it cost ?

    What do you plan to do with the land? Farm it, pasture, clear it for esthetics etc. How big are the trunks in diameter? Is it a forest of cedars or just trees scattered around?

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