Clearing 154 acres of woods in west Tennessee

   / Clearing 154 acres of woods in west Tennessee #101  
My wife and I just bought right at 300 acres in West Tennessee. Half is cleared with row crops planted and the other half is wooded areas.

I’d like to clear the remaining 150 acres of woods, including stumps and roots to eventually plant on it. What is the best way to go about this? I’ve runs tons of tractors and equipment before but I’ve never cleared woods/timber.

Thank you for taking the time to read and offer advice.
Rent yourself a D8 dozer and it will make short work of 150 acres.
 
   / Clearing 154 acres of woods in west Tennessee #102  
What I think (wait, are you asking my opinion? lol) is that we have plenty of cleared farmland already in this country, and what we need, is more forest and natural habitat, not less. There are thousands of acres of fallow farmland just around my own county here in Michigan. I'm sure there are in TN also.
Not to mention that 87% of our farmland is used for poor-rotation monocrops just to feed livestock. No, I'm not anything close to a vegetarian, but our food system is certainly pretty F%^&d up.

I stated clearly in my first reply that it was not my place to judge the ethical implications of carrying out this sort of idea, but as many others have astutely pointed out, it will also probably be terribly expensive and difficult, and perhaps not even result in achieving the stated goals.


Nah, I didnt ask for your opinion and neither did the OP. You just decided you needed to interject your opinion about what he wants to do with his property. What you did is kind of like someone coming on these forums and asking for tractor buying advice only to have you tell them don't get one because it polutes the environment.

Why arent you buying up that farmland around your area and planting trees on it then? The OP went out and bought 300 acres no doubt a massive committment. How many acres do you have with trees on it?

Im not saying we dont have problems with food chain etc.

There is nothing astute about pointing out land clearing is expensive, or that farming is hard work. Farming is not something most do to become millionaires. Its a good, hard living if you are lucky.
 
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   / Clearing 154 acres of woods in west Tennessee #103  
Look at the Angry Rooster excavator attachment for excavators. They easily tear out stumps and require less power from the machine to do it. Videos are on YouTube.
 
   / Clearing 154 acres of woods in west Tennessee #104  
Sorry if this sounds rude, but are you serious? You want to destroy 150 acres of natural wooded area? If you need 300 acres of row crops, why didn't you just buy 300 acres of existing farmland? 150 acres is already a huge farm to manage. I don't get to decide whether this is the right and moral thing for you to do, but you asked for opinions, so mine is: please don't do it.
i couldn't agree more. we end up clearing everything, and this is wildlife habitat. ultimately this is your decision of course, but i implore you to look at not clearing it, if just for the sake of clearing it. highest regards.
 
   / Clearing 154 acres of woods in west Tennessee #105  
My wife and I just bought right at 300 acres in West Tennessee. Half is cleared with row crops planted and the other half is wooded areas.

I’d like to clear the remaining 150 acres of woods, including stumps and roots to eventually plant on it. What is the best way to go about this? I’ve runs tons of tractors and equipment before but I’ve never cleared woods/timber.

Thank you for taking the time to read and offer advice.
It looks like this thread has gotten popular and thus turned into a flame war, so my reply probably won't matter. But, here goes....

First, think hard about that 150 acres of woods and get some testing done on the soil. Here in the ozarks, most of the decent crop land is already clear and the woods are there because the old farmers knew there is basically no soil - just rocks. People clear woods to try and make pasture land and end up with nothing growing and the rocks washing down the hollows.

I've seen some of the posts about "don't clear the woods" for environmental reasons. I'm kind of in that camp (with 300 acres of woods) and really love the woods, but it's your property and you do with it what you want. But do check out what you are going to have once the trees are cleared away - you may very well end up with a wasteland that won't grow anything.
 
   / Clearing 154 acres of woods in west Tennessee #106  
A few years ago I bought adjoining property that the previous owner let a neighbor have beef cows on. My insurance agent said they would drop my insurance...liability reasons. Plus I planned on horses for us. So that neighbor moved his cows off then sold timber for pasture.
I was bush hogging one day, the timber guy climbed over the fence asking if I wanted to sell timber on my land. He said he brings me the sales ticket and we divide it 50/50.
I thought how would I know how fair that is, he could have two tickets made. Besides I'd rather have my trees. Now this cow neighbor sold his cows and his place is a mess. No trees, no cows.
No one here is being rude...I've asked for advice and "don't do that" gets me thinking.
It always pays to think things out. Now me...if I bought 300 acres, half woods that would be a dream having house in the wooded middle, a long driveway & privacy.
I could have lots of cows on the 150...or part and grow hay on the rest.
I've learned it's so much easier looking at different options instead of making a bad choice. My neighbor is 76, trees are gone and he made a bad choice.
 
   / Clearing 154 acres of woods in west Tennessee #107  
I agree on multiple fronts here that you may consider thinning rather than clearing especially on any slopes. A service forester would be my first call to mark, inventory, and broker the timber or pulp wood. From there a dozer with a root rake the proper size along with an excavator properly sized with a thumb should adequately do the job. Keep in mind the first few years converting forest to farmland comes at additional work and costs and may not be worth the profit of the crops harvested. You might make more money leasing it for hunting than crops. Just my two cents,
 
   / Clearing 154 acres of woods in west Tennessee #108  
My wife and I just bought right at 300 acres in West Tennessee. Half is cleared with row crops planted and the other half is wooded areas.

I’d like to clear the remaining 150 acres of woods, including stumps and roots to eventually plant on it. What is the best way to go about this? I’ve runs tons of tractors and equipment before but I’ve never cleared woods/timber.

Thank you for taking the time to read and offer advice.
Only 103 Acres here.
I started with contacting someone to pay for marketable timber. Deal was 60/40 giving me the 60%.
I used those funds to rent a 650 Dozer to knock down trees I didn't want. With the dozer I could also pop the stumps out like wine corks with the blade (right side corner tip).
Next I rented a large Excavator to pick up all the trees in one pile to sell firewood, and stumps in another pile for burning.
I put up a post that was free YOU CUT firewood and I got to keep half of the cut firewood.
I also used the excavator to dig a great pond.
It took me about a month give or take, (working full time) but the initial timber sales more than paid for the rentals.
Final step was using my tractor with a rock rake and 6 way blade to smooth it all out pretty.
I suggest you plant Clover or something in order to stop weeds from growing back which happens *very* quickly.
Then field mow twice a month to keep it weed and tree free.
This was 20+ years ago and since then I've fenced it all, planted an fruit and nut orchard, a three acre vegetable garden (all goes to local food banks and zoo's, and planted ornamental trees and perennial shrubs.
I also planted 20 apple trees and raspberries at the very back for the bears, deer, whatever else gets hungry.
The wildlife love it here and have never attacked *any* of my animals!
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I hope any of these tips help you and CONGRATULATIONS on your new property! 🤠
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   / Clearing 154 acres of woods in west Tennessee #109  
That’s a lot of acreage, a lumber company might bring in a buncher and clear it for free. I think it’s called a fell buncher-the excavator with the circular saw on the arm. That
 
   / Clearing 154 acres of woods in west Tennessee #110  
My farm is 2/3 open, the rest in woods. I bought a track loader, Dresser 175C with a 4in1 bucket. Some people call it a clam bucket. It's about the same size as a 977 Cat for about half the price. I havn't found the tree I can't get down yet. A loader has much more leverage pushing than a dozer. The teeth on the bucket does a pretty good job as a root rake. I use a spring tooth chisel plow with all the teeth on the back row to rake limbs a brush with a tractor to get the brush next to the brush pile. The track loader will stack brush much higher than a dozer and this loader will pickup and carry trees that will surprise you the size it can handle. I'm retired and do it yourself type SOB. My nickles worth of free advice.
 
 
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