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Land Clearing Costs

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Old 10-25-2020, 11:10 PM   #1
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Default Land Clearing Costs

I have .4 acres in PA that I am planning to build a 30 ft yurt on.

It is mostly wooded. I got my first quote for land clearing - a good 10 trees need to come down - and I am experiencing sticker shock. Is $9,500 high for the following line items?
  • - Remove all of the trees and stumps that the customer requested (between 10-15)
  • - Haul the brush and stumps and logs that the customer doesn’t want
  • - Build a landbridge and diveway access point

I don't even know what #3 is (landbridge, etc)?

I plan to get at least 2 more quotes.

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Old 10-25-2020, 11:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Land Clearing Costs

Three quotes is always going to be a good idea. In addition, ask for references.

Landbridge probably refers to the drainage culvert that is placed at the start of your driveway, so that the runoff ditch at the edge of the road does not get blocked and wash out/onto the road, damage the road, ditch, your land, the neighbors land etc. I know for a fact that neighbors get very irate and WILL take you to court if their property is affected by you not having a proper culvert and drainage. Seen it happen more than once. If you think 10K is expensive, see what a suit costs.

Tree removal and building that drainage culvert is a ton of labor. The last contractor I asked about tree removal costs was 5K and that was a few years ago. That did not include building any 'landbridge'. It covered dropping dozens of lodgepole pine trees and hauling them off.

Last edited by Bob Rowlands; 10-25-2020 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Land Clearing Costs

I should start my own channel. 'Ask Bob' I know more than anyone, and have a masters degree... in BS. lol
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Land Clearing Costs

Thanks Bob helpful comparison.

The tree guys saw a landbridge on my neighbors property and that prompted the question - did I want them to do the same on my property.

Is the landbridge something I can address later and forgo now? I am building on the smallest possible budget using just my own salary so reducing costs is key.


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Originally Posted by Bob Rowlands View Post
Three quotes is always going to be a good idea. In addition, ask for references.

Landbridge probably refers to the drainage culvert that is placed at the start of your driveway, so that the runoff ditch at the edge of the road does not get blocked and wash out/onto the road, damage the road, ditch, your land, the neighbors land etc. I know for a fact that neighbors get very irate and WILL take you to court if their property is affected by you not having a proper culvert and drainage. Seen it happen more than once. If you think 10K is expensive, see what a suit costs.

Tree removal and building that drainage culvert is a ton of labor. The last contractor I asked about tree removal costs was 5K and that was a few years ago. That did not include building any 'landbridge'. It covered dropping dozens of lodgepole pine trees and hauling them off.
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Old 10-26-2020, 05:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Land Clearing Costs

That is high, very high.

I had my spot logged off and the logger built the land bridge. We split the price he got on the logs and he charged my like $350 to do the bridge.

Definitely shop around.
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Old 10-26-2020, 07:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Land Clearing Costs

Thanks Jafo.

How many trees went down?

The logger did say that most of trees (White Ash I suspect) were dead except for a few.

In the process of getting 2 more quotes for sure.


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Originally Posted by Jafo View Post
That is high, very high.

I had my spot logged off and the logger built the land bridge. We split the price he got on the logs and he charged my like $350 to do the bridge.

Definitely shop around.
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: Land Clearing Costs

Oh I do not remember, much more than 10 though.

If the trees are dead, then they are useless to anyone and many times it ups the cost because they are more dangerous to take down.
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: Land Clearing Costs

Okay so that is giving me some perspective.

I told the logger that I wanted to mill any usable trees for interior framing lumber. So that impacts the price since he would not be selling it. It might be more cost effective to simply buy the lumber then....


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Originally Posted by Jafo View Post
Oh I do not remember, much more than 10 though.

If the trees are dead, then they are useless to anyone and many times it ups the cost because they are more dangerous to take down.
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Land Clearing Costs

That is definitely possible. Ask him what the cost would be if he took the logs.

You might also want to consider other ways to lower the price:
  • Agree to dispose of the limbs/tops yourself, but only if you are allowed to burn them. You might want to check locally to be sure. If you can't burn them, see what it would cost to rent a chipper for the weekend. Probably not that much.
  • Do you really need all the stumps removed? That is a bear of a job. Likely you only need them removed from the exact spot where the yurt will go. The rest you can remove over time yourself or by paying someone to grind them later on when you have more cash.
With the price of lumber right now, you might find you are getting a good deal on the logs. That is different area by area.

Last edited by Jafo; 10-27-2020 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: Land Clearing Costs

I have worked on dozens of larger homes that had many lodgepole pine trees cleared from the building footprint, and also 30' around the home for fire mitigation codes. The cheapest route is to dig a large trench and bury the trees.
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