Land Clearing in Cedar Rapids: What is it & When Do You Need it?

Kim J. Clark

Do you have a project you’ve been wanting to complete- perhaps a new building or garage- but can’t because there’s no clear space around you to build something? Maybe you’d like to start a garden in this spot that’d be just perfect if there weren’t so many trees and stumps. 

If this sounds like you, you may need land clearing and Cedar Rapids tree removal services. A land clearing and tree removal company can help you take full advantage of the land on your property and clear the land in an environmentally friendly way. For further information on land clearing, visit us at

What is Land Clearing?

The National Resources Conservation Service defines land clearing as “removing trees, stumps, and other vegetation from wooded areas.” People whose property includes large amounts of vegetation may benefit from Cedar Rapids tree removal services, along with brush and other plants. Before you call someone for these services, however, make sure that the land you are calling about does not lie within a protected area. 

What Areas Are Protected?

Restrictions are placed on land-clearing activity in order to protect local flora and fauna, especially in ecologically fragile areas. Wetlands, for example, are often protected and not permitted to be cleared. 

Before you hire Cedar Rapids tree removal services to clear your land and make room for other uses, check local laws or call the nearest natural resources department to see if you need any kind of permit to do so.

Benefits of Land Clearing

The existence of protected areas does not mean that land clearing is bad for the environment- in fact, it can be very beneficial. When dead or overgrown trees and vegetation are taken out, it allows more sunlight and rain water to get to plants which may have struggled for it before. The way that dirt and mulch get turned over during the process of land clearing often provides necessary nutrients to the soil, which then benefits the plants that grow there in the future.

Types of Land Clearing

There are a few different ways to clear land, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. We will review four of the most popular ways to clear land in Iowa.

Method 1: Grubbing & Dozing

Grubbing & dozing is an aggressive way to clear land quickly. Dozing means using a bulldozer to clear large amounts of vegetation out of the way, while grubbing is the removal of roots using chainsaws and loppers. Grubbing and dozing can be especially useful for large or extremely overgrown areas. 

Method 2: Manual Clearing

Manual clearing, also known as hand clearing, is for smaller bits of vegetation that are closer to the ground. Cedar Rapids tree removal services will still be necessary for trees and stumps, but the land clearing service will most likely end up doing at least some of the clearing manually when it comes down to the bushes and ferns. 

Method 3: Mulching

Mulching can be thought of as a type of recycling. The land clearer will likely drive a mulcher over the forest floor of the land they are clearing. The mulcher will “eat” any vegetation that is laying on the ground, then spit it back out as mulch. This method does require some prep work from the land clearing team, but the mulch left behind helps to improve soil quality and reduce erosion. 

Method 4: Burning

Forest fires can have a negative impact on the environment and on human life when they burn out of control. However, controlled burns such as the ones used for land clearing can be very beneficial to the ecosystem. The land clearing company will carefully burn a specific area, which clears brush from the land.

Steps in Land Clearing

There are a few important steps for Cedar Rapids tree removal services to follow when they are clearing land. Ask the company you hire to walk you through each step so that you know exactly what is happening on your property.

Step 1: Prepare to Clear the Land

Preparing for land clearing involves both preparation of the land itself and legal preparation. You may need to secure permits before you can go ahead with the land clearing process. Once those permits are obtained, it’s time to clear out any concrete foundations, structures, and large trees.

Step 2: Pick a Land Clearing Method

The company you hire will need to carefully look at the land to be cleared in order to determine the best method and approach. They may even decide on a combination of different types, such as grubbing and dozing to remove larger objects and then a controlled burn to remove brush.

Step 3: Cleanup

After the land has been cleared, there’s still work to do. Depending on the method used, there may be mulch to spread out evenly, ashes to clean up, or pieces of vegetation to remove. Once the land is clear and even, it is ready to be used.

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