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Old 10-20-2018, 01:55 PM   #1
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Clearing a wild back yard


Hi all,

I'm looking to clear my back yard overgrown with saplings, vines, etc. and replace with something more appropriate for using the space. I'm sure it would be ideal to clear it all out then scrape the top layer of soil off with heavy equipment and sow grass. But not only is that expensive, the land is steep and uneven and that would be difficult anyway.

I'm open to ideas. The best I've found so far is to cut everything down and then dig it out with pickaxe and shovel and fill in the holes, then sow grass. Grass would be great. But it's shaded almost constantly from large trees. So, it doesn't have to be grass. But I do want to be able to walk around.


Thanks!
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:54 PM   #2
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Re: Clearing a wild back yard


I would tackle that with a brush cutter attachment on my string trimmer cleaning up the mess as go.


Spray anything that dares to stick its head back out of the ground to kill it.


Evaluate, selectively thin saplings and brush, treat the stumps with a stump killer or use that big tree, a log chain and a come-a-long to pull them out.
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Old 10-20-2018, 03:31 PM   #3
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Re: Clearing a wild back yard


Soil erosion is always a concern on steep terrain. Consider a plan to do this in narrow sections across the slope beginning at the lower and progressing up the slope. This will take some time and shade tolerant grass may also need to be a consideration. If you have a county extension service they are often a great help.
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Old 10-20-2018, 04:41 PM   #4
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Re: Clearing a wild back yard


Hire some day workers. They will clear the land in a few days. Then you can decide what to do with it.
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:44 PM   #5
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Re: Clearing a wild back yard


I don't know where you are But N. California rents herds of goats to clear underbrush. It's a real business. They come with fencing & graze for several days.

Have goats will travel & Rent a Goat pop up many options.
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Old 10-20-2018, 06:27 PM   #6
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Re: Clearing a wild back yard


Quote:
I'm sure it would be ideal to clear it all out then scrape the top layer of soil off with heavy equipment and sow grass.
Ayuh,..... Ya don't wanta remove any of the soils, just the junk now livin' in the soils,....

With heavy equipment, the dirt stuck to the junk ya remove is collateral damage to get the job done,.....

Colby's idea is probably how I'd go 'bout it,....
My weedwacker with a brush blade is an awesome tool,....
What it won't take down, I've got chainsaws that will,.....

To regreen the ground as yer carryin' out this task, scatter white clover seed on any exposed dirt,.....
It'll turn the ground Green, in most lightin' conditions, 'n most climates,.....
A side bonus is, it fixes nitrogen into the soil,.....
'n it grows 'bout knee high, ain't even gotta mow it if ya don'y wanta,.....
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Old 10-21-2018, 04:50 AM   #7
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Re: Clearing a wild back yard


Whenever feasible it's better to dig around a tree/sapling's trunk and then either hook a chain to pull it down or push it over. That has the advantage of using the tree's weight to help bring it down and the roots [or some of them] up.
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:53 AM   #8
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Re: Clearing a wild back yard


Consider a native landscape for your yard. I'm not a fan of just tearing stuff out and growing grass. As somebody mentioned above, it appears to be sloped. It's not as if you will be playing ball or anything on a sloped yard. Maybe do some paths and plant some shade tolerant native plants.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:40 AM   #9
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Re: Clearing a wild back yard


What is your location....how large an area do you want to improve ? Offhand, either you or some helpers could create a 3 foot wide path, down to soil level and pull, cut or dig offending trees, roots and shrubs......so you can "just walk around." Leave most everything else alone. You can add large pavers for steps...or use 3 foot pieces of PT 4x6 (or RR ties) and decomposed granite to make larger steps or landings.
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:52 AM   #10
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Re: Clearing a wild back yard


I'd cut in some walking paths and leave it as is. Looks like a beautiful area.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:00 AM   #11
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Re: Clearing a wild back yard


Quote:
Originally Posted by ianswatson View Post
Hi all,

I'm looking to clear my back yard overgrown with saplings, vines, etc. and replace with something more appropriate for using the space. I'm sure it would be ideal to clear it all out then scrape the top layer of soil off with heavy equipment and sow grass. But not only is that expensive, the land is steep and uneven and that would be difficult anyway.

I'm open to ideas. The best I've found so far is to cut everything down and then dig it out with pickaxe and shovel and fill in the holes, then sow grass. Grass would be great. But it's shaded almost constantly from large trees. So, it doesn't have to be grass. But I do want to be able to walk around.


Thanks!
Be careful what you do. Where is your place located? That's critical, because how much rain or other precipitation you get will make a difference. It will also help guide what, if anything, to plant in place of what you're taking out. Looks like Northeast Ohio, where I'm originally from, but let us know . . . .
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:54 PM   #12
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Re: Clearing a wild back yard


It looks nice actually, I agree with the walking paths idea, maybe a small picnic table in a small clearing. treated wood borders with fine gravel between, or pavers if you are more ambitious. Watch for poison ivy. Leave bigger trees and ground-cover plants, thin out the saplings. Work in some blooming perennials for color.
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