5 Tools For Clearing Overgrown Land

Clearing overgrown land can be a daunting task. Choose the right tool for the job and it can be a breeze! Here are 5 of my favorites that make clearing overgrown land satisfying and fun!

Reader Contribution by Grace Campbell
article image
by Flickr/Paul Williams

Whether you’re expanding your lawn, caring for overgrown fields and meadows, or blazing new trails through woodlands, clearing overgrown land can be a daunting task. What was once clean, open land can quickly become a tangled mess covered with brush, woody saplings, and tough weeds. But where to start? How to even begin to attack the mess and turn it into the clear space that you want? Start with the right tools. These are 5 of our favorites here at DR – tools that are easy to use, get the job done like a champ, and are even fun to use.

man pushing an orange mower across thick brush

The big, bad brush mower

For clearing most large areas overgrown land, a brush mower is your best bet. Choose a walk-behind (also known as ‘self-propelled’) model for walkable areas, and a tow-behind model (often called a ‘brush hog’) for really large fields and meadows. These machines are real beasts in the field, chopping through saplings 3″ thick and not even pausing at tough weeds and grasses. Most people who use a brush mower for the first time are shocked at how powerful they are and how much fun they are to use. It’s a lot of power – all in your hands and ready to rock!

Uproot saplings with a Brush Grubber

a yellow and black brush grubber clamped on to a small wooden trunk

Say you want to remove just one sapling here and there, or a small section of brush. You probably don’t need a whole brush mower, but a lawn mower or chainsaw won’t quite do the trick. The Brush Grubber is a set of metal jaws with spikes that dig into a small tree or stump. A chain is attached to the other end, and you use your truck, ATV, or tractor to pull out that unwanted tree by its roots. The harder you pull, the harder the jaws grip the tree. Available in many different sizes, the Brush Grubber is the best way to take care of one sapling at a time – gone forever because there is no root left to regrow.

Beef up your string trimmer

String trimmers, either the walk-behind type or the handheld type, are great for cleaning up fence lines and clearing thin weeds and grasses. For heavier-duty brush clearing, though, there are ways to turn your string trimmer into an even more powerful machine. Add the DuraBlades kit to your DR Trimmer/Mower to turn it into a brush cutter that can take down woody brush up to 3/8″ thick. Or, add the Beaver Blade attachment to either your DR Trimmer/Mower or to a handheld string trimmer, turning it into a sapling- and brush-cutting dynamo. The Beaver Blade slices easily through saplings as thick as 3″. A string trimmer is much more than just a light weed trimmer when you add these power-packed accessories!

orange and black blade tool cutting a tree

Level stumps with a stump grinder

If you have removed larger trees in your quest to clear overgrown land, you have probably been left with some ugly and annoying stumps. And if your goal is perfectly clear land, these are a major problem. The quickest, easiest way to get rid of them is to grind them away with a stump grinder. There are other methods, sure, but using a stump grinder – either rented for a weekend or purchased for a lifetime of use – is by far the fastest and easiest. Chemical solutions can take months or even years to completely dissolve the stump, and digging them out by hand is a backbreaking task.

And the most fun of them all – the DR TreeChopper!

If you have large expanses of small invasive trees such as mesquite, buckthorn, olive, sagebrush, and bamboo, there is a much easier way to get rid of them than cutting them one-by-one with a chainsaw. The DR TreeChopper mounts to the front of your ATV and works like a pipe cutter for trees up to 4″ thick. You simply drive into each tree and the blades shear the tree off at ground level – no stump to trip over, and no more invasive trees. Owners have reported being able to clear acres and acres of land in a single weekend. Plus, it’s a pretty exciting way to get the job done!

Grace Campbell is a copywriter for DR Power Equipment. She is based in rural Vermont. Read all of Grace’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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