To Mulch or Not to Mulch?

When speaking with a potential customer that is looking for land-clearing services, the first thing we do is ask a specific series of questions that allows us to understand the scope of work on the property and most importantly-are we the best option for the job. Most of the time that equates to is our forestry mulching service a cost-effective means to clearing your property. Forestry mulching is an efficient means to clear unwanted vegetation, trees, and debris. The process involves using a specialized machine to grind the vegetation and trees into small pieces, which is left on site as natural mulch. While forestry mulching can be a great solution for some land clearing projects, it’s not always the best option. In this blog post, we’ll explore when and when not to hire a forestry-mulching company.

When to Hire a Forestry-Mulching Company

Large land clearing projects:

Forestry mulching is an efficient and cost-effective method for land tracts.

Forestry Mulcher in Action

The average size residential property, for ShadowCat Services, is 1.5 acres of moderate density. While we provide services for all sized jobs, mulching is most cost-efficient with a full-day of work, which we typically clear 1 to 1.5 acres of moderate growth (meaning areas that are thick with vegetation and some areas that have thin density of vegetation). The ability to clear a large area quickly and improve the soil quality with the left behind mulch gives our customers not only more bang for their wallet, but an environmental win because our clearing process will promote better soil and prevent erosion.

Conservation projects:

Using forestry mulching for small and large land tracts is an environmentally friendly way to clear land for conservation projects. The mulch left behind can help to restore natural habitats, improve soil quality, and prevent erosion. Because ShadowCat Services’ CAT289D is a wide-tracked machine (with 5 pounds per square inch of weight distribution versus a human, which is normally 16 psi) we are able to clear without damaging shallow/surface-roots of the trees you are keeping. Clearing brush and saplings from the area allows the mature trees to get the nutrition needed to stay healthy and stay/grow into a majestic tree for years to come. To learn more about the environmentally-friendly process of forestry mulching read our past Blog post titled, Forestry Mulching: Environmentally Friendly Land Clearing.

Disaster cleanup:

After a natural disaster, forestry mulching can be an effective way to assist in the clearing of downed trees and other debris quickly. This can help to prevent further damage and restore the affected area.

When You May Not Want to Hire a Forestry Mulching Company

Small land clearing projects:

For small land clearing projects, such as clearing a backyard or garden, forestry mulching may not be the most cost-effective option. A manual land-clearing crew or small-scale machinery may be more appropriate.

Preservation of existing trees:

Hiring a forestry-mulching company that has a wheeled-clearing machine may not be the best option. The machine can damage the roots of nearby trees, which can lead to their death. ShadowCat Services operates on a tracked-land-clearing machine that allows us to mulch without damaging or killing trees with shallow/surface roots.

Sensitive habitats:

ShadowCat loves nature and all the critters that make a wooded property home. Make sure to always inform the land-clearing company of any sensitive habitats (such as gofer turtles or cypress trees) within the area to be cleared. If the area contains rare or endangered plant or animal species, a more selective clearing method may be necessary. If this is the case on your property, make sure you check with your municipality’s environmental services before making any changes to the property. Sometimes the property is too dense for the owner to be aware of the specific vegetation or wildlife that lives there. ShadowCat is operated by a family of animal lovers, in these instances, we will take the utmost care to ensure that no animal or endangered plant is harmed while we are clearing.

Forestry Mulching in Sensitive Habitats

Wetlands or just wet land:

The vegetation and soil quality in a densely wooded area can be deceiving. It is important to know if the land is a designated wetland (a call to your municipality will answer this question) or if the ground holds water. While ShadowCat’s Compact Track Loader (CTL) mulching machine has an amazing weight distribution (allowing us to not damage surface roots) it is not ideal for wet properties, because once we are stuck in the muck, our tracks do not allow for the traction necessary to pull ourselves out. Traditionally, no clearing is allowed in a designated wetland. There is normally a delineation around any designated wetland that is unlawful to clear within. Normally the delineation is 25’ around land with an additional 25’ added if there is a pond or lake within the area. ShadowCat encourages all property owners with wetlands to call their governing agency before proceeding with any clearing.

ShadowCat’s forestry-mulching service can be a great solution for your land clearing projects. The ideal clearings involve open communication about the property and any concerns for the vegetation, conservation, and wildlife on in. It is important to consider the specific needs of your property’s project. Learn more about hiring a forestry-mulching company. If you still have questions about if forestry mulching is the right clearing method for your property then call us, ShadowCat Services at 407-312-9075.

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