How to Clear Brush


Clearing brush is a daunting task for the landscaper. Thorns, poisonous vines and insects abound in brush piles and ground cover. The low-growing shrubs also act as a home to rodents. Formulate a strategy to clear the brush safely and with less injury by dividing the project into smaller jobs. Tackle each job as time and weather permit to keep from being overwhelmed.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Large trash can
  • Landscape tape
  • Rake
  • Garden loppers
  • Pruning shears
  • Twine
  • Hand saw
  • Shovel
  • Lawn and leaf bags
  • Chainsaw
  • Divide the area into sections and clear one section at a time. Locate unwanted sections of fencing or ground markers and remove them. Remove large debris, such as trash and fallen tree limbs, from the area.

  • Rake areas under trees and around shrubs. Dispose of the debris in the trash. Survey the area you are working in and determine which shrubs and trees stay and which need removed. Mark the brush that needs removed with landscape tape.

  • Prune vines, immature shrubs and small trees with garden loppers or pruning shears. Bundle the cuttings and secure them with twine. Remove the bundles from the area to keep the work space free from clutter.

  • Cut unwanted small trees and shrubs with the hand saw as close to the soil line as possible. Remove the brush from the area. Dig the root ball out of the soil so the plant does not grow back. Bag the root ball in a lawn and leaf bag and dispose of properly.

  • Remove larger trees and shrubs with a chainsaw if you are experienced with using the tool. If you are uncomfortable with using a chainsaw, consider hiring someone for this part of the job. Once the area is clear of brush, move to the next section.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the large trash can to store your tools as you work. A plastic can slides easily over the ground and keeps your tools close when you switch from pruning shears to loppers or shovel.
  • Wear long sleeve shirts and pants when clearing brush to keep thorns, insects and poisonous plants from contacting your skin. Wash your hands when you take breaks to remove any oils from poison ivy or other plants to minimize an allergic reaction.


  • Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
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