Cleaning Up the Overgrowth of a Vacant Parcel: Before and After Photos

There was an interesting post in our Facebook Group this past week that I thought was worth highlighting here. You can see the original post here if you want to check it out (it actually is pretty fascinating, with input from others who have done a similar thing).

Here’s the gist of it: When you buy a property with overgrowth and weeds, simply mowing down and clearing out the overgrowth can be a significant visual transformation.

I thought the before-and-after pictures were very eye-opening (almost like the before-and-after pictures of a house flip in some ways) because with the brush cleared out, you can see that it’s flat, dry and it suddenly becomes easier to visualize where improvements could go (not everyone can see these things unless you really make it easy for them). It’s also a lot easier to walk the property and get a feel for it’s size.

This poster (Mark) said it cost less than $1K for this work (it was a friend of his) and apparently, you can find local people like this by doing a search for “forestry mulcher” in your area.

I’ve bought and sold A LOT of parcels like this over the years and this kind of overgrowth is very common, but I’ve never actually gone through the motions of clearing it out. After seeing this example, I think there’s a compelling case to be made for making this a normal part of my process. Especially if a property is worth a substantial amount, and if this job can make the thing sell faster and/or sell for more, it seems well worth the cost.

That is a great transformation. Being able to see through those trees answers so many questions I didn’t even know I had.

@retipsterseth, those pictures do drive the point home. I’ve thought about this with a couple of properties that I acquired, but ultimately found a buyer quickly enough at a price I was satisfied with that I didn’t end up pulling the trigger.

Just FYI, if someone is looking for this type of service for one of their properties, another term for this, in my area at least, is “bush hogging.”


@dl7573 thanks for the tip on the “bush hogging” keyword. I think I’ve also heard “brush hogging” as well (the two terms are basically used interchangeably).

Did a quick YouTube search, and it looks like this is how it’s done:

@retipsterseth I wonder what those cost to rent or buy?

@dl7573 brush hogging won’t clear as big of trees, the mulchers will go up to 3-4” in diameter with no problem

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@charlotteirwin skid steer with the attachment run about 400-500 per day.


A way I have used to find land clearing contractors is to call a local implement sales office and ask for sales. Then tell the sales person what you need and who they would recommend. Be sure to tell them you have a vacant land property that you will be selling in the area and who do they know who buys this type of property.

Thinning marketable timber can be an additional source of revenue. If any trees are not marketable check with a local firewood producer. Again an implement sales person will know who is reputable and who is a thief.

For parcels without trees I have contacted local hay producers. Again the motivation should be double asking about buyers in that area.


@treepimp good tip! I never would’ve thought of that.

It seems like the ease of finding someone like this probably depends on where the property is located and if these types of people are nearby? Or maybe these people are everywhere and it’s just a matter of finding them.

@charlotteirwin Charlotte, A lot of service industry people network together as well. I keep the number of every kind of industry people related to my work. Local land agents, custom farmers, companies that clear power lines, lot developers, landscape installers, even us tree service guys would all know people who brush hog, or do lot clearing. I have hit large regional auctions just to network. But equipment salespeople love to refer to their own customers so they come back to them.


@retipsterseth If you’re also looking for the best possible land clearing experience, feel free to reach out to us @985-201-0424 number. For more information, Free estimate & advice available.

Go to your local farm and home store and check their community board. If there’s nothing posted, hang a piece of paper up that you’re looking for someone to clear land for cash.

Your phone will not stop ringing.