If you’ve dreamed of owning a little slice of the country to call your own (or already do), chances are that you have plans for enjoying the land around you. Winding trails to wander through? A treehouse for the kids tucked beneath a few soaring pines? A lush garden full of native flowers?
As anyone who has purchased raw land or a house with forest-filled acreage can tell you, woodlands need to be properly managed to make way for all that enjoyment. And tackling all that overgrown underbrush on your own only to make a small dent in the mass of vines and thorny bushes can be daunting to say the least.
That’s where Hudson Valley Forestry can lend a helping hand. “We’re not loggers, and we’re not a tree service that you call for trimming or removing one problem tree,” says owner and founder Scott Sans, whose family-owned-and-operated company provides ecologically minded forestry mulching services to the tristate area. “What we do is bring in specialized equipment, reclaim the land, and get it to where the landowner will be able to maintain it without ever needing outside intervention again.”
Forestry mulching, as the technique is known, is a machine-based land-clearing method to selectively remove unwanted vegetation while leaving behind the trees you like along with a fine layer of mulch. To accomplish the task, Sans uses a tracked vehicle outfitted with a rotary drum full of spinning carbide teeth that eat their way through the tangle of brush, transforming it into mulch that becomes nourishment and protection for the trees. In sensitive areas with a lot of moisture, Sans and his team deploy low ground pressure machines that minimize their wake.
“We can handle anything from making you a walking trail to clearing 100 acres for a solar field,” he says. ”Forestry mulching has become our specialty. There’s no soil disturbance, you don’t need a permit, and the grindings that the mulcher leaves are wonderful for soil stabilization. It’s a very green technique.”
The impact on the soil may be minimal, but the effect on your pleasure as a landowner is tremendous. The benefits of forestry mulching are many: it provides flood mitigation, increases soil fertility, reduces stress on trees, suppresses weeds and invasive plant species, and reduces the tick population, a worsening seasonal blight most upstate homeowners are all too familiar with. “We just finished a 17-acre project that was so caught up in undergrowth that a deer couldn’t walk through it,” Sans says. “In the end, it was a forest of mature walnut trees—usable and pretty.”
As opposed to logging companies that will come in and clearcut or leave a mess of slash, Hudson Valley Forestry won’t leave you with a big gash in your landscape—only beautified woodland. “We can clear your property as much or as little as you want. We charge by the day, so you can keep us for a week or kick us out after day one,” Sans says. “We can do entry level projects that fit any budget. And I absolutely guarantee that for a couple thousand dollars, we can do more than you could possibly do in a year, even if the whole family pitched in.”