As mentioned in previous posts, the land was overgrown. Much of it was covered in 7' tall grasses and bushes. It was so dense you couldn't even walk through much of it. There was also the concern about what you might stumble upon while pushing through the dense overgrowth. The issue had to be dealt with but we simply didn't know how at first. The other discussion was how much do we want to cut out. Which trees would we keep, which cactuses would we keep, what areas would be rough cut, and what areas would be more of a groomed lawn?
The First Cut
We had brought our Craftsman 42" lawn mower out to at least mow what we could. It did work for some of the areas around the house that were only a foot or two tall and along the immediate easement of the driveway. The rest of the property would need something bigger and tougher to mow down. A local saw me mowing with my Craftsman and offered to mow down the brush on the property for a reasonable price. He brought his John Deere tractor with a brush hog and went to work. Even with that, it took a full two days to clear the 9.44 acres.
What Was Left
Once finished, the property looked incredible compared to how it had been. The overgrowth was so bad, though, that some of it didn't even get cut. The tractor would flatten it, and the leading edge of his rotary cutter would flatten it even more where the blades couldn't cut the tall grasses. After a week or so, those grasses began to stand back up, and we had tall grass lines and patches all over the property. I had him cut anything that had a diameter of 2" or less. This left a lot of gnarled branches scattered all over the property when mowed down mesquite trees, junipers, and cactuses. Even though most of the brush had been cut, it left a huge mess in its wake that would need to be cleaned.
Long Stalks And Branches
As the rotary cutter chopped up mesquite, junipers, johnson grass, and some thick stalk reeds, it left behind a huge amount of scattered branch debris. There was a reed-type plant with a thick stalk that I don't know the name of, covering about an acre on its own. When this was cut, the entire area was covered in a layer of 1-2" hard stalks. Mesquite and junipers left giant clumps of branches on the ground with the trunks sticking up. It would take weeks to clear the debris from the ground. For the most part, we would have to pick it up by hand and haul it to the brush pile. I would take the chainsaw and cut the trunks down to ground level so they wouldn't damage any equipment when we mowed in the future.
A Water Well
After the cutting with the rotary cutter, we discovered a water well. It was in bad shape. The electrical was bad, the pressure switch was broken, and the plumbing was damaged. This was exciting, though, because if the well was good, we could have a source of water right on our property. Looking into the well status would have to wait for now, though. Other pressing issues had priority.