Your Land

Don Ellers aka "the LANDCRAWLER" shares some land improvement tips picked up over the years as a landowner and land broker...

In order to maximize the property value and enjoyment of your land, consider these land improvements. At a minimum, firebreaks, food plots, scrub & brush clearing, and connecting internal trails and roads greatly enhance property value and personal enjoyment of your land. Here are some additional land improvement ideas. Consider a phased approach.

Alabama's Best Management Practices for Forestry (an excellent read & resource document)

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Improvements    Benefits

Phase I


Start with a Master Plan.

landcrawler has extensive aerial and topographic mapping capability and will create a "master plan" for your land property - prioritize, budget, schedule and visualize the improvements to be achieved. Every project needs a master plan.

Phase II



Consider a fairly recent survey of your land as an asset. If you are putting your land on the market, a survey will generally be necessary to confirm acreage and identify any easements, border disputes, etc.

Buyers like seeing a recent survey so they know exactly what they are getting.

Corners and boundary lines clearly marked.

Clearly marked corners and land lines are a plus when showing property and essential to move forward with Phase II and III enhancements described below.

Prep the property.

landcrawler will prep the property on the ground. It's critical that the planned improvements to the land are flagged/marked and clearly identified/defined before the BIG IRON arrives!

This will maximize the productivity and cost-effectiveness of the heavy equipment when it arrives on site.

Enough of Phase III below to get around and enjoy / show the property.

Enjoyment of the land / if selling, prospects want to see what they are buying!

Phase III



Ability to get around the property to show borders and/or enjoy the land.

Appropriate prescriptive burning of your property is a proven management technique.

Given the existence of drought, lightning strikes, accidents, and mischievous behavior, firebreaks can save timber and other assets.

Plant to control erosion and attract wildlife.

Food plots / green fields / wildlife openings / fruit and vegetable gardens.

Plant firebreaks and create other green strips/plots.

Attract wildlife (get trail camera video and pictures.) Consider year-round plantings. Creates a very nice visual appeal.

Fruits and vegetables for the family or commercial farming!

Scrub and brush clearing. Maintain road edges, neglected open areas and pasture land.

Ability to view property. Well kept, beautiful green fields have visual appeal year-round.

Bush hogging road edges, open fields, and neglected pasture land makes a huge difference in terms of visual appeal.

If open fields are neglected, heavy scrub will take over quickly.

Heavy scrub and brush clearing / mulching eliminates competition for desirable species and creates visual appeal.

Internally connecting trails and roads. Maintain existing internal roads - clear brush and erosion control.

Ability to tour and enjoy property. Hike / mountain bike / dirt bike / 4 wheel. Wildlife will use these cleared roads and trails.

Smoothing out rutted internal roads, installing culverts, water-bars and turnouts where needed will allow improved travel and provide erosion control.

Entrance gates.

Security and visual appeal. Consider setting the gate back far enough to allow the ability to pull in the driveway with a trailer and be off the public road.

Shooting ranges.

Fun. Enhance accuracy and confidence with firearms and/or other hunting equipment.

Shooting lanes.

Clear shooting lanes from your hunting stands.

Level, clear out camp / RV site / fire ring...

Fun, fire safety. Showcase possible building sites.

Phase IV

Get creative. Think about making your land productive with agriculture, aquiculture, horticulture, ranching, etc.   This could be one of your best retirement plans!

Existing timber management - thinning, prescriptive burn.

Healthy forest. Income. Many of these activities would require the services of a registered forester and/or prescriptive burn manager.

A prescriptive burn offers many benefits - killing off undergrowth and small regenerated trees, promotes natural grass growth... Native Americans used fire regularly to improve their hunting grounds.

New timber "stand" planting. Horticulture

Consider creative new "stands" such as hardwoods, long-leaf pine, vineyards, and fruit orchards. Replant clear cut. Create a diverse farm plan.

Pasture creation.

Support horses and/or a cattle operation.

Ponds / lakes.

A lake on 40 acres increases the value of every acre! Stock fish. Possible commercial applications (catfish operation). Appropriate permits required.


1. Bury some white oak acorns on your land when they drop, in a few years, you'll have some beautiful white oak trees - preferred mast crop for deer.

2. Instead of nails, use deck or wood screws if you are attaching signs to trees. I would not go deep with the screws or the nails. In either case, go vertical - 1 at the top, 1 at the bottom in the middle of the sign. If you drive a nail or screw tight to the bark, before you know it the tree will grow and bury the screw or nail. If you leave room, you can pull the nail or back out the screws...

Here's a brief video showing a prescriptive burn and land clearing (pulling up all types of undergrowth by the roots)...

Land improvement pics... Some before and during land cleanup, blueberries for a future farm operation...

LANDOWNERS - land clean up and improvements work!  One would not dream of putting a house on the market with unsightly "street appeal", or desperately needing paint and carpet.  The same is true with land. 

I have personally experienced completing a land improvement project on a Monday, and the property sold itself 2 days later on Wednesday.  On another property, I was with the dozer man managing a clean up project at 9:00am, by 3:00pm that day I had a contract with the first prospect that toured the property!  Yes, these are extraordinary (but true) experiences - point being - land clean up, enhancement and improvement works.

LANDCRAWLER can help you realize your land enhancement goals.  I have experienced and proven contractors with bulldozers, loaders, track hoes, compact track loaders, tractors, bush cutters, discs, root rakes, augers, and much more. I put the right equipment on the job.

I have been involved with the improvement and enhancement of hundreds of acres of land.  As with any project, a master plan is essential to success.  Email or give Don a call / text on (770) 424-5800 to discuss.