What Is Clearing and Grubbing?

Turner Forte/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Clearing and grubbing describes the stages of land development in which vegetation is removed (known as clearing), and then a root rake or similar device is used to remove the roots that remain in the dirt (the process known as grubbing). Cutting and filling is the next stage.

Standard engineering specifications detail the size of trees and stumps that qualify for payment during the clearing and grubbing phase. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Engineering Policy Guide, areas that are not to be cleared are pointed out in plans and noted as “no clearing” or “N.C.”

Roads are designed with specific clear zones that take into account the cost of future roadside maintenance and the appearance of the finished project.