best way to clear wooded land & preserve soil
If I were to buy a large (2-10 acres) wooded lot, but wish to clear it mostly/entirely before a build, what is the best method that will preserve as much of the topsoil as possible?
Most of the better sized lots I see in the areas I'd consider a build in are wooded. Which some find nice, I find annoying. To me, a large lot that is wooded is kinda pointless - you can't garden in the deep shade, it's ridden with mosquitos, there are no places to put a swimming pool, or place for the kids to play, etc. SOME woods might be nice, but not all of it.
So my thought was to buy a wooded lot, and clear most/all of it, so I can choose what I want to plant and where.
I hear the "pushover" method is bad for the soil - it compacts it, strips, etc.
Then I read about these "mulchers" that are basically giant brushcutters that mulch everything. These sound interesting, but, then you're left with these huge piles of wood chips that, while nice as mulch, would be hard to plant landscape plants and lawns in, plus, all you are doing is grinding the stump at ground level. You'll still have an unrotted stump instead of dirt everywhere a tree existed.
Now, when it comes to grading and building the actual house, some movement of dirt is unavoidable, but only in the footprint of the house, not the entirety of a large lot.
Can anyone share their experiences here?