F Agricola wrote:Hello Windy,
Really need more information but at face value:
I suggest burning is very detrimental and destructive. Hopefully you're not clearing virgin rainforest?!
It's the sledgehammer approach often used in Third World countries with very dodgy laws and enforcement practices.
Importantly, how would you control a fire and stop it spreading to neighbouring lands? If a fire reaches the canopy, good luck.
Besides releasing huge volumes of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, it wipes out all manner of species that would otherwise be beneficial. The carbon and nutrients created by burning only last a short time - there's a lot of information on the web regarding this e.g. Rainforest clearing for palm plantations, etc
Although a PITA to do, selective clearing is by far more acceptable. That would normally involve a small number of people, chainsaws, and some vehicle/animal capable of dragging logs out.
A description of the property and your intentions would assist in further feedback.
Kyle Neath wrote:Context matters a lot for these types of questions. Burning around these parts, which is a fire-adapted conifer forest, is extremely beneficial. The ashes help clear out undergrowth (allowing more sun to the soil), clear out pine duff mulch (allowing more seeds to germinate), the ashes sweeten the soil opening up room for succession species (building more soil and root mass), and stratify fire-adapted seeds (resulting in an increase of fire-adapted species). But this entire ecosystem is built on fire.
One of the key differences in fire-adapted temperate climates to wet tropical areas is where the nutrients are store in the soil. Here, they are stored deeper in the soils — in decaying root mass and other forms of life. In the wet tropics, it is often stored in a dense, thin layer sitting right on the surface. Organic matter never gets a chance to be incorporated deep into the soil, it just decays on the surface. That's one of the reasons fires are so destructive in the tropics — that thin top layer of soil is easily destroyed by a low intensity fire.