Land clearing for gardening purposes can differ depending on the intended garden, climate, zoning laws and financial means of the gardener. One of the cheapest and most effective means of clearing land, simply performing a controlled burn, is not legal in most towns and counties. Likewise, hiring an entire crew with heavy machinery may not be necessary if the intended garden is only a few hundred square feet.
Skilled Chainsaw Work
If you know your way around a chainsaw you could give it a go yourself, but a skilled laborer would charge between $10 and $15 an hour to do the same. Trees can be felled individually and then trimmed and cut into lengths to be hauled out either by hand or with the aid of a skid. The benefits of this technique are that it's relatively cheap, trees can be removed from awkward, tight places where, if a tree were to fall in a specific direction, it might hit a home or power lines. The downside is that the stumps all still have to be dug out and must be done before the trees have the chance to start growing again. It also retains the general topography of the land and requires that brush be mown down.
Tree surgeons are people skilled in removing trees and brush. They have all the right equipment, but they charge for each tree cut down, each tree chipped into mulch, and each stump ground down flush with the ground. They also charge for each person on the job site working to clear brush on a daily basis. This all means that it's a very expensive technique, but a very thorough one and perhaps one which might be used for small parcels of land.
Hiring an excavation company is best done with large parcels of land with no surrounding homes or power lines that could be damaged by falling trees. Bulldozers are used to push over anything upright on the area of land. Excavators and backhoes are then used to scoop up fallen trees and load them onto trucks to be taken away. Once down, bulldozers once again plow up the land, uprooting, rolling, and burying any remaining brush while leveling the area. This is also an expensive technique, but one which clears land very thoroughly, allowing a gardener to start from the soil up.