Advise on clearing some woods
On family property of about 55 acres we have an area about 1 to 1-1/2 acres of grown up maple we are considering clearing out to allow it to thicken up. They are mostly around 14" diameter and tall straight trees with few branches until the canopy. The canopy blocks most of the sunlight and not much else grows below, and the trees themselves don't provide much benefit to the wildlife, which is why we have been talking about clearing them out. Does this sound like something me and a couple buddies can handle in a weekend or a job best left to professionals? Should we drop them all in the same direction, or more like pickup sticks, or try to make piles or rows? It's on the east and south east side of a hill and about half is fairly steep. Maybe clear a quarter or half acre where it's the least steep for some type of food plot or allow brush to grow in. Considering afterwards planting some chestnut, white oak, apple trees etc. The rest of the property has a couple good thick bedding areas and a decent amount of white and red oaks, hickory and cherry. We're thinking more thick bedding areas and beneficial trees can only help. We have a compact tractor and tiller so have the ability to put in food plot if desired. How would you tackle this and what would your future plans for it be?