Land Clearing & Grading Services in Portland, OR

Lot clearing and land grading are generally the first steps in most new construction and renovation projects. Before construction begins, the lot needs to be prepared by removing unwanted trees, bushes and other natural elements that may get in the way. 

After land clearing, the lot also needs to be graded and leveled. The land grading process helps ensure that water runoff is directed to a designated spot where it won’t impact the lot or adjacent properties.

Whether you’re building a new structure, preparing for landscaping or making an addition to your home, Alpha Environmental has the specific tools and equipment needed to undertake lot clearing and grading for your project.

Lot Clearing

To get the lot ready for construction, it must be cleared to ensure it can match the project’s blueprints. There are several reasons to clear a piece of land.

  • It creates open space for the project to begin, which allows large construction equipment to be brought on site.
  • It reduces the fire risk by providing less natural kindling in case of a fire outbreak. It can also help slow the spread of wildfires by preventing the fire from spreading from the ground to the treetops. 
  • It eradicates pests that may be living in nearby shrubbery, giving you one less barrier to work around.

Land clearing can involve removing a number of different obstructions from the lot. Some common obstructions include:


Brush refers to smaller trees, bushes and other vegetation that is growing below the treeline. Clearing a lot of these types of growths can be difficult and time-consuming, which is why it’s important to hire professionals who have access to equipment that will make brush clearing easier. Enlisting the right crew from the start will expedite the process, saving you time and effort.


Properly removing large trees and stumps is impossible without the right equipment and expertise. Tree removal also has permit requirements and guidelines that must be followed to be compliant with local laws. 

Street trees, private trees and heritage trees all have their own codes and standards, and some may need to be replaced. In Portland, tree removal permits are required for removing:

  • Street trees: Trees that are growing in the city’s right-of-way or in a strip of land near city streets need approval to be removed.
  • Private trees: Permits are usually required when trees on private property are 12 inches in diameter and 4.5 feet tall or larger.
  • Heritage trees: These trees have been formally recognized due to their historical, horticultural or other significance and require a permit even just to prune.


Large rock formations and boulders can be a huge roadblock for any project. These obstructions are typically the toughest material to excavate and require specialized equipment.  Our team of excavators is trained in quickly and properly removing the obstruction.

Land Grading

Precisely leveling the ground is vital to the success of any renovation or construction project. Lot grading often involves a reshaping of the land’s surface based on factors like:

  • The land’s natural grading
  • The type of soil
  • The roughness of its surface

Land grading is important for proper water drainage. If you’re building a new structure, you’ll want water to drain away from the structure rather than towards it. 

There are two types of drainage:

  1. Positive drainage: This occurs when runoff water is directed away from the structure and channeled to a place where it won’t impact your property or neighboring areas. Positive drainage can often be achieved by adding in bioswales or rain gardens.
  2. Negative drainage: This type of drainage can lead to puddles gathering around the building’s foundation, walls, roof and landscaping, which could cause costly damage after your project is complete. Runoff water that drains towards your structure can cause cracks in your foundation due to water weight. It can also cause mold and constant flooding. These problems can be avoided with proper lot grading.

Let Us Help with Site Preparation in Portland, OR

Lot clearing and grading are big projects that need to be handled correctly. If these services are not properly executed, it can put your entire project in jeopardy.The professionals at Alpha Environmental offer lot and land clearing as well as lot grading services to help you prepare to begin your construction. Contact us today to let us know how we can help!

Contact Us

A trusted member of our team will reach out within 1 business day to schedule

Why Choose Alpha Environmental

Our goal is to get the job done right while protecting our client. We are committed to ensuring you are safe in your residence, no matter what. We are fully licensed, bonded, insured, and here to help with all of your environmental needs.

Family Owned & Operated

We pride ourselves on strong company values that translate into service levels which go above and beyond average service providers

21+ Years Experience

For over two decades we've been doing the dirty work, serving residential and commercial customers in the greater Portland area

Care & Ownership

Our entire team is committed to ensuring your home or place of business is safe and every job gets done the right way

David D.
Lake Oswego, OR
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My wife and I experienced a hot water pipe busting in the crawlspace. It has been a total nightmare. However, Chris and his team provided expert quality care, with timeliness and the greatest degree of professionalism. I would HIGHLY recommend Alpha Enviornmental!
Zhanna S.
Beaverton, OR
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Can’t say enough about Alpha Environmental! Their costumer service is 10/10, they have really good systems in place, responsive, and professional. The gals in the scheduling department are always so kind! As a real estate agent, I use Alpha’s services numerous times a year. Either it’s for Mold bids, oil tank decommissioning, radon etc. They always do a fantastic job! Thank you for all the work you do!
Kristen L.
Portland, OR
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Wow where do I even begin?? We’re absolutely thrilled by the work Alpha has done for us and we’re eternally grateful to them for ridding our house of asbestos tile! They’re polite, kind, professional — from estimator Filo to manager Dame to Jake, Melvin and the other two guys on the crew (so sorry we didn’t get your names) — you guys are awesome and we so appreciate your help. Our house looks amazing. The peace of mind you’ve given us is priceless. We can’t thank you enough. We’ll certainly be in back in touch if we ever need any of your services again. Thank you thank you!!!
Jeff S.
Salem, OR
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Alpha environmental's employees were punctual, pleasant to work with and there services are reasonably priced. I highly recommend them because I would use them again in the future.
Lea C.
Tualatin, OR
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Took a water sample in for lead testing and they were so fast and helpful. Rodolfo was so nice and informative in explaining the testing and what it meant! Would definitely recommend everyone to go there and will go to them for any future needs!
Claire B.
Portland, OR
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Alpha environmental was extremely helpful in navigating me through the process of testing some leftover construction debris for asbestos so I could take it to the dump. Their office manager spent time with me on the phone discussing the options for sample collection, and was extremely friendly in answering my many questions. Sample drop off at the office was easy and the results even came back a few days earlier than expected. Will definitely return if I need more sampling done!
Jeff C.
Tigard, OR
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I would highly recommend anyone wanting, quick efficient services relating to environmental testing to check out Alpha Environmental. Not only was the staff friendly and responsive, but also professional! If I could 6 stars out of 5, I would!
Jotham P.
Portland, OR
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We used Alpha Environmental Services to conduct our home inspection, radon testing, sewer scope and oil tank decommissioning. Every part of their service was really professional. They took so many great photos of the house during the inspection and offered lots of explanation on what they found. Great team. Highly recommend!

Contact Us

A trusted member of our team will reach out within 1 business day to schedule