When we first started clearing for our buildings, we allowed the boys to cut everything. We finally realized that wasn't right and had them leave the trees and just clear the underbrush. This keeps the snakes away from the house, but lets us enjoy the shade of the trees and the residing birds and animals. The cleared area is to the east of us, which is the direction most hurricanes would come, so we hope to spare the buildings from falling trees.
The cleared area is probably only three to four acres. We plan to leave the remaining eight or nine acres in bush as an island of refuge for wildlife. It's small, but the best we can do.
It's so wonderful up here on our hill, with the almost constant breezes and the beauty of the bush. What a blessing.