It took four or five years for a family to clear 10 to 15 acres required to sustain them. An efficient workman on his own might clear an acre of land in a week with no time left over for burning the wood. But half a dozen men working together could chop and burn an acre in a single day.
Affluent settlers could hire choppers to clear their land for a wage plus meals and lodging, as stipulated in their contract. New settlers with financial means often hired “American choppers”, Irish immigrants, or other inhabitants eager to earn a wage per acre. Once the work was done, the choppers would collect their pay and continue on to work for subsequent families.
Where oxen were unavailable to haul fallen trees, the hand-log method was used. In low-lying areas like Lambton and Glengarry, only slightly above the water level of a lake or river, logging was complicated by the by wet soil conditions. The ground was often so wet that the oxen and logs sank into the abundant mud.