Best way to clear vegetation?

My back yard is approx. 1/4 acre of trees and low broadleafed vegetation (no grass). The trees are oak, sweet gum, and pine. The vegetation provides a haven for chipmunks, rabbits, snakes, mice, etc.
I would like to clear most of it and plant grass (or place sod) in a small sunlit area close to the back of the house. I would like to have the rest be pine straw or mulch. (But there will be a lot of leaves and gumballs in the fall...)
What is the best way to clear all that vegetation? At my old house I used a rototiller and weedkiller to clear some small plots which I covered with pinestraw and surrounded with RR ties. The area in my current back yard is much bigger. Is there a better way than rototiller and weed killer?
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Doug Appleyard
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Well, if you <really> wanna kill what sounds like a nice little ecosystem, and put a lot of small animals in the homeless shelter, the traditional method would be bobcat and a scraper blade, for the open spots, and a hell of a lot of hand work around the trees that you do want to save. I understand you wanting a small sitting yard, but why kill the groundcover away from the house? Mulch or pine straw is a PITA to maintain, as it keeps decomposing, and new plants (and animals) will come back anyway. Just sythe or bushhog the rest once a year or so to keep it in check, and rake out the trash every spring before stuff sprouts. You will probably have to bring in better soil to get the grassy spot to grow, or use a lot of chemicals on what you have.
aem sends...
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killed everything but the trees. I didn't roto-till, that's too much work. I pulled around an aerator behind my riding mower. The grass seeds dropped into the holes & didn't get washed away when it rained.
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On 02 Jul 2003 16:16:39 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

We used a blade attachment to the weed wacker to take out wild rasberry bushes. It was fast and easy.
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You could sell the mineral rights to a gravel mine and let them have at it. The lot should be cleared in no time !
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