"Scrape" as a term for clearing in a forest

In some forests around here, people refer to some clear areas as “scrapes”. Is this a general usage for the word? Or perhaps just a localism? Does it imply anything, such as being human-made by scraping with heavy equipment or other action?


I’ve heard sections of cleared land called scrapes, and they were scraped clean by bulldozers and such.

I must be thinking of another word, but there’s a term for a clear rocky top of a mountain or ridge and now ‘scrape’ is all I can think of.

Just found this:
" b : a cleared area on the forest floor made by a male deer during breeding season to attract a doe"


An outcrop?

Scarp perhaps? It’s means a cliff or steep slope, but usually rocky and in the context of hillsides and mountain faces.

A bald (as a noun) is a word for a mountaintop devoid of trees. I’m not aware of any other word for this. There’s aiguille, but I think that really just means pinnacle, emphasis on it being a sharp peak.

A col is a mountain pass, a saddle - refers to the topology only.
An outcrop is exposed rock anywhere, no implication that it’s high up.

I think it may be ‘scarp’.

To be clear, I don’t know if ‘scrape’ is a widely used term as I described it here, those were recently cleared sections of land for housing being called ‘scrapes’ by the developers. That could have been nothing but descriptive language.

I don’t know how big an area a stag clears to attracts does, but I could see that word being used perhaps by hunters, and getting more widely used to describe any clearing over time.

Scrape also means a place on a tree where a male deer has rubbed his antlers, partly for scent marking, like the pawed-up bare ground TriPolar mentioned. Stags do a lot of dramatic things to impress the does and announce their presence to other males. Some go so far as to scent-mark the front of a moving car. That’s bold, but quite foolish.

I learned that the areas in my specific context were cleared with bulldozers but still don’t know about the word usage story. TriPolar’s statements seem to pin this down as general usage, though.

In the wildlife context, “scrape” can refer to scraped areas made by any animals, not just deer. For example, big cats scrape bare areas to use as latrines in order to scent mark their territories.

In this case, however, it seems to be a simple descriptive for areas scraped by heavy equipment.

I’ve definitely heard it in wildlife documentaries, describing things bigger and more clear than a deer scrape (a deer scrape just tends to be an area of scuffed and rutted forest floor in my experience), but I guess other animals such as elephants have the capability to create actual clearings.

Scarification is a silvicultural/forestry treatment that scrapes up the ground to retard competing vegetation and expose mineral soil. It’s usually done as a type of site preparation for tree planting.

A rock scree is a rocky area at the base of a hill that is usually devoid of vegetation.

I realize I didn’t answer the OP (not that I have much to answer). In 20 years of forestry and logging I can count on one hand the amount of times I have heard scrape in that context. I got the feeling it was from the construction industry? Heavy equipment operators might work in both professions but that’s just a guess.

Never heard of scrape used in that way, however from mining I could see as a local term

A glade is another word for a forest clearing, ironically it is also a word for a ski trail uncleared of trees - but usually thinned out, though I assume that the ski term came from natural thinner areas or naturally devoid of trees that one would ski through, the ski area glades would have come later and artificially thinned.

I’ve heard “scrape” used as a verb in the context of commercial real estate. A developer buys an old building in an area that’s being redeveloped. He doesn’t care about the condition of the building, because he’s going to scrape the lot and build something different that can lease for a lot more money.

The same thing occurs in residential real estate in heavily appreciated areas.

Around here substantially every waterfront residential lot is sold as a scrape. That 1960s state of the art spacious ranch house is destined for the bulldozer so a 2020s state of the art almost zero lot line McMansion / actual mansion selling for multiple millions can go up in its place.

Makes for funny looking neighborhoods. Old 2500sf ranch houses with Fords out front next to 8000sf mansions with 2 Range Rovers and a S500 Mercedes out front.