Surveying GPS/GNSS, level and rod

Survey Says

Land Surveyor vs. Vegetation

Russell Hammond - Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Trail blazing on the hunt for that very last monument. Fighting your way through the brush and briers as the sun beats down on you. Taking one final step as you climb out of the ditches when suddenly the earth crumbles beneath you. Reaching out for some glimpse of saving grace, the devilish trunk with its hellish variations of needle size thorns greets your hand. A tsunami of pain comes rushing over as you curse the very plant that helped you.

What is known as the Devil’s Walking Stick is cleverly disguised as a blessing with its green leaves blooming above only to reveal its agonizing thorns too little too late. The Aralia Spinosa is the official name being identified by its viciously sharp and spiny stems. Usually it’s found growing where a helping hand is always needed.


When out surveying, the terrain is always a factor to take into consideration. Working in the field can hold its challenges and a surveyor must always be prepared for the unknown. When there is heavy brush or thick woods, surveyors need to be able to cut a path to walk through it looking for monuments and markers or measuring distances. Often a bush axe or machete will be carried along for cutting the brush and briers down. Unfortunately, having an axe doesn’t always save you from the excruciating pain inflicted by the Devil’s Walking Stick.

If you have ever encountered this painful plant you can sympathize with land surveyors out in the field. Common run-ins that surveyors have aren’t limited to the vegetation but also whatever mother nature feels like throwing out each day and, of course, creatures of the outdoors. If you think your working conditions are unbearable, remember what kind of conditions surveyors are working in.

You can see from the comfort of your own chair what a day looks like working out in the field. Our Work shows a gallery of how the equipment is used along with different things that are encountered out in the field. 




Licensed in Maryland & Delaware. Specializing in Worcester County, MD & Sussex County, DE
Maryland License #21329 • Delaware License #S6-0000781