How To Cut Down And Remove A Tree In Your Residential Yard

Posted on: 29 May 2017


When a tree in your residential yard has died of old age or disease, it is best to remove it and plant another tree in its place. To remove a tree, use a chainsaw to cut sections of the tree from the top down to the soil where it grows. Chop the cut tree trunk, tree limbs, and tree branches into manageable sizes to use in a fireplace or wood stove. Stack these cuttings in a wood pile to completely dry out. After removing the tree, you will be left with a tree stump that should be removed before you plant another tree in the same area. You can remove the tree stump with a stump grinder as follows:

Anatomy of a Stump Grinder:   All tree stump grinders cut vertically and throw tree grindings either behind, in front, or to the side of the grinder. Stump grinders vary in size to accommodate the removal of small and large tree stumps. A small stump grinder is handheld and is the size of a lawn edger. A medium stump grinder pivots on wheels and is about the size of an electric lawn mower. A large stump grinder is about the size of a tractor and has a rotating cutting wheel that can pivot up and down to grind a large tree stump. 

Grinding A Tree Stump:  Here is the procedure to remove a tree stump with a tree grinder:   

  • Clear the Area:  Remove all rocks and stones from the area around the tree stump. Leave only the tree stump, tree roots, and soil around the perimeter of the removed tree. With a chainsaw, cut the tree stump as close as possible to the soil where it was growing. 
  • Remove the Surrounding Soil:  With a shovel, remove the soil around the tree stump. Clear an area that is large enough to allow the stump grinder to easily work and have access to the top of the tree roots. Set aside the removed soil to use later when you refill the hole. 
  • Grind the Tree Stump:  Grind away the tree stump with the up-and-down cutting motion of the grinder. Grind the stump in small sections, collect the stump grindings and set them aside. 
  • Replace the Soil in the Hole:  When you have completely removed the tree and tree stump, return the removed soil into the hole where the tree grew. Pat down the soil as you place it into the hole. If desired, you can sow grass seed on the top of the soil. 

Stump Grindings:  After you have completely removed the tree stump, rake up the grindings and set them aside. Mix the stump grindings with fallen leaves from trees in your garden, grass clippings, and even shredded paper to make an effective garden mulch. Allow the mixture to decompose for a few months to a year, mixing occasionally to speed up the process of decomposition. Once the mixture has decomposed and blended together, it will become an effective mulch that you can use in your garden. Apply mulch in a 2-inch to 4-inch layer around trees, bushes, vegetables, flowers, and on top of the soil in potted plants. The mulch will help to retain moisture in the soil and add nutrients wherever it is used. 

Cutting down a tree and removing the tree trunk can be done in one day or many days, depending on the size of the tree. To accomplish this, you can rent a chainsaw and a stump grinder at a lawn and garden store. The expense to rent the equipment you need can be about the same as the expense to have a single tree and tree stump removed by a professional tree removal company. If you have more than one tree to remove, you can rent the equipment and do the job yourself. If you only have one tree and one tree stump to remove, it is cost effective to have a professional tree removal company do the job. Click here to learn more about stump grinding.