DIY Tree and Stump Removal Instructions
Most trees are beautiful additions to any yard, but sometimes trees can become troublesome. If a tree in your yard is interfering with other trees, or posing a threat to your home or utility wires, it may be time to consider removing the tree. Tree and stump removal aren’t typically handled by homeowners because these jobs can be dangerous without the proper training and experience. But if you have a small tree you want removed, you can review these tree and stump removal instructions to see if the job seems manageable for you.
How to remove a tree:
1. Before you begin your tree and stump removal project, you should check for any obstacles or potential things that could go wrong. To start, you should assess which way you think the tree will fall–the best way is the way the tree is naturally leaning. Once you have an idea of which direction you think the tree will fall, make sure that there is nothing around the tree that could be damaged as a result of it falling. You should also have escape routes planned if the tree does not fall in the direction you expected. This can happen if the tree is rotten or hallow.
2. Next you’ll need to select a tool. Chainsaws are typically used for trees that are larger in diameter. If you have a small tree, you should be able to use a hand saw.
3. Once you have a tool, you’ll need to make your undercut. This is a triangle shaped cut, made on the side where you want the tree to fall. The depth of this cut should be about one-fourth of the tree’s diameter.
4. Next comes the backcut, made two inches above your undercut, but on the opposite side.Your backcut should always be higher than your undercut. If you make it lower than the undercut, the tree could fall in the opposite direction, leading to serious injury. Once you’ve made this cut, the tree should start to fall. You should move immediately after making this cut and turn off any tools you’re using. You may expect your tree to fall a certain way, but it can always surprise you, so give yourself plenty of distance in every direction.
5. Once your tree is down, you can start removing branches on the opposite side of the tree from you. You can dispose of these branches, or cut them to use for firewood or wood chips.
How to remove a stump:
If the stump is small, you can dig it up and fill in the hole with topsoil. If you’re dealing with a bigger stump, you can use a stump grinder to grind the stump away. This task is best performed by a professional landscaper, how knows how to handle the machinery safely.
1. A professional landscaper will start by clearing the surrounding area of rocks and debris so they won’t damage the machine.
2. To speed up the grinding process, they will sometimes use a chain saw to trim the stump to a shorter height. The landscaper will then use the stump grinder to grind through to the other side of the stump.
3. Once the stump is removed, the landscaper will rake up the wood chips and fill in the hole with topsoil. If you want grass in this newly stump-free area, you can ask the landscaper to lay out grass seeds or sod.
Tree and stump removal is a labor intensive, time consuming task that can become dangerous quickly. Those with little knowledge of how to handle the tools used to perform tree and stump removal should always get the assistance of someone with more experience. Likewise, if you’ve never removed a tree before or you’re trying to remove a large tree, you should always get the help of a professional. Don’t put yourself in danger of serious injury. If you want to remove a tree or stump from your yard, always go about it safely and hire a professional when in doubt.