Advice needed on tree removal.

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Westi
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Advice needed on tree removal.

Postby Westi » Sat Oct 23, 2021 7:15 pm

I have a small & quite sweet little tree that was (I think), the graft tree from a pear, or maybe even the cherry tree I planted there years ago. As it is non productive I would like to remove it & I have bought a cherry bush to go into that spot.

I have looked online & haven't the time for a lot of the muck around ideas on there like sawing it down & drilling holes in the stump & other madness. My back would not tolerate swinging a pick, but I would happily shove a shovel in as could take breaks. My question is about how far around the tree should I remove the roots to ensure it does not grow back nor impact the growth on the Cherry Bush? From digging the bed along it in prep for the runner trench for next year I found the roots reached there so I would say nearly 2 metres but they are not thick at that distance but pretty tough. It is only about 5' tall & sparse branch growth & a thin trunk so do I saw it down or take it down via digging it out? Roots are not too deep either.

Cheers in advance!
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Geoff
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Re: Advice needed on tree removal.

Postby Geoff » Sat Oct 23, 2021 10:42 pm

I find a trowel and a pruning saw good for removing trees. Cut the branches off but keep the trunk for leverage. Dig round with a spade a couple of feet from the trunk until you hit roots. Clean round each serious root in turn with the trowel and make two cuts with the pruning saw removing about 6" of root. When you have done the obvious roots start trying to rock the trunk (the 6" gaps make this easier) and you should be able to find more roots that need cutting. Eventually you and the tree will fall over. Probably a good idea to follow the bigger roots and cut more off them. Usual advice would be not to replant the same species so if it was cherry you might be going against that but you might as well try. You will probably have created a hole that will need some soil from elsewhere anyway but it might be an idea to swap some if that is practical.
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Re: Advice needed on tree removal.

Postby retropants » Sun Oct 24, 2021 8:49 am

What Geoff said! Very satisfying cutting through the last root with the saw and freeing the bugger!
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Re: Advice needed on tree removal.

Postby peter » Sun Oct 24, 2021 6:05 pm

What Geoff said, BUT one minor change.
Long handled loppers and secateurs and easier for roots that can fit in the jaws.
You have to have back and forth room with any saw.

If you have one an old but sharpenable hatchet can be therapeutic. :wink:

Personally I also use a mattock and pickaxe.

The treetrunk is your best friend, not only for leverage but also root detection, rock the trunks and the biggest roots reveal themselves by cracking and moving the soil above them.
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Westi
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Re: Advice needed on tree removal.

Postby Westi » Sun Oct 24, 2021 6:59 pm

Cheers Geoff & Peter,

That does not sound too bad so a nice little job for tomorrow - after I sharpen the loopers! And with the rain we have had it shouldn't be too hard to dig down & find the roots as they reveal themselves. No doubt the little dog will assist!
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Re: Advice needed on tree removal.

Postby Stephen » Mon Oct 25, 2021 8:30 pm

An interesting topic because I think I have to remove my two plum trees which have suffered catastrophic brown rot for two consecutive years.
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retropants
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Re: Advice needed on tree removal.

Postby retropants » Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:15 am

Lidl are stocking an odd looking spade, narrow with serrated edges, supposedly for removing roots.
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Re: Advice needed on tree removal.

Postby Primrose » Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:59 am

I order whether an alternative approach would be to have a mini bonfire on it an slowly burn the stump out? If you could get a few slow burning logs on top of the stump and get it to burn, it might break down the stump and roots eniugh to then enable them to be dug out?

Wouldn,t the roots just automatically die and slowly rot away once the main stump had been effectively killed or do they still have a capacity to restart a new life of their own?
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Westi
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Re: Advice needed on tree removal.

Postby Westi » Tue Oct 26, 2021 7:08 pm

5 hours & tree removed. Chasing the roots was not as much fun as I expected, my digging had only revealed some that the loopers could deal with, the rest I found after these came out easy peasy. There I was with big hole digging soil out below very thick roots so I could saw through them. Consequently I got pretty muddy, but all done. All I can say is I hope the roots can not regrow as they went under the side fence into the neighbours plot & no doubt I probably missed some my side as well.
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Re: Advice needed on tree removal.

Postby Geoff » Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:10 am

Well done! Right time of year to make a donation to a local bonfire if you can't get rid of it yourself.
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Re: Advice needed on tree removal.

Postby retropants » Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:33 am

Well done Westi, and you've brought back memories of removing 5 gargantuan laurels that took over half my new garden when I moved in 24 years ago! I could not do that kind of work now however, so kudos to you!
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