Conifers - How do I remove them?

12 Dec 2006
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United Kingdom
My garden has approx 25 conifers which are approx 20ft high. I want to take them out one by one, and I know it's going to be a horrible job, but I want to put a fence in its place.

My idea was to chain saw them to a few feet high, then dig out the roots, which leads me to my next problem. The trees are between a patio one side and two fences the other side. One of the fences is the council type green wired fence with concrete posts, and behind that a wooden fence that is falling over, but has the wooden posts still in place.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Sharon :D
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I dont think you will be able to dig the roots out (unless you have a JCB). You can cut to ground level, drill the stump pour in weedkiller. THey wont grow anymore & the stumps will eventually rot.
Thanks for that advise, very much appreciated and will hopefully work.
chain saw them down and then stump grind them. They are normally quite easy to grind out.
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Diyisfun said:
I dont think you will be able to dig the roots out (unless you have a JCB).

I did the conifers (original height 15ft-ish) at the back of my own garden the hard way because of a lack of access - cut each conifer down to 4 foot high, dig round and through all roots using spade, axe and pickaxe, drag stump and roots along garden and down the side path to skip at front.

Hellishly hard work at 30-45mins per tree and I was absolutely knackered at the end of it all...

Conclusion - don't try and dig out by hand unless you are prepared for a long hard slog, hire a mini digger whenever possible!
Shenks...I was saying that as it was from SHARON not from WILLIAM :LOL:
and the number of them
Diyisfun said:
Shenks...I was saying that as it was from SHARON not from WILLIAM :LOL:
and the number of them

Don't worry - I know you were... all I was saying is that even for a normal bloke (no comments to the contrary please) it isn't that easy and requires a decent amount of hard graft. Therefore anybody else reading the post would have some warning too :)
It is hard work, but it can be done. I pushed the spade in just a short way from the trunk, and hit the top of the blade with a sledge hammer, to cut through the roots. You have to do this all round the tree of course, but then you should be able to wiggle it out.
I thought conifers had a shallow root system?

I once gave some contractors permission to cut some surface roots pushing up paving slabs, in order to relay a section of path. The tree was about 1.5 times the height of a house and one 6" diameter root was cut and some lesser ones.

The next week the tree blew over in some moderate wind. :oops:
I cut down and got out the stump of 8 big conifers. by digging out and cutting all the roots then rocking the stump until the roots going below it snapped......worked hard I must say...but just a tip I got ...............the night before you dig out the roots waterlog the area ( this was 20 years ago before the hosepipe bans and I was a skiiny whippet) best of luck but make sure you have a case of cold beer waiting as you will need it.

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