Tree Removal

15 Jan 2008
Reaction score
United Kingdom
We have a cherry blossom tree in our front garden which is close to the house and sits right in front of our main living room window. The tree is approximate 5m high and has a branch spread of approximately 2.5m from the trunk. We are thinking of removing the tree to let more light into the house and wondered if anyone has any tips as to how to go about removing it, in particular removing the trunk base and roots.

Any advice greatly appreciated.
Sponsored Links
Cut the branches off, then cut the trunk down, then remove the stump.

First two bits are easy, last bit is more difficult and depends on how much work versus effort you want to do, but there's loads of options:

Dig Around it cut the roots as you go until you can lift it out (using a high lift jack can help)

Turn it into a garden feature - leave it there and make something of it

Rent a tree stump grinder (more expensive but much easier)
I did one at my girlfriends dads house a few months back, probably a 10 meter span by 6 or so tall.

Easiest way is to leave a decent length on the trunk for leverage, dig down UNDER the roots coming off the base of the tree and use an Axe/Splitting maul on them until it's free. If the tree is as close to the house as you say I would rope the trunk so it does not fall in the wrong direction.

Hard work, probably took us 3 hours in the heat to dig out the roots and a another hour with a chainsaw cutting the tree up.

The easiest way would have been to cut it low down with the chainsaw and stumpgrind it, we couldn't as foundations were going exactly where the tree was.

If you know of anyone with a winch fitted to their vehicle, there will come a time when it can be pulled right over by positioning the strops/chain sufficiently high up the tree. It may be necessary to anchor the other end of the vehicle to another tree/car, etc.
Obviously the bigger the vehicle the sooner it will come over.
I've pulled many Leylandi trees and a Cherry Blossom tree over with a Land Rover and winch, the chain positioned about 2 metres up and the Landie anchored, low down, to another tree. Use the correct strop for the anchor to avoid damaging the other tree.

If you have sufficient room you won't need to chop off any branches until it's over.

It will pull out many of the roots at the same time but it makes a bit of a mess of the surrounding lawn. And it might be worth checking that no roots reach the house to avoid damage to the house walls/foundations/ drains, etc.
Sponsored Links
Thanks guys,

I kind of like the idea of just pulling it over. I'll have to take the top branches off anyway as it might end up pulling down some over-head electric cables if I dont :eek:

No problem with lawn and/or drains though. We're re-doing the garden which is why we want the tree out and we've no drains at all in our front garden. Might have to dig down and make sure we chop out the roots towards the house though, don't really want an open plan living room/garden!!

My brother in law has a JCB, i'm sure he can apply a bit of leverage with that!!

Thanks again for the advice - when I get round to doing it, i'll let you know the method used and how successful it was!!
When you're chopping it up with the chain saw, avoid any dirty parts like the plague. (and dipping the tip of the blade into the ground)
Quickest way to blunt the chain is to mix a bit of chain oil and dirt.
The pros' leave a decent bit of trunk on the stump for that very reason.
Dig down about 18" all round and you'll probably be under the stump. You'll be ok leaving any roots under about 2" in the ground. Mind that jcb at the front of the house! :eek:
Cheers Deluks, I'll make sure he's careful but I think while the arm should reach the tree from the road, he might just struggle to reach the house unless he goes extending the arm. He's normally pretty good with it though!!
You might have to pull the tree a couple of metres along the ground to pull out any roots that are going to come out, so a chain round the trunk a couple of metres up will make it so much easier.

I used the chain around any roots that broke off to also remove the roots.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

Sponsored Links