We had 5 trees all about 40 - 50 foot high cut down for £10 each. We left trunks about 6 foot tall that are now
the basis of a rose rope. Any shoots are easy to remove with secateurs. However, that is the easy part. Don't undersetimate the amount of work in getting rid of the "brash". We have
a LARGE shredder that reduced everything to shreedings that now smother the beds. You can probably hire
one for a few days from a tool hire shop.
Mungo Henning said:
Someone awhile back mentioned using a power-washer to blast away the soil around the root-ball: helps identify all the little tethering roots!
I've just done exactly this with 60' of hedging. Because the roots ran under a low wall and then a road, we couldn't get
the stumps out and have used the drill and stump killer method. I think it's called Root Out. I don't know about the risk of
Honey Fungus but that usually (not exclusively) attacks diseased or dead trees and hopefully, the Root Out will do its
thing before that becomes a danger.
Jane Ransom answered:
How big is the access to the trees?
We found a jcb much the best method.
Picks the lot, rootsanall, up out of the ground :))))))
It was well worth the £100 per day to stay clear of the backache! Of course we had to dispose of the bodies afterwards
but that was relatively easy and could be done bit by bit over a longer timespan :))
I used a ratchet winch. You drive a couple of pinch bars into the ground and hook up winch to these then the other side of winch connects to chain which you wrap around the stump - work the mechanism back and for and it will pull out anything. Most of the big hire shops will hire them.
Chris French suggested:
A mattock please. Much more useful for this task - and for many others around the garden.
Jack Pease told us:
I borrowed a transit and towed mine out. It was big, and you need a serious rope, but boy it was fun.
Don't cut the stump off level with the ground. Leave about 3 - 4 feet of stump sticking out of the ground. Cut a peripheral vee groove about 6" down from the top using a chainsaw. Dig out and expose as much of the root ball as you can. Tie a stout rope around the vee groove, attach other end of rope to someone else's vehicle and tow it out as suggested by Jack Pease. Setting up a rocking motion can be effective. The length of the stump above ground gives you a decent leverage allowing you to 'rock' the root ball and tear it free.
You'll probably have to cut some major roots, especially those which are directly opposite to the direction you are towing. You can dig them out later. Have fun and remember to include for a new clutch in your costings :-)
Charles (Joe) Stahelin suggested:
If you have no friendly vehicle owners hike off to the local hire shop and get a ground winch. These are quite small and
easy to work but a good ground anchoring point is essential plus chains/ropes cable. I imagine you could get the lot from
the hire shop if necessary. If my memory is right I think "Tirfor" is the name of one breed of suitable winches and their
generic name is "Monkey Winch". Safety: make sure everyone other than the winch operator stands well out of reach of
We've had a succession of bonfires over the past couple of years - once they get hot anything (well
nearly) will burn! Best tecnique we've found so far is to soak a couple of old T-shirts in paraffin and build the bonfire
around them. Last fire we had disposed of 6 complete trees (admittedly they were only babies, about 7' tall with 5-6"
diameter trunks, and came out pretty easily with the help of a mini JCB).
Tony (Partner in tree-felling Co) gave this advice:
1) If you were to fell the trees in one piece, is there anywhere where they can come down in one length?
If so, some of the advice in the preceding posts is good - as far as it goes. Cut the lowet branches off close to the trunk
up to a height which will allow you to work comfortably beneath.
2) Attach a rope as high as you can on the trunk. (Within reason! You will be pulling on this!)
3) ON NO ACCOUNT cut the trunk. Dig round the base and cut as many of the roots as you can find.
4) Now get someone to haul on the rope, and rock the tree. You will see the earth moving above hidden roots. Cut these with a spade, mattock or (if you must) a pick.
5) Keep doing this until the tree gives up and falls over. You may have to allow it to fall gently (against a shed or fence if
necessary) which a small tree which you describe will do if it is still attached to the rootball.
6) NOW you can cut the trunk across.
7) And the rootball can be de-soiled and pulled out.
Always leave as much of the tree as you can if you are taking the roots out: the higher the attached rope is above
ground the greater leverage you can apply. A big root under tension will be cut far more easily than one which isn't, and
two people can easily do a job that would otherwise be very hard work for several.
1st thing to do is make sure that there are no birds nesting in the trees, second thing to do is make sure you are wearing
very old clothes as the sap in Leylandi is difficult to remove from clothes (and skin).
You wont be needing the axe, and probably not the chainsaw either until the trees are down on the ground. Cut away
ALL the branches flush with the trunk to a height of about six feet. If you dont cut them flush you will constantly snag
clothes and skin on the bits left behind - they are hard and sharp!
Put a rope around the tree as high up as you can - 10ft
or so. Attatch two friends to end of rope and tell them to pull. Use handsaw to cut through tree trunk about five feet from
ground starting from opposite side to rope.
Its then time to start digging around the roots. You can get hold of the top of the
tree to 'rootle' it around to loosen up more soil around the roots. From past experience the roots are generally fairly
shallow, but can run quite a distance, especially if they are growing towards a source of water. They also seem to have
a central tap root which goes straight down. Although the roots are fairly shallow the stumps dont usually come out
without a fight. The secret seems to be to keep digging, I found using a crow bar to break up the soil around the root ball
and scraping out the soil with a trowel very useful, you need to get as much of the soil off the roots as you possible can -
soil is bloody heavy!
Don't cut the trunk below 18 " high. Then have a good excavation and hack at the root area around the trunk, using a
pickaxe and spade, saw through the thick roots below gound and use the standing stump as a rocking lever to loosen
the root ball mass until you can cut it free and lift it out.It makes that job much easier.Once you have the main root and
stump cleared out of the way, if you want to site the pond there it will be relatively easy to get out any
remaining sawed off roots as you dig the hole.
Stump killer would take very many years to disintegrate the roots, no good for your pond idea.
And finally, someone with obvious first hand knowledge added:
If the trunk is of a reasonable thickness - say above 8 inches?, it's better to cut a 'birdsmouth' out first on the side you
want the tree to fall. Saw in horizontally about a third of the trunks thickness, then saw down at an angle from above to
cut out a wedge. Now saw in from the other side horizontally, a little about the point of the birdsmouth.
Try to cut in evenly, if you cut in nearer to the birdsmouth on one side than the other, when the tree starts to fall it will twist
(you can of course use this to you advantage if necessary).
What out for it 'sitting back' on the saw (the friends on a rope can help here), or for it jumping off the stump - usually
happens when using a chainsaw, as it's easy to cut to far, it starts to fall, the wood snaps and it slips off onto your foot. -
once it starts to fall, stop cutting - get out of the way and let it go. a slow fall also means that the rope holders have more
of a chance of directing the fall if necessary.
If you are using a chainsaw, please use the correct safety gear, minimum - steel toe capped boots - spats if not chainsaw
boots, protective trousers and gloves, helmet with visor and ear protectors, a protective jacket is good too, which protects
against the saw kicking back, but this isn't as common as people sawing into their legs or feet.