View Full Version : Removing old boxwoods?

04-17-2006, 12:11 PM
Whats the best way to remove about 30 15 year old boxwoods and other shrubs. This customer wants all the old out and in with the new. I have mostly done new constructed homes and I'm not to sure how the old ones should come out...Chainsaw and a pick axe? :drinkup:

04-17-2006, 10:15 PM
we always pulled out old stumps by first using a grub hoe around the plant, cutting the smaller roots, then put a chain around them and pull them out with your truck, be careful using the truck not to blow a clutch or tranny. I don't remember having any problems.

Also do it when it's wet as they'll come out easier.

If there cheap, tell them you'll just cut down the stumps below ground with your chain saw and plant new ones in front of them.

I guess you can always rent a bobcat.

04-19-2006, 03:22 PM
Don't know the situation but you could use a sharp spade and a tree saw and an axe.

04-19-2006, 04:13 PM
rob has the right idea if you can get your truck to them. chain them and pull a little tension on them. then take an axe or pick to the roots on the back side. them pull again. repeat with the tension and axe if the they are very large or the soil is compacted. boxwoods are fairly easy to remove. i used this method to remove a 20-25 ft silver maple. it took several chops and pulls, but it took less than 30 mins from start to finish.

04-19-2006, 04:46 PM
Are the shrubs close to the house? If so, make sure you know where the main water line is running into the house. Buddy of mine made the mistake of using his truck to pull up a couple of holly bushes close to the house and the roots had wrapped around the water line. Pulled the bush and part of the main line with it. Best to use a pick ax to get as many of the roots as possible before yanking with the truck. nmurph said it right.

04-19-2006, 07:53 PM
I agree that the best way is probably with a sharpened shovel and maybe a pick axe. But as far as lifting or pulling out heavy plants or trees, has anyone ever used a hoist tripod? Oh man, if you haven't, you should. We've been able to dig 20 ft+ trees with a healthy (and intact) rootball and successfully transplant. Once the tree is out of the ground and hanging from the hoist, you can simply drive your Bobcat up with the forks on and away you go. And we've also moved very large boulders into areas where we couldn't get a skid steer by using a a tripod. Theories suggest that Egyptians (or their slaves) used the tripod/hoist system(along with a few other ingenious devices) to construct the pyramids. If you don't know how to build one (they're easy) and want to know, let me know.

04-19-2006, 09:57 PM
phototropic ... I've thought about the tripod idea often, but didn't know how to build one that was reasonably portable. Apparently you have an idea that works. I'm interested.

04-19-2006, 10:53 PM
Well Roger, I'm not exactly sure what your definition of reasonably portable is. But this is portable (through heavy), durable, and inexpensive.
You'll need three 8 ft long 4x4's, about 14 inches or so of 3/4 inch galvanized pipe(I imagine 1/2 inch would suffice), a piece of all-thread, self locking nuts (or similar) to fit the all-thread, and several large washers (I like 1.5 inch). As I'm sure you've guessed, the 4x4's act as the three legs. To attach them together, you'll need to drill one 3/4 diameter hole a few inches from the end of each 4x4 (at the same place on each piece). Then, insert the piece of galvanized pipe through the holes to connect all three timbers. Cut the galvanized pipe so you have about 6 or so extra inches sticking out from one side of the timbers. You'll need this extra length in order to hang a pulley and to adjust your timber legs. I'm not sure of the exact extra length that you need. 6 inches seems about like what i've used but maybe try a bit longer first. Anyway, insert the all-thread through the gavanized pipe, put several large washers on each end and then thread the nuts and tighten them down tight with the pipe. You now have three attached legs. You'll need a helper (or some patience and care) to set up the tripod. It is a little bit cumbersome at first, but once you get the hang of it you can move it around fairly easily. I attach a come-along by hooking one end over the galvanized pipe between two of the timbers. Hook up your rope or tow straps or whatever and start cranking that come-along. You'll be amazed. Your back will thank you and your one-man crew will be amazed.
Like I said before, this tripod is fairly heavy. But it's inexpensive, strong, and REALLY works!!! Just make sure you keep it around the shop somewhere for those times when you get in a tight spot.

04-21-2006, 12:00 AM
chain, truck, and lead foot works well for us

04-21-2006, 10:13 AM
I would suggest cutting them off at the base. Then dig them out and just cuthe roots with loppers or saw. it isnt as dificult as sounds when you keep cutting the roots. Idea is to just get the trunk out.

04-21-2006, 08:46 PM
phototropic ... I think I follow your directions, except for one point. The question relates to the 3/4" hole through the 4X4. You don't mention anything about an angle.

I can see two of the three legs needing some angle to the hole (the "middle" leg) can have the hole perpendicular to the side). The angle would permit having the legs "spread" at the base. If all holes were at 90 degrees to the side, one leg can be shifted to one side, the other two to the other side. But the distance between the legs of the two would only be 4", the width of the 4X4 angled in the other direction.

If all holes are at 90 degrees, then I am not following your directions right. Actually, I think the holes in the two "odd" legs would have to be drilled at a compound angle, drilled at an angle to the sides, but also some angle with respect to the axis (along the length) of the 4X4.