Removing Large Shrubs

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by superbee, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. superbee

    superbee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    A fellow asked me to give him a bid to remove 6 large (about 7 feet tall) Yews from around his house, a large Wisteria bush, and two large Yew stumps from in front of the driveway. I'd say they were planted when the house was built about 45 years ago. How would a person bid on this job and what would be the most efficient way to remove these things? Thanks.
  2. bleabold

    bleabold LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    In regards to your post superbee:

    Trim the shrubs back with a pruner or chainsaw to the stump, which ever you prefer. Then dig around them and cut back the roots as you go. You should find that the roots are not terribly deep. I do not recommend the rip and tear method because you will definitely wreck the lawn when the roots are yanked out.

    In regards to bidding this job you need to know your hourly rate. Then figure 2 man hours per shrub. This includes clean-up. But dont forget about hauling away the stump and foliage.

    This is probaly a high end estimate. I say that because it sounds like you never did this type of work before.

    Best of luck, hope you get it.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I agree with what bleabold said. I'd add this;

    First, ask your client if they are planning to plant new trees/shrubs in the exact area where the stumps are. Because if they are not planning on planting in those areas right away, it's simple enough just to cut the shrub down to ground level (or just below) with a chainsaw. That's fairly easy work. This leaves a stump just below surface area but if they aren't planning on doing anything there right now, then it doesn't matter. And this is a much cheaper option.

    The next option - if they do plan on planting there soon - is to chop them down with a chainsaw and then rent a stump grinder to grind out the stump and some of the larger roots. That option will probably take twice as long and require about $150 more for a stump grinder rental.

    OH! and if you go with option B - grinding the stumps - MAKE SURE TO CALL IN UTILITY LOCATES FIRST!!!!
  4. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    A 45 year old yew is no picnic to pluck. Leave a big stem or two rather than a stump. You will need it for torque when you go to rip it out.

    Do it hourly.
  5. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    Yews root very deeply. I know that from experience.

    My typical advice on rip and tears is to either cut the shrubs and grind the stumps, as Jim suggested, or to cut the shrubs and dig them out with a mini-excavater equipped with a hydraulic thumb.

    Stump grinder around here: $100 for 4 hours, around $150/day.

    Mini-ex with thumb: ~$150/4 hours, $235 or so/day. Plus delivery fees on our end.

    If you've got other digging to do, get the mini-ex. If you grind the stumps, be sure to mix the grindings in with soil really well, and add some 12-12-12 before replanting. As the grindings decompose, they will use a LOT of available nitrogen in the soil.....



    TREEGODFATHER LawnSite Member
    Posts: 203

    Okay, work with me on this one, guys...

    I know my trees and shrubs, and I've removed my pile of both, so I know how long it takes to remove these suckers the tree guy way; chipping and then grinding the stump.

    If he yanks 'em and loads them in the truck in one piece, sure there'll be some lawn damage that would have to be repaired, but wouldn't that be offset by the time savings in sawing and digging/grinding? I mean, these aren't that big... sounds like they'd fit in a truckload, if ya dice 'em up 'scaper style...

    Then spend an hour or two fixing the holes where the roots were.


    ADLAWNCUTTERS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    no problem ,if you get your truck near them ,we just hook up a 25 foot tow chain and gently pull them out. as a last resort then dig them out and use an ax to chop them out.
  8. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    I'd never consider removing yews that large in one piece.

    Depending on whether the stumps were to be ground or dug, the shrubs would be cut down and loaded into our trailer. 7' tall yews would be a decent sized load on our 18' trailer. If the stumps were to be ground, they would be flush cut as close to surface as possible. If I was going to dig them out, I'd leave 18-24" or so sticking out of the ground.

    There is no way I'd try to yank them with a truck, and there is no "gently" about it. Yews are a B*TCH to remove, especially ones that have been in-ground for that long!

    Depending on conditions and operater, it could take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours to dig the stumps with a mini-ex, or around 1-1 1/2 hours to grind the stumps (just the 6 stumps).

    Hope it helps. GET A UTILITY LOCATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. rockandroller

    rockandroller LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    I had my first yew pulling job this year and learned a valuable lesson. Rent the right tool for the job. I had to remove about 5 5 footers this spring. I thought I could manhandle them by digging them out. Nope. I dug for 45 minutes around that sucker and it wouldn't budge. Got a small stump grinder for 50 half day, got back to the sight and ground up all 5 in 45 minutes. of course this was after I took all the limbs off down to the stum only. I hear guys say they rip small stumps out w/truck and chains. I wouldn't advise that so much. Could damage the truck or the yard. Get the grinder. As far as bidding, bid higher than you think. As I said, I lived and learned on this job, and ended up doing it on the cheap!


    TREEGODFATHER LawnSite Member
    Posts: 203

    Depends on how big a truck yer pullin' 'em with. I use the C600.

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