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arborvitae removal tips (with pics)

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by dose0018, May 4, 2011.

  1. dose0018

    dose0018 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Looking for tips on an arborvitae removal job. There are the ones pictured and then one more (slightly smaller) around front. Question is how to get the root ball out. One thought I had (this may be crazy) was to cut them off to several feet, wrap in chain and try to pull them with an engine hoist. I have pulled fence posts set in concrete using this before but am wondering if it would work in this application. Access is somewhat limited and I would prefer not to rent heavy equipment.

    Also, any thoughts on pricing? This is a bit larger job than I usually do for plant removal.


  2. johnyredd99

    johnyredd99 LawnSite Member
    from gap,pa
    Messages: 163

    assume access is to limited to chain to your truck?
  3. Nichols Lawn & Landscape

    Nichols Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    its not fun but i would use a chain saw with an old sharpened chain for roots, a varitey of GOOD shovels, and some loppers for the smaller roots. cut the tree down to about 3-4 feet of trunk sticking up for leverage then start digging around the roots wiggling the tree as you go. expose the main roots and use the chainsaw to cut them off eventually the rootball will be free to pull out. i also would dig up majority of the large roots you cut off. I would bet an engine hoist would probably help too. sounds like a good idea as long as its stable.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Its not necessary to get the whole root ball out, becuz you are too close to the foundation of the house and the underground cables to do any ripping and pulling of anykind...

    If I so somebody doing that, I would have to stop everything just to watch...

    Remove the stones, cut it as close as possible, and bust it up with a pickaxe... You can elimate all residue of he stump with that, then I would stop and cover it over...

    Have the electrical marked by diggersHotline first...
  5. clcare2

    clcare2 LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 224

    shovel and a hatchet.
  6. grassman88

    grassman88 LawnSite Member
    from mass
    Messages: 218

    is there anything going in there place if not just dig around it a little cut them as low as possable and cover them up the electrical is nnt something to screw around with or use a hose with a high pressure end to lossen the dirt and wash out the roots only problem is this way makes a mess but better then ripping up wires
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The water hose is a great idea... it works well in a lot of situations in loosening roots... Just be careful not to flood the basement, that close to the foundation...
  8. NBL

    NBL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Bobcat would pop them out in 2 seconds. With a shovel, axe, loppers, and saw you should be able to get each one out in 10 minutes. Be ready to sweat.
  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I have a sacrificial axe I use to chop roots. I would cut them down to 3 or 4 feet tall, use a shovel and axe and then pry them out with the remaining trunk. Once you get them to wiggle you can see where they are holding. I also sometimes use a come-along. I don't like using my truck to yank out shrubs...seems unprofessional to me.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    :laugh: A bobcat or a truck and chain is what I was laughing about earlier... Right next to the foundation and underground utility lines... not to mention turf damage with a skidster...

    Shouldn't even give those ideas out there because there are Professional LCO's stupid enough to do that... :laugh:

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