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Bush Removal Near Barrier Question

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by jwalker17, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. jwalker17

    jwalker17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I have a commercial client that has a 3ftx30ft area that divides the parking lot to the building.

    They have 4 OVERGROWN bushes (overgrown as in untouched for 4+ years). They want them removed. Because the area is surrouned by cement (road and building) I have a concern about pulling them with my truck. I am not sure if the bushes and their root systems are infused with the cement/bricks. I'm scared if I pull with the truck I could pull a wall or damage something.

    The area is VERY tight to even get in by hand since wall with windows on one side and the other has the roadway and curb.

    Any suggestions. Should I be scared by using my truck? Should I do as much as I can by hand and shovel and slowly loosen with the truck?

    Anyone ever been in this stupid position?

  2. JPsDuramax

    JPsDuramax LawnSite Senior Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 346

    More then likely your truck will not budge them. I've been there before and it doesn't work like you would think. I would recommend cutting them off at the ground and then digging them out. Or you could treat the stumps. Another possibility is renting one of those small stump grinders if you have the access. Hope that helps.
  3. jwalker17

    jwalker17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I have no problem chainsawing them down to the soil. digging them out but the way they are situted its hard.

    The are not ground level - the cement planter-situation is about 2 ft off the gronud and soil level is 1.5ft deep.

    What if i got a used dirty gas chainsaw and hacked into the soil/root system with a lot of oil and water and shovelling each cut?
  4. JPsDuramax

    JPsDuramax LawnSite Senior Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 346

    I wouldn't recommend the oil part, not exactly eco-friendly. But you could use a chainsaw to cut the roots. You would just need to have a few spare blades with you. The dirt will destroy a blade's sharpness quickly. I would go that route. Just cut them off at ground level, cut the root into pieces you can dig out, and then remove the rest with a shovel. Hope it works out for you.
  5. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    Not a stupid ? at all.

    I doubt your truck will work, at least at first. Also, my experience with chainsaws and dirt is that I dont get much accomplished as the dirt just kills the sharpness immediately. Unless you spend some significant $$$$ on purchasing a carbide tipped blade....Dont waste your time and blades.

    I did a job similar to this last summer at a residence. Some of the shrubbery was deciduos and the rest was evergreen. The decidious shrubs, for whatever reason, seemed to come out a little bit easier. The evergreens were about 8-10 feet high and in between of the house. About 3-4 feet betwen house and concrete sidewalk. I did not see any root intrusion into the concrete......

    It seemed that I had the most luck by cutting the shrubs back and then leaving about 18" or so of the stump sticking up.

    I dug around the edges and then cut the bigger roots with my axe. Chopping seems much more efficient to me. (Great workout for a 95 degree day too.:cry:)

    The exposed stump piece will give you something to grab onto and wrench back and forth so as to loosten it up or attach a chain to. If you do decide to pull it with your truck just take it slowly and ensure your not doing damage to the surrounding structure. I used a compact Kubota tractor with a front end loader to help pop out the stump. Worked great.

    Good luck. Eat your wheaties as you will need it!
  6. jwalker17

    jwalker17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

  7. ExtExc

    ExtExc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 204

    pictures = priceless.
  8. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    I would suggest like what others have suggested, cutting them off about 18-24 inches above the ground. This will give you something to work with.

    The reason pulling bushes out with a truck works is because not only are you pulling away from the plant but the truck is sitting higher than the root ball which helps lift the root out of the ground.

    In your case your truck would be applying plain horizontal forces. Which would help loosen the rootball but you'll still need to apply vertical force to actually get the root ball out of the ground. Plus, the dirt will be so compact in such a small area and the concrete will help hold the root-ball together making it even harder to break it loose.

    I would either straight up rent a skid loader and use chains and pull straight up or check on some hi-lift jacks...


    These things are great! I'm sure you've seen them and may have used them but they are rated for a couple tons of lift capacity and they can be used as a winch.

    No matter what you use to apply vertical force use good logger chain to hook onto the stump. I'm sure you know all of this stuff but I will say it anyway so that others can learn. Wrap the stump TWICE with the chain and tie the chain into a knot. You may need to go two knots, so yes, one 10 ft chain will mostly be just tied onto the stump. The purpose for two knots is they will cinch up on the stump and bind together making one of those neat situations where the harder you pull the tighter they get! But with chains you can just whack them with a hammer and it will loosen back up. Unlike with a tow strap or rope, you just bought yourself a new rope :)
    If you go the hi-lift jack route you will need some kind of platform for the winch to sit on to keep from settling into the ground. You can buy from the company you purchase the lift from or make your own. Two jacks would be great!

    Just keep tension and keep whacking at the roots with an axe. I agree, do not use a chainsaw. Good Luck!

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