Removing 6-7 Foot Juniper


LawnSite Senior Member
I have a small property I'm cleaning up for an established commercial client. Most of the cleanup is rather routine and includes easily handled jobs like mowing/trimming up lawn, some weeding and rosebush trimming. All are easily in my range of expertise.

My question, however, is about a 6-7 foot dying, conical juniper shrub (I believe to be of the chinese juniper family). Cutting it back to the stump will be a breeze and will get the ugly thing out of the doorway, but what I want to know is how difficult it might be to remove the stump. The plant is in a small brick planter box by the front porch and I am armed with basic hand tools (i.e. shovel, pick, etc.). The Sierra garden encyclopedia says these plants are easily transplanted which leads me to believe that removing the roots can be done with simple hand tools.

However, I need to lean on your expertise in this matter. I can get the bid either way, as I said this is an established client, but should I bid the job as a cutback or removal? Am I getting in over my head with removal, and should I sub that out to a stump removal service?

There is a large tree stump in the front yard that a big contractor is coming in to remove next month and I can easily have them remove the juniper stump as well. However, if I can get the thing out with simple shovel and pick in a practical amount of time w/o killing myself I'll just do it myself.

What do you know of junipers, and is this something I can do in this manner?

Thanks in advance!



LawnSite Silver Member
Central CT
I removed juniper stumps where the tree was 40+ years old and the shrub had a spread of 10+ feet, with nothing more than a shovel, long pry bar and 4x4 wood block. Took 3 of these out in an hour.

If you cut the bush so there is at least a 3 foot stem it will make life easier as it will give you leverage when you dig it out.

That said, depending on your physical strength you should be able to handle it.


LawnSite Member
Raleigh, NC
I removed a juniper of similar size from a friends house as a favor once, and it took very little time. Yours may take more being in a planter, but as for how physically tough it is, I managed it, and I am a pretty wimpy 5'6" girl. When I have to bid a job like this, I usually give two options...1 for cutting down only and one for total removal. I have found that many people don't care if you leave the stump, as long as you are planting something new that will spread over it and cover it.

double e

LawnSite Member
lewes, delaware
You shouldn't hav a problem with a juniper-

Be carful, on bendidn that shovel- may break
I was messeing around last year and welded a shovel end to a steel pipe- I use it for digging out shrubs and trees. works great.

you may want to take an ax or hatchet along with you


LawnSite Senior Member
Excellent, my friends. Just the sort of valuable advice I was looking for. What I'll do then is estimate out the time on the rest of the job and tack on another hour or so to the final proposal for the cut down/removal of the juniper, and little extra for hauling it. I might offer a little lower rate on that task to just cut it down and haul if they don't want the stump removed just yet.

What, 30% less to not remove the stump sound about right?

Thanks again, my friends!



LawnSite Member
Carlisle, PA
Seems to me you are missing a sale here. The tree is(was) in a planter by the door? Cutting it down will leave an ugly hole/stump. Why not plan on removing it and sell somthing else to put in there at the same time. Easier on you - fewer trips, etc. Also better for the client; could even lead to more work in the future. Either way, I can't see pulling the stump taking any more than an hour. Best of luck
you should really invest in a good rope and a block. these are invaluable tools. i have found that if you are doing a job like that, put the block up high and run the rope from the stump to the truck. but this works for other things too, from pulling your trailer out of a hole, to god knows what.


LawnSite Member

You said the Juniper is in the doorway - you definitely don't want to leave an ugly stump right next to where folks come & go!

Dig it out - sounds like you're new - use this as a learning experience! Worst that will happen is it takes you longer to remove than you thought (come to think of it.. when doesn't it!?)

Have a new plant to drop in there when you remove it, a few flowers & mulch & the tenents will love ya!

Then get referral letters from the owner & tenant talking you up.

just some ideas...


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