Tips for removing shrubs/bushes

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by tallmike, May 25, 2013.

  1. tallmike

    tallmike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hey everyone, I'm new to the site and I'm just a homeowner looking for some advice from you pro's.

    I bought a house here in So Cal with a 14K sq. ft lot that's full of shrubs/brushes. I'm looking for a simple way to hack them down to the root so I can dig them out (unless you have a better suggestion that's easier). Most of the shrubs/brushes are on a hillside.

    I have a Stihl KM130R with the adjustable hedge trimmer attachment and string trimmer attachment. I've seen the circular saw blades that stihl makes for the brushcutters and thought it might be useful, but my KM130R doesn't have a bicycle handle setup and I can't seem to find a handle kit for it (any ideas where I can get one?)

    So, with all that said, I'm looking for suggestions on how I can get these cut quickly. I used the hedge trimmer and trimmed about a 15ft section of them today, but my arms are sore and I'm sure there's a better method. I even have a full upper body harness for it as well.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. toasted

    toasted LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    I usually use a Ventrac tractor and chain to pull large shrubs and bushes out by the roots and load them into my dump trailer and dispose of them. In NY the dump takes them for free; CA may be similar.
  3. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 564

    Chainsaw. Or if at all possible rip them out with a chain ands truck.
  4. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    If you want to pull them out get you a 16'' or 20'' steel wheel rim Get log chain wrap around the shrub lay chain over the rim and push the rim as close to the shrub Hook the chain to your truck in low side slowly pull the shrub out
  5. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,111

    Depending on the size of the shrubs the saw blade is a good choice. Anything over 2 inches in diameter get a chain saw. You can use the loop handle with the saw. It takes a bit of practice to avoid the blade jamming in the cut or over heating and getting dull. May want to get two blades first time. As for your back try sliding the handle closer to the power head so you don't have to bend over to reach the fool thing. I like to rotate it counter clockwise a bit for a more comfortable grip with my left hand. Unless you want to plant where the old shrubs were I would leave the stump & roots there. Paint them with glyphosate or most weed killers straight from the bottle (don't dilute them) and that will kill the stump in most cases.
  6. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,115

    If you dig them out or yank them out, don't forget to call 811 to have your utility lines marked. Don't want to hit gas, water or electric lines when you are doing the weekend warrior thing
  7. tallmike

    tallmike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Yeah, there are places here in CA that take yard debris for free. Now I need a trailer...

    I don't have a chainsaw, but what if I were to use the Pole saw attachment for the Stihl Kombi? I'm needing to purchase one anyways for other things around the house, so I already have a need for it. Would that be suitable for cutting into the shrubs/bushes?

    Ok, so are you saying I should do that without cutting them down first?

    Some are about 3-4 inches diameter at the base. Isn't it dangerous to use a saw blade on a trimmer with a loop handle? It's got the small plastic barrier bar, but everything I've read says that I shouldn't do it, and the fact that I'm doing a majority of this on a steep hill doesn't make it any more comfortable for me.

    I do plan on planting stuff where the old roots are. My wife wants palm trees and other tropical sorts of plants around the property.

    Yeah, most of these are in the back of the house on a hillside, but good tip about calling 811. The previous owners here had about 10 trees cut down on the side of the house where the electrical/water come in. At some point I plan on renting a stump grinder and getting them out, so I'll call 811 when that time comes.
  8. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    Could use a utility (Jeep) jack and chain. Works sometimes if you can't get a vehicle close.
  9. tallmike

    tallmike LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    To give you some better perspective of what I'm dealing with, here are some pics from yard this morning. You can see the section off to the right by the irrigation valves that I cut down yesterday with my hedge trimmer.




  10. zackvbra

    zackvbra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    yeah, you probably need to rent a small back hoe and get those out, if you can fit a tractor back there. that's a lot to do with a shovel. just out of curiosity, what are you planning to do with these beds?

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