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4 Ways You Can Safely Remove a Tree Quickly

Photo by Dan Edwards

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Trees can make for some incredible scenery, with their lush green leaves and imposing stature. Whether covered with snow in a cold wintery climate or staying evergreen in hot surroundings, they can be a truly beautiful sight. However, there are times when trees can be a real pain too. They might actually be blocking your beautiful view, or in the way of your extension, or even growing into the walls and foundations of your house, tearing it apart as they go!


There are plenty of valid reasons for wanting to remove a tree. The best way is to use a reliable tree service. Removing a tree is a lot trickier than most people would believe, which is why there’s a full-blown professional trade in tree removal. Many people have tried to just cut the tree down, only to find the tree still lives and even though the visible trunk has been greatly reduced, the roots still continue to grow and do their thing. Plus the tree itself will eventually grow big again. So here are a few methods you can use to get rid of your problem trees.

  1. Cut Out the Entire Tree 

This method is pretty straight forward but it takes some effort to pull off. It’s also limited by the tree size because some trees are just too big to cut out. You want to cut the tree down to start with. From here you need to dig around the stump, getting pretty deep to make sure you can get at the main root system too. Dig the stump entirely out of the ground and also dig out the surrounding roots. The bigger the tree, the more distance you will need to cover to get the main roots out. You might need to cut roots with an ax or saw as you go.

  1. Chemical Stump Killer

Using a stump treatment is a lot easier than cutting out the roots, but you have to use a good herbicide. It’s also a good choice for bigger trees and their root systems. Start by felling the tree, then drill 6 or more holes straight down into the remaining stump. Try to make the holes as deep as possible, preferably a foot or longer. Now pour in your herbicide following the manufacturer’s instructions. You may need to repeat the treatment over time, and it can take up to a couple of months for the tree to die completely.

  1. Burn It

A simpler method to get rid of the tree stump is to burn it away. To do this properly you can’t just try and light it – that will only burn the outside. Instead, you drill holes into the stump. Put them a few inches apart, starting from the center. Add your flammable material (potassium nitrate is recommended) and cover the stump with small pieces of wood or dry branches. Light your fire and let it burn away. Clear the stump and nearby roots after it’s burned out. The tree should be completely burned to charcoal.

  1. Girdling

Girdling is a more natural method but takes the effort to get right, and is also a slow way to kill a tree – sometimes up to a year or more. With this technique, you cut a strip into the trunk, around an inch deep and 4-6 inches long. This strip is cut all the way around the trunk in a straight line. This stops the sap flowing down the tree and nourishing the roots, which slowly starves it to death.

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