How to Remove a Tree and Stump using Handtools


Select the tree to remove. If you are lucky your spouse or
significant other may have already done this for you.
Perhaps the tree’s roots are damaging walkways or possibly it
just has bad Feng Shui. In our case, the demonstration tree is 25
feet tall. Assemble your tools and supplies. Your
shovel and a hatchet are most important. A hose or other water source is also
very useful. Clear breakables from the possible fall zone, and obstacles and trip hazards from the
work area. Begin the removal operation by digging
around the base of the tree and cutting any visible roots with the
hatchet. If the dirt is too hard and compact to remove flood the trough and let the water soak in. Then remove the mud and cut in the newly
visible roots. Repeat this process as many times as necessary. As the trough gets deeper test periodically for potential swaying
of the tree. At some point it will become clear that
you will be able to easily push or pull the tree over. If you need the
tree to fall in a particular direction, attach a rope and have an expendable
neighbor pull on it. Hopefully there will be little or no
collateral damage. If you’re lucky the root ball break loose cleanly
leaving no stump to remove. Use the hatchet and loppers to remove
the branches and cut them into pieces to reduce bulk.
It may be easier to partially cut sections of the tree before you remove all the branches and
the trunk is lying flat on the ground. Use poles or other lumber as levers to
roll the truck away from the hole. You want to have the root ball out of
the hole before you cut away it from the trunk. Use
an axe or saw to finish cutting the trunk into
manageable size pieces. Refill the hole, sweep up, and celebrate.

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