5 Tips for DIY Pine Tree Removal

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Trees make for a beautiful sight, and if given a chance, no one would want to get rid of them. However, there are times when you are left with no choice.

Whether it’s a diseased and dying tree or one that’s growing too close to the power lines, blocking your view, slanting dangerously, or obstructing your renovation project, there are instances when you will need to make the tough decision to remove a tree.

Are you in this situation? Is your pine tree growing too close to your driveway? You’ve thought of alternatives, but the only thing you can do to protect your property and family is to get rid of it.
Well, the silver lining in this situation is that pine trees are relatively easy to remove because their roots grow in an outward direction more than downward.

Even though we recommend hiring tree removal experts for this because it does involve potential dangers, if you still decide to spend your Sunday getting your hands dirty and attempting a pine tree removal DIY, you need to know what you’re getting into.

It’s not as straightforward as other DIY jobs, like painting your house or fixing a leak. Tree removal is a herculean task and needs to be approached thoughtfully.

Safety comes first, so ensure you’re equipped with the right equipment and safety gear. You need a shovel, axe, work gloves, safety goggles, ear protection, ladder, rope, chainsaw, and stump grinder to remove a pine tree.

Another reason for letting the experts do this job is that the machinery tree removal involves is complex, and if you aren’t familiar with how to use it, it can prove to be risky.

5-tips-for-diy-pine-tree-removal

Here are five tips for pine tree removal DIY:

Cut the Tree

Before making any cuts, establish the safest direction for the tree to fall in and measure the height of the tree so you know where it’ll land and how much space it’ll take. It’s important to be accurate here because you don’t want the pine tree falling on the sidewalk or on the neighbor’s house or car—or yours.

First, cut off protruding branches and get them out of the way. Then use a chainsaw and make a cut on the side facing the direction it needs to fall in. This cut needs to go halfway through the trunk. Follow this up with a downward cut that goes toward the center of the tree, merging with the first cut.

Make sure you get clear of the tree as it begins to bend toward the desired direction before it eventually falls.

Clear the Tree Base

Once the tree is down, the next step is to clear the area around the base of the tree by removing the soil. Use a shovel to dig out the topsoil and then keep digging around the circumference of the tree until the largest roots are exposed.

It’s a good idea to water the soil around the tree a day or two before digging it out because its easier to remove softened soil, thereby speeding up the process. Always use a pointed shovel for this, as it gets the job done efficiently.

Cut the Surface Roots

You’ll now see that the roots are exposed. In order to remove the tree, you need to get rid of the roots. Use a root saw to cut each root and detach it from the stump. Once detached, you can use a shovel or pitchfork to remove the roots.

The idea is to remove the major roots. Don’t worry about the roots that are buried underground—they will rot away with time.

Remove the Stump

If you thought cutting the tree was the only difficult task, you were mistaken, because stump removal is equally challenging.

While some homeowners choose to leave the tree stump, we recommend getting rid of it because stumps can attract weeds and insects, which can infest the surrounding area too. Stumps can also ruin the beauty of your landscape.

As the roots of pine trees are wide and shallow, it’s easier to remove their stumps than those of deciduous trees. Depending on the size and age of the stump, there are three different methods you can use:

  1. Grinding—Use a chainsaw to cut the wood as close to the ground as possible. When you can’t go lower, use a stump grinder to grind and chip away the remaining wood completely.
  2. Chemically—Drill holes in the stump and apply chemical stump remover, which consists of potassium nitrate that enables the wood to rot more quickly. Once it softens in a week or two, chop the wood with an axe and then burn what remains.
  3. Rotting—Similar to chemical removal, you can let the wood rot for months and then remove the softened wood with a shovel. This method requires minimal supervision, but it is time-consuming.

If you don’t burn the remaining wood, you’ll be left with pieces of the stump, which will need to be disposed of. You can contact your local waste collector or recycle center to collect them.

Treat the Soil

Yes, you have removed the pine tree, but your work doesn’t end with that. If you wish to grow other plants or trees in the same area, you need to treat the existing soil.

As pine trees grow in soil pH ranging from 4.5 to 7, in case you wish to grow something else, you need to treat the soil with lime to increase the soil’s pH and make it suitable for other plantations.

If you have the slightest of doubts or aren’t too confident about undertaking a pine tree removal DIY, don’t hesitate to ask for help. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

At Vernon Imel Tree Service, we’re tree removal experts with a highly trained team and the latest techniques and equipment. From cutting the tree to removing the stump and cleaning up, we take care of everything that tree removal involves in a safe manner. So contact us and let us help you get rid of that pine tree, without any hassles.