How to Safely Remove Diseased and Dying Trees From Your Yard

If you’ve recently realized that there’s a tree in your front or back yard that looks like it needs to be removed, this is an article worth reading all of the way through. That’s because it’s going to address how to get rid of a diseased or dying tree.

Although you could certainly hire a landscaping company to come and remove the tree for you (and based on the size of it, that’s something to consider), if you’re on a tight budget, you can also remove it yourself.

If you’re curious to know how, here are five step-by-step instructions:

See if you need a permit. Before removing a tree, it’s a good idea to see if you need a permit first. In order to obtain one, a forester in your area will need to come out to inspect the tree. If they end up determining that it is too diseased to keep or that it is dying, they will issue what is known as a DDDH permit. If the tree is in between you and your neighbor, as a courtesy, it’s a good idea to let them know that the tree is going to be removed. For the record, it’s rare that a DDDH permit is appealed.

Dig a circular trench. If you are able to legally remove the tree, the next step that you should take is to dig a circular trench around the base of the tree (be sure to put on some gloves to protect your hands). You will need a spade in order to do this because that is what helps locate the roots. It’s best to start a foot away from smaller trees and two feet away from larger ones. Otherwise, if you’re too close to the tree, you can end up fighting against the roots that are extremely concentrated.

Cut extending roots. With a sharp spade or axe, the next step that you should take is to cut down the extending roots. You will need to put on some steel-toed boots and goggles in order to protect your eyes from any flying wood chips.

Dig under the roots. If you were to consult with a company like the Minnesota Tree Surgeons about something else that you should do while in the process of removing a diseased or dead tree, another tip they might mention is to dig under the tree’s roots. As you penetrate the roots and push away the top soil from the bottom of the tree, that will make it easier to ultimately remove it.

Put a spade under the tree. The next thing that you should do is place the spade under the tree and then push down on its handle in a back and forth motion. If the tree is still intact, then you need to use your body weight to push on it in the opposite direction. It’s best to get the assistance of another person for this step so that they can help to serve as a form of leverage. For additional tips on how to dispose of a diseased or dead tree, visit Trees and put “dispose of a tree” in the search field.

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