DIY Tree Removal Process

When to Take it on & When to Call the Pros

DIY Tree Removal

Need to remove a tree? Are you positively sure? It’s not as easy a process as you may think, especially if you think you can do it yourself. Read on to learn more about a doable DIY tree removal process and when you should call a professional.

When a Tree Needs to Come Down

If there’s a healthy tree in your yard that you just don’t like or gets in the way of a perfect view, sure, you have the right to want to remove it. However, the process to remove an older, well-established tree is not easy, cheap, or DIY. The rule is, if you can’t safely remove the tree by standing firmly on the ground, a professional should be called. So you may want to reassess your choice to take it down and come up with possible alternatives.

There are certain situations when a tree must be removed:

  • A dead tree is a threat to people and/or property.
  • It’s damaged beyond repair and a threat.
  • Diseased threatens other trees or plants in the area.
  • Lot clearing for construction.

Again, if the tree can’t be safely removed on your own, call a pro, especially if you’re dealing with the unpredictability of a dead, damaged, or diseased tree.

DIY Tree Removal Process

Once you determined your project is small enough that a ladder is not needed, you can start planning your tree removal process. Calling an arborist for advice isn’t a bad idea at this point either. When you’re ready to remove, do the following first:

  1. Remove any obstacles if needed. Clear the area of lawn furniture, ornaments, toys, playhouses, anything you want to save from possible damage from falling branches or demolition.
  2. Prune anything already dead, dying, or diseased.
  3. If you don’t plan on transplanting the tree, remove large branches first to make it easier to access the trunk.
  4. Water around the tree the day before the job so that the soil is easier to dig.
  5. Measure the trunk. For every inch, plan to dig six inches deep to reach the entire root system. Roots likely spread out as far as the canopy. This is the entire area you’ll want to dig.
  6. Using leverage, wiggle the root ball out. When you plan on transplanting the tree, you want to make sure to retrieve as much of the root as possible and keep it intact. If the plan is disposal, you’ll still want to get all the roots out so there’s less chance of a tree regrowing, but the root ball doesn’t need to stay in one piece.

If at any time during the process you feel uncomfortable removing the tree yourself, call in the pros. Better be helped than sorry.

Tree Removal Guide

Download Your FREE Tree Removal Guide

Even dedicated DIYers should think twice before taking on the task of tree removal. Our guide will help you decide whether to hire a tree service and how to get the most value for your money.