How to Remove Small Trees? – 3 Quick Steps

Remove Small Trees
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With the help of our in-depth instruction, master the art of removing tiny trees. While adorable, small trees can outgrow their place in the environment, which might cause safety issues, a landscape redesign, or just a need for additional room. We will demystify the removal of tiny trees in this article, making it simple and effective for everyone.

Our knowledgeable advice goes over proper tool selection, the use of various techniques, and even delves into chemical remedies for those looking for alternatives. As we go through the steps required for a secure removal process, safety is always the top priority.

Why Remove Small Trees?

Small tree removal from your property may be required for a variety of reasons, and it serves numerous critical functions. For starters, it is critical for landscape management and design. Small trees may occasionally surpass their assigned locations or interfere with the growth of other plants, disturbing the overall attractiveness of your garden or yard.

Furthermore, eliminating tiny trees can help minimize overcrowding, allowing the remaining plants to thrive by obtaining enough sunlight, water, and nutrients. Furthermore, it is necessary for safety. Small trees that are dead or sick can be a considerable hazard, having the potential to fall and cause property damage or harm to people. By removing such trees as soon as possible, you can improve the safety of your surroundings. 

When it comes to removing small trees from your property, selecting the right removal method is crucial for success. The choice of method should depend on various factors, including the size of the tree, your level of expertise, the equipment you have access to, and your ultimate goals for your landscape. In this section, we will explore the two primary methods of small tree removal and provide detailed guidance on each.

Steps to Remove Small Trees

1. Uprooting the Small Tree

Uprooting a small tree is a comprehensive removal method, ideal for those who want to eliminate the tree entirely, including its root system. This method ensures that the tree won’t regrow and is often favored when you want to reclaim the space for other landscaping purposes. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to uproot a small tree:

  1. Identify the Root Spread: Before you begin, carefully assess the tree’s root system’s size and spread. This information will help you determine how far you need to dig around the tree.
  2. Dig a Trench: Armed with a sturdy shovel or mattock, start digging a trench around the tree. Ensure that the trench is several feet away from the trunk. The depth of the trench should be enough to reach and expose the root system.
  3. Cut Smaller Roots: As you dig, you may encounter smaller roots radiating from the tree’s base. Use pruning shears or a saw to cut these roots. This will make it easier to lift the tree later on.
  4. Utilize Leverage: Insert a robust piece of wood or a pry bar under the root ball, using it as leverage to lift the tree out of the ground. Exercise caution to prevent damage to the tree or any injuries to yourself.
  5. Remove the Tree: With the leverage in place, steadily lift the tree out of the hole. If the root ball is particularly heavy or if the tree is substantial, consider enlisting the help of a friend or using a come-along winch for added lifting power.

This method effectively removes the tree along with its root system, ensuring that it won’t resprout. However, it requires physical effort and may not be suitable for extremely large trees.

2. Cutting Down the Small Tree

Cutting down a small tree is a method often chosen when you wish to retain the stump or when uprooting the tree is impractical due to factors like limited space or potential damage to nearby structures. Follow these steps to safely and efficiently cut down a small tree:

  1. Prioritize Safety: Safety should always come first. Ensure that no people or structures are in the potential falling path of the tree. Plan the direction of the fall and have a clear escape route in mind.
  2. Make Proper Cuts: Use a chainsaw or hand saw to execute two key cuts on the tree:
    • First Cut: Create a horizontal cut on the side of the tree that faces the desired fall direction. This cut should penetrate about one-third of the way through the tree’s diameter.
    • Second Cut: Craft a downward sloping cut slightly above and a few inches away from the first cut. This will result in a wedge-shaped notch.
  3. Execute the Felling Cut: Position yourself on the opposite side of the tree from the notch, and make a felling cut a few inches above the horizontal cut. Ensure that this cut is slightly behind the notch.
  4. Tree Fall: As you proceed with the felling cut, the tree will start to lean and eventually fall in the direction of the notch. Move quickly and safely to your predetermined escape route.
  5. Stump Management: After the tree has fallen, assess the remaining stump. Depending on your preferences, you can leave it as is, remove it using a stump grinder, or allow it to decompose naturally over time.

The cutting down method is efficient, especially for smaller trees, and allows you to retain the stump for various purposes, such as seating, decorations, or planting new vegetation around it. However, it requires precision and safety precautions to ensure a controlled tree fall.

3. Applying Herbicides for Stump Removal

If you prefer a more gradual approach to tree removal or have concerns about physical effort and safety, applying herbicides to kill the stump is a viable option. This method works over a more extended period and is suitable for those who don’t need immediate results. Here’s how to apply herbicides for stump removal:

  1. Select the Right Herbicide: Choose a herbicide specifically designed for stump removal. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as different products may have varying application methods.
  2. Prepare the Stump: After cutting the tree down close to the ground, immediately apply the herbicide to the freshly cut surface of the stump. Ensure you follow the recommended dosage and application instructions provided on the herbicide’s label.
  3. Cover and Protect: To prevent rainwater from diluting the herbicide, cover the treated stump with a plastic sheet or tarp. Secure the covering in place with rocks or bricks to ensure it remains intact.
  4. Monitor and Reapply: Regularly inspect the stump and monitor its progress. Depending on the product you’re using, you may need to reapply the herbicide at specified intervals. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines closely.

Post-Removal Care

Small tree removal doesn’t end with the successful removal of the tree itself. To ensure your landscape remains healthy and attractive, it’s important to take certain steps in the aftermath of tree removal. Proper post-removal care helps you reclaim the space, prevent potential issues, and maintain a well-balanced environment. Here’s what you need to do:

Ensuring the Area is Clean and Safe

  1. Remove Debris: After the tree has been removed, clean up any debris, including branches, leaves, and sawdust. A clean landscape not only looks better but also reduces potential hazards.
  2. Fill the Hole: If you uprooted the tree, you’ll be left with a hole where the root ball used to be. Fill this hole with soil to level the ground. Tamp down the soil to remove air pockets and create a firm surface.
  3. Inspect for Damage: Check the surrounding area for any damage that may have occurred during the removal process. Repair any damaged fences, structures, or landscaping features.

Monitoring for Regrowth

  1. Stump Regrowth: If you chose not to remove the stump and opted for cutting down the tree instead, keep an eye on the stump for any signs of regrowth. Some tree species can produce shoots from the stump, which may need to be managed.
  2. Weed Control: In the absence of the tree, the area may be more susceptible to weed growth. Implement weed control measures to prevent unwanted vegetation from taking over the space.

Landscaping or Replanting, if Desired

  1. Plan the Landscape: With the tree removed, you have an opportunity to reconfigure your landscape. Consider how you want to use the space and plan any new landscaping features or plantings accordingly.
  2. Select Suitable Plants: If you decide to replant in the area, choose plants that are appropriate for the local climate and soil conditions. Ensure that the new plants complement your overall landscaping design.
  3. Proper Planting Techniques: When planting new trees or shrubs, follow proper planting techniques, including digging the right-sized hole, amending the soil, and watering adequately.
  4. Mulch and Maintenance: Apply mulch around newly planted trees or shrubs to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Regularly maintain your landscape to keep it thriving.


How can I prevent tree regrowth after removal?

Preventing tree regrowth typically involves removing or treating the stump properly. We’ll discuss effective methods in this guide.

How long does a chemical take to cut down a tree?

The length of time it takes for a pesticide to destroy a tree varies based on the size and condition of the tree. For full effectiveness, it may take several weeks to several months.

Can a new tree be planted in the same location as the old one?

Yes, after removing the old tree from its location, you can plant a new tree there. To prevent such problems, make sure the soil is adequately prepared and think about picking an alternative species.


Remove small trees demands meticulous preparation and execution. You can successfully remove unwanted trees from your environment by using the correct methods and safety precautions. Keep in mind to put safety first, employ the proper equipment, and dispose of the tree debris in an environmentally friendly manner. These procedures will enable you to remove trees successfully while maintaining the aesthetic appeal and practicality of your outdoor space, whether you’re clearing out space in your yard 

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