Frugal DIY tree removal tips
Free & Cheap Tree Removal Options
TDS Reader Contributors
Free or Cheap Tree Removal Options?
How can we get rid of a very large pine-type tree that is too close to our sidewalk and driveway? It is growing sidewise and has roots that are getting into our sewer. The tree has to go, but my husband claims the cost of removing it is prohibitive. Any ideas on how to get it out as cheap as possible?
Cheap Tree Removal Uses Teamwork
We had the same problem. A large tree next to our house was growing into the driveway, and the roots were invading our sewer line. My husband borrowed a friend's chainsaw and cut the branches that he was able to get to himself. Another friend, who is in the electric business, had a truck with a lift, and he agreed to cut the higher limbs for us, just charging us for the gas to run his truck. His brother helped him place a chain around the top of the tree before it was felled, to pull it away from the house (so the tree would not fall on the house)! Then you have wood you can sell to make back your expenses, if you wish. We gave ours to friends. We still have the stump to remove. We are planning to let it soften, then burn it. You can also rent choppers from equipment rental stores that will chop up the stump.
Power Company Removal
Is the pine tree near overhead power lines? If so, the Power Company may cut it down for free.
City Could Do Tree Removal
Depending on the location of the tree, try calling your municipality and tell them about your problem. Usually, the municipality owns the grass area between your sidewalk and the street. They are the ones who plant the trees in this area. If they know the tree is getting into the sewer, they may remove it for free.
Free Tree Removal
You might be able to get rid of that tree for free. Advertise in your local paper that you have a tree that needs to be removed and that you will give the wood free to whoever removes it and cleans the area up. My parents heat with wood and my stepdad always watches the paper for these notices and then will go and remove the tree so he can get the wood to burn. You should be able to get someone to answer your ad and take care of your problem!
Seek Out a Logger for Free Tree Removal
If this is a Pine or Fir tree, check your local area for self-employed loggers. They may even (depending on the size) pay you for the tree. They will cut it into merchantable lengths to process as lumber. At least, you may get the tree removed for free. I live in the NorthWest and this is common here.
Get a Few Quotes for Cheap Tree Removal
Get a quote from a landscaping or tree removal company before you decide it's too expensive. We are getting an arborvitae (large evergreen) removed from our front yard for $75. The highest quote we got on this job was $100. They do the cutting and haul the tree away. Once the trunk and needles are gone, the tree roots should die. Most evergreens can't live without their needles providing them fuel.
The County Extension on Tree Removal
I can't tell you how to cut the tree down cheaply, but I can tell you how to remove the stump without paying for a stump grinder. I learned this from a local county extension agent.
Make many cuts and cross cuts on the top of the trunk with a chain saw or circular saw (in a crisscross pattern). Pour a liberal amount of water over the stump. Next put one or two shovels full of compost on top of the stump. Then place a sheet of clear plastic over the stump and secure it into place with rocks or bricks. A combination of the sun, heat, existing bacteria in the compost and the moisture will cause the wood to break down and accelerate the decomposition process.
Reviewed January 2018
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