How to remove a bush from your yard?

Cost To Remove Shrub

Shrub removal is made necessary due to safety concerns or to enhance the appearance and accessibility of your property.

How much does it cost to remove a shrub?

You will find the cost to remove average shrubs will vary with shrub size and type, proximity to buildings and/or power lines, accessibility of its location, stump removal options, shrub health, and labor rate.

Cost breakout

In the following table the Labor Cost figure is what the able DIY person should expect to save by performing the complete task.

Remove twenty five shrubs on a residential lot: each with ten years growth since last trim; no power-line or building issues.

Item Unit Cost Quantity Line Cost
1. Wood chipper: 40 HP; chip all cut material and spread decoratively onsite (requires vehicle for transport to and around site). $244 per day 2 $488
2. Chainsaw: 18” gasoline powered, including gas and oil. $68 per day 2 $136
3. Hand tools: shears, axe, etcetera. $45 per day 2 $90
4. Back Hoe: 1/2 CY wheel mounted; dig out stumps; requires gasoline and proper vehicle for transport to the site. $231 per day 2 $462
Equipment Cost $588 per day 2 $1,176
5. + Labor Cost (2 persons) $38 per hour 32 $1,216
Total Cost $96 per shrub 25 $2,392

Additional considerations and costs

  • Taxes and permit fees are not included.
  • Electric utility companies often perform tree and shrub trimming around their overhead lines at no cost to the homeowner, check with them if this is your case.
  • When searching for a service provider, be sure to request a detailed written offer (usually fixed-price) from several providers that includes proof of:
    • business license
    • professional arborist license (not typical but is nice)
    • liability insurance and workman’s compensation insurance
    • customer references
    • a time commitment to complete the work tied to payments
  • Additional information and proof should also be available regarding:
    • certification by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
    • registry as Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Accredited Business
    • use of shoe-spikes to climb trees (should NOT be the case)
    • removal of living material from the tree-top (should NOT be the case)
    • disposal of all limbs, branches, and cut material; and full clean up the area
    • a background check on the persons who will be on your property
    • provision of a signed contract that details the work to be done including an estimate of time on the job site and the fixed-price to deliver on terms
    • a valid contractors bond on work that exceeds $500

Check out our guide if you need a loan for your home improvement project.

DIY considerations

  • This activity may be suitable for DIY while not working at heights, but with risky chainsaw work. It also requires knowledge of how to correctly trim the shrub.
  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2015.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY and arborist Web sites.

Removing Shrubs

In my landscaping business I remove unwanted shrubs and small trees with my truck and a logging chain or tow cable. One end of the chain hooks on the tow bar in the bumper and the other wraps around the shrub or tree. Two or three tugs in four-wheel drive and the woody offender pops out by its roots.

When you’re using your truck for removing shrubs or small trees, use a long cable to stay on the pavement where possible. Cut down parts of the plant that will get in your way or something, but leave 6 feet of height on the trunk, if available, for leverage. Make sure to leave some branch stubs, too, so that the chain doesn’t slip off. Plan for safety first. To avoid whiplash, use a heavy, steel, hooked cable or a logging chain. Run the chain hook across and not into the link, so the hook doesn’t damage the link. The area of demolition should be completely blocked off and free of pets, people and cars. A cable stretched across a road may not be visible to an oncoming car. Make sure the hook is attached to the part of the vehicle designed for pulling. My truck has a bar in the bumper that is attached to the frame to hold tow knobs. Ordinary bumpers are quite easy to rip off with an anchored chain. Choose your battles and fight from high on the trunk. I’ve yo-yo’d off the bases of a number of sturdy old yews, and it probably didn’t do my truck any good. But big, tall arborvitae, even old ones, come down like dry corn stalks if the chain is positioned 5 feet up the trunk. Once the dirt ball’s out, stop pulling. There’s no need to drag 200 pounds of dirt across your lawn. Knock the dirt out of the roots and rake it back into the hole. Finally, cut the shrub or tree into manageable pieces and haul them to the com post dump. May the plant rot in pieces!

DAVID GRIFFIN
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Safest way to remove old shrubs

Hello Bob
You don’t say what or how big the shrubs (more specifically, the roots) are, but by your post, if you need a winch or truck to pull them, you’re getting pretty serious…
If you want to do the removal all by machine, better to use an excavator of some sort (backhoe, etc) than by pulling. (…Just my opinion, but safety is more important than saving a few minutes labour…)
I’ve found that many shrubs or small trees can be coaxed loose using a spade and pickaxe before doing the final pull with heavy equipment. That way, it’s a lot safer with less chance of chain or rope whip-back if there is a break or loss of grip. I generally will wrap a chain around the base of the shrub so it is cinched by friction (a few wraps of the chain with one of the inner wraps held by an outer one) and will slip rather than snap if there isn’t enough grab. Cinching will often be easier to remove than a knot or even a hook-on-link after the plant is pulled also. A winch or pulley gives better control than jerking out with a 4X4. You want to be able to stop pulling IMMEDIATELY if there is a problem, and communication between a truck operator and the person controlling the chain is not always that quick… DO NOT use the cinch method if you are going to use hard short burst pulls – it won’t hold and will likely snap back.
One bit of advance legwork you should do… (if you already haven’t thought of it…): Be sure to check that there aren’t any underground services or wires in the immediate area if you are in an urban setting – too easy to ‘uproot’ them, too when you resort to brute force to pull roots rather than dig them out.
Hope others will share their experience here – this is only what I’ve found to work best, and as I said before, I am very reluctant to try pulling a plant out without first digging around it to loosen
Good Luck
Howie

This Could be the Best Way to Remove Shrubs Ever, Especially for Gearheads!

This guy is a genius. When I read the title of this video and listened to the intro, I absolutely expected this guy to be using some kind of vehicle to drag these shrubs out of the ground. Conventional thinking would be a pickup truck, but I could also see a badass video to make using a sports car of some kind to yank them out of the ground. We’ll have to keep that in mind next time any of our friends decide to revamp their lawn. But that’s a discussion for another day.

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Instead, this fellow, YouTuber Erik Radzins, had the breakthrough idea of dragging his engine hoist from the garage around to the front yard and using it to pluck his shrubs from the landscaping. With somewhere in the neighborhood of a half ton of lifting power when fully extended, the cherry picker has more than enough grunt to pull the bushes out, root and all. More than just brute strength, though, the hoist also offers Erik an unparalleled level of control, as the relatively slow lifting process allows him to ease the shrubbery into the air, not something you get when you’re trying to drag them out of the ground with a vehicle.

As Erik points out, most people simply grab a shovel and a couple of buddies and spend hours digging away at the base of their bushes to do what he’s able to do in just a few minutes each. In fact, the end of the video is a quick recap from Radzins, where he points out that it took about 20 minutes to yank out three plants, or just under 7 minutes each. I’d guess a good portion of that was properly securing the chain around the base of the bush.

I do like the fact that Erik chose some car-guy apparel for the project, including Matco Tools gloves and a neon Street Car Takeover T-shirt, along with his GM Performance Parts hoist. Erik is truly a car dude through and through, and as always, we get things done and we get them done faster!

Problem: Stubborn shrubs

Jack and lever assembly

Apply tons of pulling force to shrub roots using a jack. Place plywood scraps under the jack and jack stand so they don’t sink into the ground.

If you have shrubs that you want to remove, here’s how to get the roots out without hours of digging and chopping.

Use leverage. Start by digging around the base of the shrub and cutting all the roots you can get at. Then lay scraps of plywood on each side of the shrub. Set a jack stand or concrete blocks on one side and set up your jack on the other. Lay a beam across them and tie the root to the beam with a chain. You’ll apply hundreds of pounds of pulling force, so both the beam and the chain must be strong. Use a 6-ft. 4×6 or 6×6 for the beam and a chain for towing cars. Raise the jack, stopping to cut the roots as they become exposed. If you max out the height of your jack before all the roots are free, add a few blocks to increase the beam height.

Caution

Before cutting the roots, reduce tension on the chain to prevent injuries from recoil. Wear eye protection.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Safety glasses

You’ll also need an auto jack, towing chain, jack stand and gloves.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • 2×4 or larger blocks
  • 4×6 or larger beam, 6-ft. long
  • Plywood scraps

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