5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Small Maple Trees

I have several small trees growing in my bush area near my house. My next door neighbor told me that if they are not removed they could crack the foundation of my home. The largest is 3 inches in diameter. What is the best way to remove them without killing my back?

Re: Small Maple Trees

Its easiest to remove them alive than dead.

Cut them off at the base as colse as you can.

Any re-growth gets sprayed with an herbicide such as roundup. It will take a few applications to stop the repeating growth.

Re: Small Maple Trees

Most Maples that are less than 1" in diameter can be cut down with a good pair of lopers. Those smaller than 1/2" in diameter can be cut with hand pruners.

Start with the hand pruners by removing all the small stuff and small lower branches from the larger trees. If fact, if you remove all branches that are 1/2" in diameter that you can reach, it will compact the stuff for sending to the landfill or compost area. Cut off the branches of the branches so all you have are straight sticks.

Rest as needed, these aren't going to crack your foundation in the next few days or weeks (or months probably).

After the small stuff is removed and discarded, use a pair of lopers for the larger branches and trees up to 1" in diameter. Discard or compost all this. Now you will have more room to get in around the larger trees. This will not only make it easier, but safer as well. For them you can use a chain saw (gas, electric or battery), a reciprocating saw with a shrubbery (pruning) blade or a hand saw.

If you need to buy something, the Corona and Fiskars folding hand saw is surprisingly easy and efficient at anything 3" or smaller. I can grab mine, cut down a 3" dia tree and put it back before I can get my gas chain saw started.

Then as HoustonRemodeler suggested, RoundUp the regrowth.

Re: Small Maple Trees

One more thing for safety, any tree that is more than half again your height, say 9' or more, first cut it down at waist level or so, then cut the stump at ground level. Shorter trees can usually be safely cut down at ground level on the first pass.

Re: Small Maple Trees

Keith is right about the safety part, it's just not fun to have a falling tree hit you in the face. Be sure your Lopers are sharp to cut off long branches that will get in your way. I had to cut down a 6" tree this spring and you won't believe what I used - a reciprocating saw. I left handles of branches for leverage (since I'm only 5 ft) and I made angle cuts and cut below ground-level so the mower won't hit it. Trees grow fast so don't wait till it's 100 degrees in the shade!

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.