I have 5 medium-sized Forsythia bushes in my back yard that I want to remove. We bought the house last year and they were already there. The plan is to remove them, frame out the area in 4x4 landscaping timbers, and plant some small evergreen bushes.
I started on the first bush, it was the smallest and looking frail and dying, and got it out in about 30 minutes. I then moved on to the biggest one. The base has a cluster of trunks coming out, the cluster is about 1.5' in diameter, and the trunk size is anywhere from 1-3". I dug down around this for a good hour, about 14" down and 12" out, and the darn thing wouldn't even wiggle. I looked at the 4 I had left to do and decided I needed a better plan.
Would it be advisable to cut these down to ground level, dig out a bit around them, then rent a stump grinder and grind the large root bulbs away? It looks like I can rent one for about $140 for the day. I haven't gotten any quotes yet for someone to remove them, but I highly doubt it is going to be less than that. I've never used a grinder before, but I've used augers, tillers, etc and figure I shouldnt have too much of a hard time learning on the fly.
Any advice/recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
Since you say you are good at learning to operate equipment, if you have room rent a small mini-excavator (little trackhoe). You should get the gist of it in about 30 minutes. While you have it, plan any other small jobs. Or hire someone for 30 minutes. This will really take longer to set the tractor up than to pull them out. Or, you might get a local landscaper to dig them out if you give the shrubs to them.
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. If you wouldn't put your name on it, it ain't done right!