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Old 06-01-2009, 11:07 AM   #1
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Removing River Birches

I planted 2 River Birches a couple years ago along our walk. They never did very well and I would like to remove them. They were both balled-and-burlaped and each have three trunks about 3-4" diameter each. They are somewhat tall (about 20 feet or so and rather whispy). My question is this. Can I just use a Sawzall and cut the trunks flush with the ground and leave the root ball in the ground or will the root ball cause decay issues? Also, what would be the best tool to use to remove some of the roots so that I might be able to plant something small where the trees were?


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Old 06-02-2009, 04:40 AM   #2
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:44 AM   #3
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The three trunks are only about 3" in diameter each. I think what you are suggesting would be overkill.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:54 AM   #4
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It wouldnt be overkill - That is the smallest machine made to do the job of removing stumps. With that machine the job would take maybe an hour. If you didn't want to rent a machine then a shovel, saw and an axe are needed. First cut down the trees. i would use a chainsaw. if I didnt have access to a chainsaw I would buy an inexpensive bow saw to cut them down. Save the sawzall for jobs its intended for. Yea, it would work.

Then dig up the stumps, use the axe to cut roots. It could take you better part of a day to dug up enough to be able to use the area for planting. or, you could get lucky and it only takes you half a day.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:20 PM   #5
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The main thing is to get rid of them If you wait until they are big they will have put roots out clear across your yard lifting anything they go under. Lots of surface roots as well. The roots will invade any other gardens in the yard and they are prone to bag worm. They are a pretty tree when they're in the nursery but planted anywhere close to a house is asking for a headache 10 years down the road. My .02 YMMV
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