Is It Hard To Rip Out A Mature Yellow Ribbon Arborvitae? - Landscaping & Lawn Care - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 03-26-2015, 06:36 PM   #1
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Is it hard to rip out a mature yellow ribbon arborvitae?

First of all, is this a yellow ribbon arborvitae?

Second, are these shrubs hard to pull out of the ground? These things are about 5' x 4' and have a trunk about 4 inches wide at the base. They are completely overgrown and wrong for the space.

I know you can pull on yews with a backhoe and the roots hold firm. I'm curious what I'm in for with these, what I assume are, overgrown yellow arborvitae.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by chaz7979; 03-26-2015 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:06 AM   #2
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Ayuh,.... Wrap a chain 'round it, 'n pull,...

You'll have yer answer in short order,....
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:55 AM   #3
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First of all, is this a yellow ribbon arborvitae?
Looks more like a globe arborvitae to me. I can't find any definitive online verification but I don't recall them being very deeply rooted. A good watering a day or two before pulling or digging and they should not be too much trouble to get out.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:01 PM   #4
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Yes, it will be difficult to remove every root. Cut off the base of the plant with a chain saw and haul it away. Go back with a trowel, shovel and perhaps a digging bar. Excavate around the trun stub so you can identify where the main roots branch off. Dig down around those several inches to expose them.

Get a reciprocating saw with a long wood cutting blade, and sever those roots. There is likely a main, or tap root descending directly below the stump; get that as well.

The plant will not regrow there if you follow that procedure. However, the remnants of roots may remain for some time until they rot, complicating a replant in that hole if you are putting in anything larger than a five gallon plant, i.e., anything with a root ball.

It's not the same as completely removing all the roots, but a lot less labor.
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