hedges and bushes

How to Safely Remove Old Hedges and Bushes in 6 Easy Steps

Hedges and bushes can be great for privacy and can make your yard look more beautiful and put together. There are so many great things you can do with hedges and bushes. But if you are wanting a more open feel to your yard and you have a lot of hedges and bushes in the way, you might want to remove them. Maybe you're tired of having to maintain them. Removing hedges and bushes will create a more open and less crowded feel in a lot of yards. It all depends on the layout that your yard has. Here’s how to safely remove old hedges and bushes in 6 easy steps. 

How to Remove Hedges and Bushes

Cut Branches

Cut your hedge or bush thoroughly. Seriously, go to town on that thing. The shorter the branches are, the easier you’ll be able to get to the root ball. If there are a lot of big branches in the way, you won’t be able to get to the root system. Cut the branches to small nubs, but make sure they’re long enough to be able to pull on them if you need to. You can pull on them to rock the plant back and forth to loosen up the roots.

Calculate Width of the Root Ball

To calculate the approximate width of the root ball, some simple math is required. Measure the width of the trunk and multiply it by 9 and 12. For instance if the trunk measures 3 inches wide, your root ball would be 27-36 inches wide. When you know the approximate width of the root ball you can plan how wide the hole needs to be, for you to dig.

Calculate Depth of the Root Ball

You’ll need to do some basic math skills for the depth as well. Again, measure the width of the trunk of your hedge or bush. This time multiply it by 6. If your trunk measures 3 inches wide, your root depth would be 18 inches. If the trunk of your hedge or bush is an inch or less, you probably don’t need to do many calculations to dig a hole. You can probably just rock the hedge or bush back and forth to loosen the roots and dig a hole around the bush to lift it out. You may have to use a fulcrum bar to help you.

hedges and bushes

Image Source: Pixabay

Dig a Hole

Use a shovel to dig a hole that is the proper size for your measurements. You might not have the exact right measurements of the root ball, but you’ll be close enough. Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s going on beneath the surface of the hedge or bush. If you see that the hole won’t be large enough once you start digging, make it a little bigger.

Uproot the Plant

Once you dig the proper hole for your hedge or bush, jam your shovel underneath the plant’s roots and rock the shovel back and forth. This will start to uproot the plant. Do this on all sides of the plant to make sure that there are no roots still in place. You’ll begin to feel the plant loosen up. When the plant is loose, grasp the trunk and pull it upwards. The plant should come out of the ground. 

Fill in the Hole

Fill in the hole that the plant has left. Use your shovel to fill in the dirt, and then smooth out the dirt to make the ground level again. Notice if there are any leftover roots poking up out of the ground that you need to take care of.

Summing Up

If you want to get rid of some hedges and bushes in your yard it doesn’t have to be complicated. It might require some elbow grease but it shouldn’t be hard to figure out. Pulling out hedges and bushes will open up crowded backyard spaces and free up space for lots of backyard activities.

Image Source: Pixabay

Denali Gillen

I am a farmer’s wife living a farmer’s life. I love having wide open spaces and plenty of space to raise a family. Making the most out of outdoor spaces is something I never get tired of!

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