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The Home Depot

5 Easy Tree Removal Solutions

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Landscaping > 5 Easy Tree Removal Solutions
5 Easy Tree Removal Solutions

When that tree just has to go – maybe it’s an eyesore or perhaps it’s not healthy – proceed with tree removal carefully to ensure that it gets done correctly. Depending on the size and location of the tree, you may be able to take it down yourself or you may need to hire an expert.


You’ll have many details to consider as you prepare to remove a tree from your property. Whether you perform the work yourself or hire a tree service company, use five tree removal solutions to tackle the project safely and effectively.

  1. 1.Tree Inspection

    Remember, just as people often develop health issues with aging, trees may develop problems with disease and decay as they grow older.

    Because trees are living things, they don’t stay stagnant. From season to season and year to year, trees will change and adapt to a variety of different situations. Sometimes growing environments will cause a tree to change its growing course. Weather can cause damage to trees – high winds and rain in the summer and snow and ice in the winter.


    Inspect your trees at least once each year, looking for clues that indicate its health and condition. If you see an abundance of dead branches or leaves that don’t seem large and healthy, the tree may be suffering. If you see cracks in the tree trunk or branches with weak unions, the tree may have issues. A healthy tree has a full canopy of rich, lush leaves with strong branches supporting the canopy.


    Educate yourself about any specific conditions of your trees so you can watch for symptoms of disease. Remember, just as people often develop health issues with aging, trees may develop problems with disease and decay as they grow older.

  2. 2.Correcting Hazards

    When you recognize a tree with issues or hazards, you have several options. First, if it’s possible to move a potential target from damage from the tree, take this course of action. For example, perhaps you can move a swing set or a picnic table to places where they won’t suffer damage from the tree.


    It may be enough to perform a thorough pruning of the tree to remove hazards. After removing dead wood or defective areas, the remaining tree may be sound enough to continue standing.


    If you have no other options, you may need to resort to removing the tree. Proceed carefully before settling on the decision – you may reduce property values and even create damage in the process if you’re not careful.

  3. 3.Plan Tree Removal

    As long as the tree is under 10 inches in diameter and less than 20 feet in height, you can probably remove it yourself. Larger trees need attention by a professional.


    Assess the entire area carefully to find potential obstacles that you must consider. Overhead wires, landscaping, vehicles, fences, buildings and other trees are examples of obstacles to consider.


    Look at the tree carefully to see if it has a natural lean. If it does, fall the tree in this direction.


    Remove as many branches as possible from the tree before removing it. This simplifies the tree-felling process. The cutting process involves an undercut (a v-notch) facing the direction you want the tree to fall. Next, you make a back cut on the opposite side of the tree, about two inches higher than the undercut. These two cuts should be enough to make the tree move in the direction of the undercut.

  4. 4.Have a Backup Plan

    Before doing anything with the tree, devise two escape routes you can take if the tree doesn’t do what you think it will do. This would be two directions you can move if the tree does not fall where you intend it to fall.

  5. 5.Hire a Professional

    If the tree is too large or there are many obstacles around it, hire a professional. In addition, if you suspect decay or rotting on the inside of the tree, hire a tree removal professional. These unhealthy trees can be unpredictable and very dangerous to remove. See our article on the tree removal cost for additional information.


    Once you remove the tree, you’ve got a variety of options for relandscaping your area.

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