Commonly called Cherokee dogwood or Cherokee tree, the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is a spring native to the eastern United States and the most popular flowering tree in Alabama. This tree is commonly found in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8. Many people prefer removing this invasive tree from their property, as its roots threaten foundations of houses or nearby structures. Mature Cherokee trees grow up to 30 feet tall and equally wide; removing such a large tree requires careful planning.
Cut off branches from the sides to thin the tree with lopping shears. Also, snip drooping branches off. Decide the direction you want the Cherokee tree to fall in, ensuring there are no power or utility lines, buildings or garden equipment in the way.
Stand next to the Cherokee tree in the direction it will fall and make a downward cut in the trunk at a 45-degree angle with a sharp, clean axe or chainsaw. Make sure the cut goes one-third of the way into the trunk.
Make a horizontal cut below the previous diagonal one. Make sure it meets the lowest point of the previous cut so they both form a triangular wedge that penetrates the trunk one-third of the way. Remove the wedge to pivot the tree, so it falls easily.
Stand on the opposite side of the tree, away from the direction it will fall down. Make the third and final cut horizontally, but higher than the top of the wedge in the trunk. The Cherokee tree will begin to fall in the opposite direction when this cut reaches the appropriate depth.
Chop up the remaining trunk left in the ground to bring it close to the ground, so that it forms a stump. Cut or drill 1-inch-wide holes in the exposed surface of the stump. Space holes close apart.
Wear gloves and a face mask, and pour or brush herbicide over the exposed surface of the stump. Douse the entire stump to make sure the herbicide penetrates the tissue and kills the roots completely. Reapply herbicide every other day for a week to ensure it reaches the roots.
Dig the soil around the stump with a shovel to loosen it. Remove the stump along with the roots. Sever large roots with an axe so it is easier to pull them. Make sure you remove all roots from the soil.