How to Get Rid of a Shrub


Shrubs are popular plants in the home landscape. Placed correctly they can add beauty, depth and dimension to a yard. However, sometimes a shrub may need to be removed. If a shrub becomes overgrown, a lot of the time it can't easily be trimmed back to its original shape. You may find it easier to replace the shrub with a smaller one rather than trying to reshape it. Another reason to remove a shrub may be that you want to completely redo your landscape design. Whatever the reason may be, it is fairly easy to get rid of a shrub.

Step 1

Cut all shrub branches down to ground level with a pruning shears or pruning saw. This will allow you to gain access to the ground around the shrub.

Step 2

Dig down into the soil in a circle 2 feet from the middle of the shrub. Remove soil as necessary to access the root system.

Step 3

Cut through any large roots with a pruning saw or hatchet. Cut through smaller roots with a pruning shears.

Step 4

Work the shovel under the center of the shrub to loosen it from the soil. You will have to do this in several locations where you dug down to loosen the entire shrub from the soil. Rocking the shovel up and down helps to free the shrub.

Step 5

Grab on to the shrub and pull it out of the soil. For larger shrubs you may have to tie a chain to the shrub and use a tractor to pull it free from its location.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw
  • Shovel
  • Hatchet
  • Chain
  • Tractor
  • Gloves


  • University of Minnesota: Removing Trees and Shrubs
  • M & M Tree Service; Milwaukee, WI
Keywords: get rid of a shrub, pruning shears, pruning saw, loosen the entire shrub from the soil, root systems

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.