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How to Remove a Holly Tree

wild holly image by Joy Prescott from

Holly trees can be found growing in many lawns and gardens. Commonly used as living fences to hide unwanted buildings or structures, these trees grow thick with dark green, waxy foliage. There are several types of holly trees that range in size from 5 to 20 feet tall. As with all other trees, holly trees can become unwanted by gardeners because of disease or because of a change in landscaping that does not allow for the holly tree. With the proper materials, holly trees can easily be removed, but may take time and concentration.

Dress yourself in protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt, denim jeans, protective eye protection and leather gloves. Holly trees are covered with thick, sharp, pointed leaves that can cause injury.

Prune back the holly tree using sharp garden loppers. Prune away as many branches as possible using the gardening loppers; this will make for easy access to the main trunk of the holly tree.

Cut the holly tree down using a chain saw. Leave a stump that is approximately 3 to 5 inches tall.

Use a spade shovel to work your way around the stump of the holly tree, creating a trench to expose the buried roots.

Use a chopping ax to separate the roots from the stump.

Insert a landscaping bar underneath the stump and pry upward to break any existing roots and to remove the stump from its hole.

Remove any roots that are still in the hole after the stump has been removed and fill in the hole using loose soil.

Remove any sticks, twigs, leaves or leftover wood from the holly tree off the lawn and burn them. Leaving them on the lawn can easily kill grass.

Remove Holly Shrubs

Don protective gear, including gloves, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, to protect your arms and hands from scratches. Cut the branches off using clippers or a saw, depending on the diameter of the branch. Remove all the branches until only the central stump remains. Place the cut branches in a tarp to haul away. Holly is a vigorous and invasive grower. Use your hands to pull and rotate the stump, gently extracting the root system from the ground.

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