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How to Remove a Cedar Tree

By Lauren Wise ; Updated September 21, 2017

If a cedar tree has died and needs to be removed, you can do so on your own with some hard work and patience. To remove the stump, you might need to get a stump grinder, depending on the size. It is also smart to have power tools and an extra set of hands.

Cut off as many limbs as you can off the cedar tree if you have a tight area of space, using a ladder and being very careful as you prune off the branches. Use a pole saw to reach the higher branches if you can. If you have a wide-open space, you do not need to worry about this.

Use a chainsaw to make a wedge cut (around a 45-degree angle) into the bottom part of the tree in the trunk. Go about half way through the trunk. Move to the other side and repeat the process.

Shove the trunk on the side you first put a cut in, carefully making sure to stand clear of the trunk, letting it fall to the ground.

Cut the tree into chunks with your chainsaw and haul them away to be used as firewood, or dispose of them in compost or trash.

Work on getting the stump out of the ground after the other pieces are chopped off by using a shovel to dig around the stump to work the root ball out of the ground. Use an ax to cut away at roots that emerge from the ground as you work it out of the dirt.

Keep cutting away at the roots and remove pieces until you can lift the root ball out of the ground with the shovel.

Use a stump grinder if you cannot get the root ball to emerge in order to loosen it up to allow you to get it out of the ground. Cut it up and discard of the pieces.


Things You Will Need

  • Gloves
  • Chainsaw
  • Pole saw
  • Place to discard cedar pieces
  • Stump grinder, if necessary
  • Shovel