Posted on

How do I remove a tree from my backyard?

There are a number of ways you can remove a tree from your backyard. Here are a few things you will need check and a list of tools you will need.

Checks & Planning

  • How tall is the tree?
  • Which way is the tree leaning?
  • Are their any objects near it that could be damaged when it falls?
  • What do I do with the tree once I cut it down?
  • Do I need to get Council approval?

Tools & Equipment

  • Chainsaw/Pole Saw (depending on how tall the tree is) & Ropes
  • Trailer & Straps or Heavy Duty Wood Chipper
  • Stump Grinder & Shovel

First, ensure the size and scope of the job is within your capabilities. If you don’t think you can remove the tree safely and confidently, then consider having it removed by a professional.

Make sure the tree you are cutting down will not fall on houses or damage fences. Make sure the space you are working in is safe, clear the yard of all unnecessary items and animals, and ensure you are working with all the appropriate safety equipment.

Depending on how big the tree is you might need to trim smaller branches first. These can often be reached with a pole chainsaw. Once the tree and surrounding area has been clear use a chainsaw to cut down the tree. There are many various techniques to cutting down a tree, including notches, rope and wedges to fell trees safely in a certain direction.

What do you do with the tree after it is cut down?

There are a number of ways you can get rid of a fallen tree in your back yard. You could turn it into firewood by stacking it and store it up off the ground to dry out. You could also take it to the green waste facilities, piece by piece, on the back of a trailer or you could even turn it into garden mulch.

The best time to put wood through a mulcher is right after it has been cut down. Master Hire’s 9 inch mulcher can take branches or small trees up to 220mm in diameter. So that means you could feed the whole tree trunk into the mulcher – large end first and the branches and other leaves will slowly be dragged into the blades and mulched up as well. If you think there are too many branches that might catch or drag, you should trim it using a chainsaw into smaller manageable sections.

Choosing the right sized wood chipper for your job

Tackling a major garden project involving multiple trees can mean a number of trips to the tip and can some times take days. Strapping branches onto your trailer and then unloading branch by branch at the green waste section will take hours and hours. Depending on the number of trees you are trimming, pruning or even cutting down, wood chippers make light work of heavy awkward branches. Depending on the size of your material you could use a smaller mulcher or a may need a larger wood chipper.

When to use a small wood chipper

Master Hire’s small wood chippers are perfect for chipping small to medium branches into garden mulch. These machines are designed to tackle smaller branches, bushes and small low hanging tree branches. The garden mulchers that are used to shred and mulch up smaller branches and leaves gives you a much finer mulch that will decompose much faster. Keep in mind its the material you send through the mulcher not the size of the mulcher.

These smaller garden mulchers cannot be used to mulch up palm fronds, stringy plants like lantana or tree limbs older than 3 days. Small trees and branches that have been cut down in the last 3 days are considered green wood. As these branches and stumps get older they dry out and become much harder as the moisture leaves the wood. This hard, aged wood can be too much for some smaller mulchers and can even damage the blades.

Why you should choose to use a large wood chipper

Master Hire’s large wood chippers are a great way to save your self hours when clearing your garden. You can even use the left over wood chips to cover your garden. Medium to large branches will need to be fed through a larger heavy duty mulcher. These larger mulchers are designed to take fibrous plants as well as aged wood. They are also equipped with internal feed rollers to help pull in larger heavier branches and do most of the hard work for you.

The heavy duty wood chippers like this machine will give you a much more fibrous mulch, with long shredded parts of wood and leaves.

Ideally mulch used for your garden is made up of a combination of bark, wood, and leaves. As these ingredients break down, they slowly provide small amounts of nutrients to your soil. Master Hire’s large wood chippers are the perfect machine to shred all these materials into a manageable mulch for your garden.

Very large branches and full-grown trees will need to be cut up into manageable sized pieces and fed into an industrial or commercial sized wood chipper. Sometimes these units are paired with a truck and canopy and the materials are fed into the rollers via a winch. These really coarse chips you see in parks and other places come from these really large industrial wood chippers splitting up really hardy materials where the main material is large tree trunks.

Transporting your mulcher

Most mulchers you will find available for hire are trailer mounted and can be towed as long as you have a vehicle with a tow bar capable of towing the machine. These machines are very destructive and turn solid tree trunks and branches into smaller wood chips, that’s why we recommend that Master Hire wood chippers are attached to a vehicle when in use.  

Safely setting up your wood chipper

Make sure where you are working is an appropriate distance from where you are cutting down tree and branches. Ensure the wood chipper is set up on an level surface and that all appropriate wheel choke and handbrakes are in place or engaged. Adjust or aim the chute into an open space in your garden or aim it into a trailer. Never aim point it towards people, where people are walking, toward vehicles or windows. The wood chips and debris that are emitted from the mulcher chute can cause serious damage or injury.

Do I need to trim branches before use a wood chipper?

Master Hire’s large mulchers are equipped with feed rollers in the neck of their feed tables, which allows the blades to engage with the wood at a controlled rate. To prevent the machine from clogging these rollers move in both directions forward and reverse depending on its load.

While these rollers are designed to regulate the materials being fed into the mulcher they can also create some hazards while mulching your trees. Any large limbs or straggling branches can catch on clothing or ropes as they are fed into the rollers. It is critical that the area around the mulchers is kept clear and free of needless debris and any ropes used in felling the tree are removed. Anyone not operating the mulcher should stay away from the machine while it is in operation.

To help the materials flow smoothly into the feed make sure you trim branches to a manageable size. This may require making another cut in the tree branch so that it does not catch on anything as it is fed into the mulcher by the feed roller.

Are wood chippers or garden mulchers dangerous?

Like some machinery, if used incorrectly wood chippers and garden mulchers can be very dangerous and can lead to serious injury and even death if safety measures and instructions are not followed. Master Hire’s wood chippers come with a number of safety features depending on which model you choose to hire. These safety features are designed to keep hands and limbs away from the most dangerous parts of the machine while in operation. There are also multiple emergency stops designed to stop the feed roller from feeding any material towards the blades.

Master Hire’s free customer hand over includes basic training to ensure you can operate the equipment confidently and safely at all times. We also include the operators manuals with all of our garden mulchers and large wood chippers. All of Master Hire’s advice should be treated as guidance only and you should always read the manufacturers instruction manuals and hazard assessments before starting your project.

Can a wood chipper be used to shred tyres?

Tyres are not to be put through any mulchers. Tyres have metal threads internally that will damage if not ruin the blades. We recommend recycling them at appropriate locations where they will be broken down into recyclable elements. There are a number of creative ways you can use a tyre around your garden.

Can I use a garden mulcher to shred papers?

While its possible, its practically very difficult. We would highly recommend appropriate services that specialise in destruction and disposal of important documents or papers. It is much more financially practical as well. Since hiring a service to safely shred paper for you will end up costing you only a fraction of the cost compared to hiring a mulcher. Plus these services often come to you collect and destroy the papers at your location.

How do I remove a stump in my backyard?

After all the hard work cutting down and disposing of a tree you will be left with one or more tree stumps. The best way to remove a stump is with a stump grinder. These units are designed to undercut unsightly tree stumps and roots. The machines work by spinning a wheel of tungsten tipped teeth that will grind and chip away at the wooden tree stump. You can find out what size stump grinder you need here.

First, you need to prepare the stump for grinding – Start by cutting the stump as close to ground level as you can (with out putting the chainsaw chain into the dirt). Make sure any roots that are protruding up too far off the ground are dug out around them by using a shovel. Any dirt or debris left to close to the stumps roots can cause damage to the stump grinders tungsten tipped teeth. Ensure the stump has a flat even surface on which to operate and make sure you are using protective safety equipment to protect you from sawdust and wood chips.

Getting your hands on the tools for the job

Unless you’re planning on using the stump grinder, mulcher or chainsaw day in day out, the most efficient way of getting your hands on the right tool is to rent one. Master Hire has a range of gardening and landscaping equipment and the all the information you’ll need to use them. Plus, you can hire the equipment for only a few hours if need be or even a few weeks. The choice is yours.

Contact Master Hire

Master Hire has a large network of stores that covers much of South East Queensland and the mid north coast of New South Wales. We hire out much more than just stump grinders and mini loaders. We’ve got air tools & compressors, cherry pickers and scissor lifts, equipment for cleaning, compacting, concreting, earthmoving, generating power, lighting, scaffolding, trailers, tipper trucks and more. Master Hire is a family owned and operated company with over thirty years of experience and was recently awarded the 2019 Australian Rental Company of the Year by the Hire and Rental Industry Association.

If you’re looking to rent a stump grinder or are searching for another piece of equipment to hire, we’ve got you covered. If you’ve got questions about which piece of equipment is best for the job at hand, or about how to best use it, Master Hire will look after you. Get in touch today by sending us an email or call 1300 107 107.