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How to Remove Plants: Large, Small & The Methods Explained

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Removing a plant may become necessary, as it may block sunlight from reaching other plants, block a scenic view, or just look plain ugly.

While large plants offer a lot of shade and can make a yard feel more private than it is, there are many reasons these plants should be removed.

Smaller plants can take up unnecessary space and nutrients from which other plants can benefit.

Removing smaller plants will not require as much work as large plants and can be done with hand tools such as garden hoes shares and pruners, whereas large plants would require trucks and backhoes to make easy work of the task.

This article will provide everything you need to know about removing plants and the options available so you can use the one that best suits your need.

Contents

4 Things to Consider for Proper Plant Removal

How to remove plants

1. Prepare the Area for Plant Removal

Clear the area:
Remove any surrounding plants, objects, or debris that could be damaged during the plant removal process.

Identify any hazards:
Check the area for hazards such as underground utilities, nearby structures, or steep slopes. Take precautions to avoid damaging them.

Create a clear path:
Ensure there is a clear path for moving the plant once removed. This may require removing obstacles such as rocks or tree stumps.

2. Removing the Plant

Cut away the branches:
Use pruning shears, a saw, or an axe to cut away the plant’s branches. This will make it easier to handle and remove the plant.

Dig around the plant:
Use a shovel or spade to dig around the base of the plant, creating a circle that is wider than the plant’s canopy. Dig down deep enough to sever the plant’s roots from the soil.

Remove the root ball:
Once the branches have been removed, use a shovel to dig up the plant’s root ball. This may require some effort, especially if the plant is large.

Lift the plant:
Once the root ball has been loosened, lift the plant out of the ground and move it to its final destination using a hand truck or dolly.

3. Disposing of the Plant

Compost the plant:
If the plant is suitable for composting, chop it into smaller pieces and add it to a compost pile.

Dispose of the plant in yard waste:
If your area has yard waste collection, dispose of the plant in a yard waste bin or take it to a green waste facility.

Take the plant to a landfill:
If the plant cannot be composted or disposed of in yard waste, take it to a landfill for disposal.

4. Aftercare for the Area:

Prepare the soil:
Once the plant has been removed, prepare the soil for new plants by adding compost or other soil amendments.

Add mulch:
To prevent weeds from growing, add a layer of mulch to the area.

Monitor for regrowth or disease:
Keep an eye on the area for any signs of regrowth from the plant or disease in nearby plants. Take appropriate action if necessary.

How to Remove Large Plants

  1. Dig around the plant:
    Use a shovel or a spade to dig around the base of the plant, creating a circle that is wider than the plant’s canopy. Dig down deep enough to sever the plant’s roots from the soil.
  2. Cut off the branches:
    Use pruning shears or a saw to cut off the plant’s branches. This will make it easier to handle and remove the plant.
  3. Remove the root ball:
    Once the branches have been removed, use a shovel to dig up the plant’s root ball. This may require some effort, especially if the plant is large.
  4. Dispose of the plant:
    Once the plant has been removed, you must dispose of it. You can compost it, dispose of it in a yard waste bin, or take it to a green waste facility.
  5. Fill in the hole:
    Once the plant and its roots have been removed, fill the hole with soil and pack it down to prevent settling.

If you have a large plant that you need to remove, the best way to do so is by cutting it at its base. 

You should cut through the root ball with a sharp and durable blade. Next, put some dirt or mulch on top of the cut area so it can decompose in time.

Another way is by using a bucket truck. This method involves using a bucket truck to remove the plant from the ground and lift it into the bucket.

The most effective way to remove a large plant by killing it is to use a chemical herbicide to kill the plant. A shovel can also dig up the plant’s roots from the base. Digging up the roots will kill that one plant and prevent it from returning for at least a year or two.

Tools Needed to Remove Large Plants

Removing large plants typically requires a few specific tools to make the process easier and safer. Here are some of the tools you may need:

  1. Shovel or spade:
    A sturdy shovel or spade is essential for digging around the base of the plant and removing its root ball.
  2. Pruning shears or saw:
    Depending on the size of the plant, you may need pruning shears or a saw to cut off its branches.
  3. Axe or hatchet:
    For particularly large or woody plants, an axe or hatchet can be used to chop through the branches and make it easier to remove the plant.
  4. Loppers:
    Loppers are long-handled pruners that can cut thicker branches that are too large for pruning shears.
  5. Hand truck or dolly:
    Once the plant has been removed from the ground, you may need a hand truck or dolly to move it to its final destination.
  6. Gloves and protective gear:
    When removing plants, it’s important to wear gloves to protect your hands from cuts and scratches. If the plant is particularly thorny or prickly, you may also want to wear protective clothing.

Organic/ Natural Way of Removing Smaller Plants

Removing plants is a task that most of us are not fond of. There are many ways to get rid of them. The best way would be to use organic and natural products that are non-toxic.

Hence, this is why organic and natural ways of removing plants are the most eco-friendly ways to get rid of unwanted vegetation. These methods do not involve any chemicals or pesticides.

However, these methods can be time-consuming and can also require a lot of physical work. Organic and natural ways of removing plants are best in a garden where you have a lot of space to work with.

Hoeing

Hoeing is the easiest, most common, and most natural way to remove plants. It is a great way to weed your garden without chemicals or artificial fertilizers. You can use a hoe for hours, and it will not harm your back or hands.

Hand Weeding

Hand weeding is also an organic and natural way of removing weeds from your garden, but it takes a lot more time than hoeing because you have to get down on your hands and knees to do it.

This can be hard on the back, but if you are committed, you will find this method very effective in removing weeds in difficult-to-reach places, like between rows of vegetables.

Mulching

Mulching is another great way to remove plants from an organic or natural garden that disturbs nothing without using chemicals or artificial fertilizers. It disturbs nothing in the soil below the plant.

Chemical Method of Removing Plants

Spraying chemicals to remove plants

The chemical method of removing plants is the most common method used by landscapers to remove plants from an area. Many chemicals can remove plants; each has advantages and disadvantages.

Various chemical methods of removing plants are:

  • Foliage sprays:
    Foliage sprays are one of the chemical methods applied to stem and actively grow foliage.
  • Basal spray:
    Basal spray is prepared by mixing chemicals in kerosene, diesel oil, or bark penetrants and applied as a drench to the lower 18″ of the tree’s trunk or canes, thoroughly soaking the root crown around the stem.
  • Cut stump:
    This is another method in which chemicals are applied to cut stump surfaces freshly.
  • Frill or hack-n-squirt:
    In this method, the chemical is placed in a frill made by overlapping axe cuts around the tree’s base.
  • Hatchet injection:
    Under the hatchet injection method, a chemical is injected into a tree using a hypo hatchet.
  • Soil application:
    Soil application is simple and one of the easiest chemical methods in which sprays, granules, or pellets are applied to the soil surface or injected into the subsoil

Mechanical Method of Plant Removal

A mechanical method of plant removal is a process in which machines remove plants. This is the most common way of removing unwanted plants. These methods are typically used for smaller areas or to remove plants that are not too deeply rooted.

The machines used for plant removal can be broadly classified into three categories:

  1. The first category includes those machines that use blades to cut the plants. They include chainsaws, brush cutters, weed whackers, and lawnmowers.
  2. The second category includes those machines that use a rotating drum or cylinder to shred the plants. They include shredders, chippers, and mulchers.
  3. The third category includes those machines that use heat or chemicals to kill the plants and remove them from the ground. They include herbicides and flamethrowers.

There are certain examples of mechanical methods, some of them which include:

  • Hand pulling (pulling up the plant by the roots).
  • Using a shovel to dig up the roots.
  • Using a weed whacker to cut off stems and leaves.

How to Get Rid of Shrubs

Shrubs are a common garden pest. They can grow in clusters and spread quickly. There are many methods on how to get rid of shrubs. 

The best way to get rid of shrubs is to use an effective and safe method. You should first consult with a professional who can recommend the best technique for your particular situation.

The best way to get rid of shrubs is to poison them with herbicides. For this, the first thing to ensure is that you have enough space for the herbicide to be effective. 

The second step is to ensure that you have good coverage of the shrub and its roots with the herbicide. Finally, you must wait until the shrub dies before removing it from your property.

It is important to note that not all herbicides are created equally. So, you must read the instructions before using any herbicide product.

Apart from using herbicides to get rid of shrubs, there are other methods to get rid of shrubs. 

The other best methods include:

  • Burning them.
  • Cutting them.
  • Digging them out of the ground.

Getting rid of shrubs is very easy. Altogether you have to attempt to eliminate shrubs. Keep three crucial things in mind, and you are good to go.

  1. If your shrubs are small, cut the shrub down at the base of a trunk with a handsaw.
  2. If your shrubs are large, before you cut down the base of the shrub, prune it a little so that you can reach its base to get rid of it.
  3. If you plan to move the shrubs, the most appropriate way is to dig them up with the shovel and plant them in a new location.

You can use these remedies to get rid of shrubs effectively.

How to Dispose of Old Plants

Loose mulch
Turn Old Trees into Mulch

There are many ways to dispose of old plants. Some of the most popular methods include giving them to friends and family or donating them to a local nursery.

Another way is to throw them out with the trash or compost the plants and use them in your garden.

You can use your old plants as mulch or compost if you have a backyard garden. This is a great way to recycle old plants and give back to the environment.

This section of the article will teach you how to dispose of old plants. There are many ways to do so. Some of the best ways to do so are:

  • Dig a hole in your garden and bury them there.
  • Put them in the compost bin if you have one.
  • Put them into your green waste bin for collection.
  • Take them to a recycling center or landfill if they are too big or heavy for you to carry.
  • Sell them on a plant site.
  • Leave them outside for birds, squirrels, and other animals to eat.
  • Put them in a paper bag and the freezer for a few weeks before disposing of them.
  • Plant new plants or seeds in the pot where old plants were kept.

These are some methods you can adopt to dispose of old plants.

The Takeaway

There are many ways to remove plants. However, the best method to follow while removing large plants is to find the plant’s stem and cut it off at ground level.

After that, remove any remaining soil or roots with a shovel or garden shears. At last, dig up the plant’s roots, if needed.

One way is to dig up the plant and dispose of it in the trash. Another way is to use a weed whacker or chainsaw to cut down the plant. You can also use herbicides to kill off the plants.

Removal of large plants is typically crucial because they consume a lot of water, can block sunlight from reaching other plants, and can be hazardous.

So, don’t wait; take the steps now and cut off all large and unnecessary plants today in your garden!

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