Removing a Conifer tree

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Redsun | 19:44 Wed 21st Jun 2006 | Home & Garden
10 Answers
Tomorrow I plan to cut down a conifer tree which is about 8 to 9 foot high. I have noticed that the slabs near the tree are moving so I think the roots are making the slabs wobbly. Also the tree is less than 2 meters away from the house, so common sense tells me i should cut the tree down before the roots start to do damage to the house. I have two questions as follows; Do I have to contact the council to say im cutting the tree down as I have heard you cant just cut trees down you need permission. By the way my house is not a listed building After cutting the tree down as the base of the trunk what is the best way to kil the root. Do I ned to kill the root somehow or will the root die naturally ? Any good advice appreciated .
P.S I am looking for a cheap option eg. not hiring any expensive equipment.
Thank you in advance.


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Hi you do not need permission from the council, unless the tree has a protection order, which I doubt your conifer does. Conifers do not re-grow from the base so if you leave it, it will rot away in time. If you do not like the look of the stump, you can dig around it about a foot out, cutting through roots as you find them before finally cutting underneath the conifer. Good luck.
I recently removed two huge conifers from my back garden - over 50 ft tall.

I emailed the relevant department at the council to check that I could remove them and they replied within two hours that I could.

I believe that trees without Tree Preservation Orders can be removed without notifying the council - but it's best to check first.

I suggest you contact you local council to be on the safe side.

As I had to pay professionals to do the job I don't know how to get rid of the stumps.
Hi Redsun,
I fully agree with the above posts but would also like to add a couple of tips that you may find helpful.
I think your right about the roots lifting the slabs. If you do decide to take the root out as well, you may find it easier if you leave a tall stump about 3ft high, this will give you some extra leaverage (waggle it about like a loose tooth)
I dont know how you are at felling trees but obviously you dont want it falling towards the house, to avoid this cut a wedge out of the side where you want it to fall first and then start to saw from the back, you can assist this by tying a rope about 3/4 of the way up with someone keeping it tought at a safe distance, if its only 8-9ft you should find it easy enough but the root will be the hardest part and if the groud is bone dry,like most at the moment,you could drench the ground before you start to dig to soften it up.
Take care T bird.

I can't believe the complexity of the above answers, or the question.

Your tree is only 8-9 foot high! Just go round the base of it with a spade, about 1 foot away from the tree and then start pulling sideways on it, try to cut some of the roots with the spade, it will be out in no time.

You do not need any permission for that!

Re - Toureman

You may be right but as the conifer is not specified it could be a slow grower with quite a thick trunk and the roots sound as though they are quite large. Also, not everyone is as physically fit and young as you most probably are!
Exactly horty, thank you,
If the tree is growing in a confined area ie close to the house and the roots are lifting the paving slabs then I think its a reasonable bet that the tree has put out a considerable root system. from my experience, sometimes what can look like a1/2 hour job can often take 2 or 3 hours.
Youth is wasted on the young!
Question Author
Hello Thunderbird, Horty, Ethel, and Thunderbird again.Tis the end of the day and my work is done. I managed to cut the tree down today with all your help. The area was restricted by a fence post and slabs and other well matured plants so I was unable to dig around the base which measured just over one foot.
I used a bow saw with a new blade and an axe ....yes i felt like I was a lumberjack!. Thunderbird thank you for your tips, I tied the tree to the fence post first and then started sawing and axeing away and eventually waggled it like a looose tooth .Thunderbird you were right 3 hours it took me all in all. It fell very slowly and safely in the direction i wanted it to go. I've left the base as it is as you suggested Horty It will rot away in time ;-). Thank you
I rang the council up as you suggested Ethel they said go ahead and take it down. Your suggestions have been a great help and I really apppreciate it.
Lastly to Toureman, you found my question and the answers people kindly gave "complex" well im sorry I could'nt put my question in any simple way but thanks for your input anyway.
In my opinion the answers people gave were great.
I'm 38 years old and have chronic back pain after a car accident so I think i have done well to do what i have achieved today on a very tight budget and no one to help me physically.
I'm happy the tree is down my slabs wont wobble any more than they have been also the house is safe of any root system.Now i can put my feet up.

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Hi Redsun

Just to say glad you managed your conifer removal and that you are pleased with the result, enjoy your well deserved rest.
Hi Redsun,
Pleased to here all went okay with the conifer today!
I think the smell of terpentine stirs up that pioneer spirit of the logger in us!
I'm raising a bottle of of bud to you now, well done and thanks for getting back. cheers T. bird.

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