So You Want to Remove a Tree . . .

Posted on: 10 September 2014

Tree removal on private property is not as simple as picking up a chainsaw. Depending on the girth, species and location of your tree, you may have to seek council approval for removing or even pruning a tree on your property. What follows is a quick guide to residential tree removal.

Approve Before you Remove

If you are planning to remove a native tree, or a significant tree in terms of it's historical, functional or botanical importance, you may need to acquire a permit or council permission to proceed. Neglecting to do so could result in a hefty fine and legal costs, for both yourself as the property owner and the treelopping company hired for the job.

As tree protection legislation varies greatly between states and local councils, it is important to receive adequate local advice before significant pruning or felling activities. Contact your local council with the height and girth measurements, location and species information of the tree, and they will be able to recommend your best course of action.

Call in the Experts

Once you have received approval for your tree removal, either in the form of a permit, or as an exemption based on the tree size, proximity or species, you are ready to plan your tree removal.

Depending on your experience with a chainsaw, and the girth and height of your tree, you may want to call in an expert tree removalist company, like Southern Highlands Tree Services, to fell your tree. Not only is a chainsaw a very dangerous power tool requiring a significant level of understanding and experience to operate safely, felling a large tree requires a certain level of mathematical problem solving, an appreciation of physics, as well as an understanding of cutting methods and tree species.

An expert tree feller is equipped with the adequate tools, protective clothing, insurance, professional training and experience to cut a large tree down without injuring themselves, others, buildings or power lines. Contact your local tree removal specialists for a quote.

The Wood Pile

After the tree has been felled, the work has just begun! You now have a significant amount of wood to remove from your property. If you have a wood combustion fire, this is a great opportunity to stock up on wood for the coming colder months. Have a professional chop the tree trunk and larger branches into adequate sized logs for your fireplace, and store the wood in a dry, sheltered area to season.

If you don't have a wood fire, your tree removalist may offer to remove the wood at a cost, or you could sell the wood to locals privately by the trailer load. Smaller branches and leaves are best disposed of using a commercial wood chipper--either hired by the day, or as provided by your tree removalist service. Depending on the size of your tree and your own skills with a chainsaw or wood chipper, having your professional tree specialist cut and dispose of the excess wood may be the smartest option.

Now I'm Stumped!

After felling your tree and disposing of all the wood, you're left with a great big stump on your property. Having a large stump removed completely from the ground is an extensive and costly job. A more cost effective option is to hire a stump grinder--a large powered machine used to chip away at the stump to reduce the stump height to ground level. Your tree removalist may provide this option, so make sure you discuss your intentions when you get a removal quote.

Alternatively, you could turn your stump into a garden feature as the base for a beautiful outdoor table setting, as a birdbath stand or hollowed out as a flower garden. This is an environmentally-friendly recycling option that leaves you with a beautiful piece of landscape art and a memorable vestige of the tree it once was.