Captain DIY: After Hurricane Tree Removal

Hurricanes and tornados can cause a lot of damage and destruction. Trees and foliage take the worse of it during a storm and afterwards there are many uprooted trees, debris, and stumps to worry about.

Trees are often left in the ground for a reason — they can be very difficult to remove. Removing a tree stump is not as impossible as it seems though. In fact, with the right advice and tools, you can do the job yourself. Here are a few ways to get the job done.


– Do not use a chain saw if you are not experienced in operating it or if you are not physically fit. If you must use a chain saw, work only on the ground.
– Never do any tree work that involves felling trees, climbing of any kind, or using ropes. Get a professional to help you with these situations.
– Survey the site. Identify potential hazards and discuss where there is potential for injuries.
– Set a perimeter around the work area and mark it.

Step 1. Dig Around the Roots
Dig out the soil around the stump. Expose as much of the roots as possible, by removing the surrounding soil using a shovel or spade. You may need to dig fairly deep on each side of the larger roots to really expose them so that you can cut or chop them up.

Step 2. Cut Up and Remove the Roots & Branches
Chop up any exposed roots or branches in the way. This can be done quite a few ways. Depending on the diameter, you can use bypass loppers, a shovel, an axe, a hatchet or a saw. The goal is to chop them up or cut them into pieces for easy removal by hand.

– Wear the appropriate protective equipment such as gloves and safety glasses
– Cut at waist level or below: Chain saw injuries to the head often result from making overhead cuts.
– Take extra care when cutting branches: Branches that are bent, twisted, or caught under another object may snap back and hit you or pinch the saw.

Step 3. Remove the Tree Stump
Pull out the stump. Once a majority of the stump root structure has been removed or damaged enough, you should be able to pull it out of the ground or push it over, tearing it away from any remaining small roots that are still attached.

Step 4. Patch the Hole
Fill the hole where the stump once was with topsoil, loam or potting soil, etc. Pack it down by hand or with a tamper so the ground is level with the surrounding area. Add grass seed or lawn repair patching to the area so grass grows in and matches the area with the rest of the yard.

Clean up after a hurricane may be a lot but it doesn’t have to be daunting. Your yard may look like a hot mess but with the right tools, proper safety and some elbow grease you can make it look brand new.

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