A Step-by-Step Guide to Bush Removal

July 13, 2018

You’ve had the most beautiful yard in the neighborhood for years. Recently, though, you’ve started to notice overgrown shrubs. Unfortunately, unkempt bushes can throw off the balance and aesthetics of an entire garden.

Keep reading as we walk you through the process of removing unsightly shrubs by hand.

  1. Cut off all branches above the normal height – Before doing anything else, measure 20 inches from the soil and cut off any branches above that height. Sharp pruning shears or a saw should be your tool of choice, depending on the thickness of the branches.
  2. Cut off branches that are growing directly from the trunk – One piece of advice here: be sure to leave at least five of the branches in case you can’t dig out the shrub without major equipment (a vehicle, for example). Doing so gives the chain something to wrap around.
  3. Dig around the shrub’s main trunk – Plan on this step taking quite a bit of time. Keep digging until you hit a major root that can’t be severed with a shovel.
  4. Cut through the root – You’re making progress! A saw or an ax should do the trick when cutting through the root. If possible, pull out the root. Otherwise, leave the root and come back to it later on in the process.
  5. Continue digging around the trunk – This is when you begin to separate the trunk from the roots as you uncover them. If you can’t completely free the trunk, at least make sure it’s extremely loose. Doing so will make subsequent tasks much easier.
  6. Pull the main trunk out of the ground – This can be especially tricky. If you’re having trouble, try sliding the end of a level bar under the trunk so that it’s perpendicular. Then hammer the other end of the bar so that it’s completely under the trunk. From there, you should be able to press down on the other end of the bar and pry the shrub’s stump.
  7. Repeat the digging and cutting with the roots that remain in the soil – Don’t expect to remove all of the roots. For one thing, overgrown bushes and shrubs have an extensive root system. Work on removing as many roots as you can, focusing on the largest roots.
  8. Smooth the soil – You’ve finally made it to the last step! There’s no question that removing an overgrown shrub enhances the look and feel of your entire property. Plus, you now have an additional place in the yard for flowers, plants, small trees, or yes, another shrub.


DIY shrub removal can be an absolute nightmare. In fact, the majority of homeowners underestimate how much time and effort this task requires. We believe the better alternative is handing this project off to the professionals at Pro Tree Service.

Chicago residents rely on Pro Tree for a number of services, including tree pruningtree trimmingtree removalland clearing, and general tree care. You can also count on our team to perform bush or shrub removal at a price that won’t break the bank. All you have to do is come to us with a written, reasonable estimate and we will match or beat it by 10 percent.

Unlike a number of local competitors, Pro Tree Service is fully licensed, insured, and bonded. Why is this worth mentioning? Well, should an uninsured tree care contractor cause damage to himself or your property, you are the one who is held liable and not the other way around.

Experience is another factor that sets us apart. We have been providing expert tree care in the Chicago area since 1989. It’s safe to say that we’ve been there and done that in this ever-evolving industry.

Take a look at the bushes and shrubs in your yard. Are they really adding to the beauty of the property? Or would you consider them to be eyesores more than anything else?

By investing in shrub removal from Pro Tree Service, you’re also opening the door to new landscaping possibilities. Of course, if you’re selling your house in the not-too-distant future, then the removal of unsightly bushes is a must.

We are more than happy to walk you through the bush removal process. Contact us today.

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