8 Efficient Ways to Get Rid of Cut-Down Trees

Allie Ogletree
Written by Allie Ogletree
Updated August 25, 2021
Dad and son moving chopped firewood in wheelbarrow
Halfpoint - stock.adobe.com

Dispose of unwanted cut-down trees with these eight tips

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When it comes to cutting down trees in your yard, the most obvious part about planning for the removal as a property owner is preparing to have them removed. One final step that might not be so obvious, however, is how to dispose of the branches, roots, stump, and trunk once they’ve been cut down. Here are eight tips on how you can get rid of the pieces from cut-down trees.

1. Store for Firewood

Storing chopped-down trees as firewood is a fairly simple way to get rid of the branches of your former trees. Not all trees can be used for firewood, however. Poplar, for example, is hard to split and is very smoky if you burn it when it’s not completely dry. 

Even splitting low-quality wood with a power splitter can take a lot of work. If the wood is soft and wet from being freshly cut, you will also have a harder time splitting the wood. On top of that, you’ll need to cut the pieces to fireplace length, which may be a challenge depending on the species of trees.

2. Use as Furniture

Depending on the species and quality of wood, you might be able to use stumps and straight branches as legs to chairs, tables, and even stair railings. This is a great way to add some custom furniture to your home while also preserving the memories of the trees that used to be on your property, making it a win-win.

3. Turn Into Mulch/Wood Chips

For the same reason that you can’t use all wood from chopped trees as firewood, you also can’t just turn any old branch or stump into mulch or wood chips. If the wood in question is larger than 24 to 27 inches in diameter, you’re going to have to invest in more to chip the wood. 

Towable chippers that are capable of chipping entire four-foot trees are mainly used for major land-clearing jobs and run at about $500 per hour or more

With that in mind, if your trees are smaller, or you’ve already hired a tree service company to come on-site, turning your chopped trees into wood chips may very well be the right option for you. You can also take the brush to a brush chipping company in your area if you’ve already had the trees cut down.

4. Create a Property Line

Wooden fence in snowfall
Andriy Blokhin - stock.adobe.com

Another idea on how to get rid of cut-down trees is to get your DIY on. Create a charming rustic fence or go for the eco-friendly, low-maintenance route by simply rolling the logs in a single-file line to the edges of your property as a property line barrier. Bear in mind that any untreated wood will become insect, mushroom, toadstool, and fungus havens as they decompose.

5: Burn Brush on Site

Another option for getting rid of cut-down trees is to burn the wood in place. This option may be more time-consuming, as you’ll need to dry the wood somewhat. However, for leafy branches, this may be more time-efficient than sawing off individual branches and figuring out what to do with them. 

Keep in mind that some species of open-pore “cottonwood” or “alamo” varieties soak up water very easily from rain if left out too long, so you might have to place a tarp over these species to let them air out. Leave airflow space underneath for airflow and let dry for 6-12 months or use fuel to help the wood burn more effectively. 

Note: using fuel to burn wood is not legal in all areas, so always check with your local area first, and practice safety measures to ensure that the ground does not become contaminated by fuel if used.

6. Use as Compost

If you don’t mind adding a bit of wood to the natural scenery on your property, one way you can dispose of tree cuts is by simply stacking them and letting them rot away. Better yet, you can create compost sites from the stacked wood and pile up unsightly branches on the inside. 

Or, if you want to conceal the stack, consider planting some shrubs around them. Just be sure not to place the wood too close to any property that has ants, termites, or venomous snakes, as this might encourage these unwelcome critters.

7. Give It Away

This might sound straightforward, but if you know neighbors, lumber mills, woodworkers, or others who could use free wood, why not just give it away? You might have to encourage a company or a few friends with trucks to come out and do some heavy-duty lifting, but you can rest at the end of the day knowing the wood is no longer in your hands.

8. Have a Professional Do the Job

Last but not least, if you want your tree demolition to be out of sight and out of mind quickly, then the easiest way to do it is to hire a tree service company to do the job. This option might cost more in the long run, but it will almost certainly save you time—especially if you are removing many trees and will have a lot of cut-down pieces remaining afterward. 

A pro knows how to get rid of cut-down trees efficiently and can also use a stump grinder to remove stumps, remove roots, and ensure that power lines are clear of large trees.

Not to mention, a professional can inspect all trees on your property to help identify any sickly or unhealthy trees and remove them at the same time, saving you the trouble of having to repeat this process if another tree were to fall or become a hazard.

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