How to Remove a Shrub or Bush From Your Yard

Updated on October 6, 2017
It's not as hard as you think to remove a shrub or bush from your yard.
It's not as hard as you think to remove a shrub or bush from your yard. | Source

What could be better than spending a Sunday morning out in your yard sweating bullets under the hot sun as you try to dislodge a monstrously overgrown bush from your lawn? Probably just about anything would be better, but if you’re a homeowner, yard work is one of those “joys” that comes with the territory. In fact, the average American spends about 150 hours each year slaving away over their lawn. That’s nearly a solid week’s worth of yard work—probably more time than some people spend vacationing.

Sure you could pay someone to remove overgrown shrubs or bushes from your yard, but I’d rather have to dig through the soil than through my pockets. Plus, although yard work isn’t always the most fun activity to engage in, it does give you a sense of accomplishment, and in all actuality it’s not as daunting as it might seem.

If you want to know how to remove a shrub or bush from your yard, follow the steps below. While you can do it by yourself, it’s much easier (not to mention faster) if you have one or two other people helping you.

What You'll Need

  • Round point garden shovel
  • Small garden trowel
  • Handsaw
  • Cordless reciprocating saw
  • Pigskin or latex coated garden gloves
  • Water – for drinking

How to Remove a Shrub or Bush From Your Yard

Take a nice big drink of water, slide your gloves on, wipe your brow with your forearm, let out a sigh, and get down to business.

Step 1: "De-branch" the plant

Use your reciprocating saw to cut away the branches of the plant. While it may be tempting to go right for the base of the plant, it’s better to start with the outer layers and work your way in – especially if your bush is anything like the tangled mass of foliage that had overtaken the side of our house. Believe me, trying to hack a large chunk of the bush away will only leave you yanking and straining to pry it free from the twisted web of branches.

Continue cutting away at the bush until you have just a few inches of stems poking through the ground. Be sure to keep a large garbage pail nearby so you can bag the branches as you cut them.

Step 2: "De-root" the plant

Using your garden shovel, begin digging up the soil around the remaining plant stump. Continue digging until you expose the roots of the plant. Use your trowel to clear away as much soil as you can from each root branch. Depending on the thickness of the root, use either your handsaw or the reciprocating saw to slice through it. Continue doing this all the way around the plant stump until you think you’ve sliced through all the root branches.

Step 3: Remove the stump

Dig your garden shovel underneath the plant stump and push down on the handle to pry the stump loose from the dirt. If you have someone with you, they can grab hold of the stems on top of the stump to help pull it out. You may find that you didn’t quite get to all the root branches – in that case, remove your shovel, let the stump fall back into place, and then cut away at the remaining roots before trying to pry it loose again. Once you’ve freed the stump from the ground, shovel the soil back into the hole.

Step 4: Recycle the branches and stump

Check out your township’s website for their recycling rules. If you’re lucky, the trash collectors will pick it up. Ours only take small, neatly tied bundles of branches so we just hauled our four bags to the recycling center and dumped everything there.

Step 5: Pat yourself on the back and relax!

Take credit for a job well done.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        kevin 5 years ago

        don't forget to call diggers hot line its free. its an extra step but it could save your butt in the end.

      • wetnosedogs profile image

        wetnosedogs 5 years ago from Alabama

        Great work. I will have to remember these steps. I have some bush growing, can't remember what it's called. But it is supposed to bloom and the years I've had it, it hasn't. So I tried shoveling and yanking it out, but you know that didn't work. I really need to try it your way. Thanks for the tips.

      • GiblinGirl profile image

        GiblinGirl 5 years ago from New Jersey

        Thanks SilverFish - glad I could provide some useful info :)

      • Silver Fish profile image

        Silver Fish 5 years ago from Edinburgh Scotland

        Thanks for this informative hub, I have a lttle shrub just like this I am trying to uproot at the moment so this inforamtion has been very timely for me! Up and shared.