Start a new thread

1 to 20 of 21 replies


Im new to this, however I wondered if someone could give me some advice. I have a tree which I believe to be a connifer tree in the front garden. I have been in my property for 4 years and I’m trying to get the tree cut down as I believe it’s too big and too close to this house.

would anyone be able to confirm if it is a connifer tree, how much it would of grown in these past four years, and if it should of ever been allowed to be planted so close to the house in the first place. 

Many Thanks x

Silver surfer

Yes it is a evergreen tree.

Cannot tell which one.

You are right it is far too near to the house and foundations.

I would recommend you cut it down ASAP.

It will just get larger and could affect the foundations.

Some garden centres sell dwarf conifers, which mean they grow slowly, but can get large in time.......but this is not one of those.

Last edited: 08 November 2017 22:53:24


It's properly easy to cut down and chances are it only has one stem at the base..just get a wood saw and chop close to the ground. 


It is indeed a conifer and planted far too close to the house. 

Looks like it may be one of the leylandii forms in which case it grows between 80 and 100cm a year and, if left alone will get to 7m or more wide at the base.

It may also be the similar looking but much slower growing chamaecyparis lawsonia but it's still too close to the house and will block light.

If you start when they're much younger and smaller these tress can both be kept clipped to a decent size and make attractive hedges or pruned specimens but neither grows back from cuts into brown wood so I reckon it's too late to do a good shaping and reducing job on this one.

Cut it down, leaving enough main stem to get hold of to let you wriggle and wiggle and wrestle out most of the roots with the trunk.  Before you re-plant, you'll need to improve the soil with some good garden or commercial compost as the soil will be depleted of nutrients and probably very dry too.

Thank you for replying. I moved into the property 4 years ago and this tree was there then. Apparently it was only 5ft back the, however I remember it being bigger then that. Would you say its possible for the tree to be 5ft 4 years ago? 

Finding it a bit daunting to be honest. I think the tree is far to big for me too tackle alone. 



Do you have any tools, Katie?  Loppers and a (bow) saw


Yes, if it's a leylandii it can grow that fast.   

As for cutting it down, you can buy a pruning saw quite cheaply and tackle your tree in sections.   Wolf do a system where you can buy different length handles and then tool heads that slot on so you end up with a good set - hoe, rake, cultivator, lawn edger if you like and many more.

The pruning saw is usually a curved blade with strong teeth.   They also have loppers which will cut branches and stems up to about 1" thick and then you may also find you need a decent set of secateurs - Felco no 2 are best to start with - assuming you are going to look after your garden and have other shrubs that need pruning for shape and health.  Lots of Xmas prezzie potential there.

Start by grabbing the tree as high as you can reach and cut thru the central stem/trunk.  You may need the help of a friend to hold a step ladder for you..  Reduce the tree height in sections till you have a stump about 2 or 3' tall.  Use loppers to remove all side branches to leave a bare stump you can then use to lever the roots up.   You can use an axe or the loppers to cut the thicker roots.   The thinner ones will rot down in the soil but the bigger ones are best removed.

Do this when the tree is more or less dormant so between now and mid Feb.  It will be less sappy.  Wipe some oil on the sides of the blade firs and, if the pruning saw does get stuck with sappy stuff, clean it with some WD40.  Clean again when you've finished.

Or you could just ask a  friend to help or hire a tree surgeon.

Last edited: 09 November 2017 10:09:35


I wouldn't call a tree surgeon for that. A gardener will be half the price and still do the job safely and quickly. It's just a bush.

Last edited: 09 November 2017 22:01:44


Yes - as long as they have the right insurance in case anything goes wrong.  It is very close to the house!

Kitty 2

There was a 15ft+ conifer in our front garden when we first moved in, approx 4ft away from the front door.  Too close for comfort, so we took it out ourselves.

We started from the bottom, taking off the lower branches with a saw and working our way up, bit by bit.  When we'd got the maximum off we could reach on a stepladder, the top got sawed off and then worked downward on the trunk. 

The stump was the hardest part. Left a bit of trunk to help with levarage to rock it back and forth. Lots of digging around the roots with a pickaxe (?).  Had to saw through the thicker roots, that were growing under the path.

It was very hard work, and took a couple of days before it was finally out.  We were in our 20's then and much fitter .  Not a job I'd tackle on my own Katie, but can be done DIY, with helping hands that have a bit of muscle and a head for heights.

Thank you all for your advice it is much appreciated. I have taken it all on board, and the tree is coming down with the help of my brothers and husband.  We are going to invest in some tools and give it a go. 

Wish us luck, I must say i am not looking forward to it!

Many Thanks. 


Make a day of it ... provide pizza and coffee at regular intervals and explain that your role is purely to supervise and provide refreshment ... after all someone has to be fit enough to drive the others to the hospital or the pub ... whichever is needed first 

Good luck! 

Last edited: 10 November 2017 20:48:48

Silver surfer

Cutting it down will be done really  quickly.

The hardest part is not going to be cutting the tree down but getting rid of all the branches.

Hopefully you are near to a council recycling centre and can take a few branches at a time in the boot of your car to get rid of them.


hire a shredder to get rid of the branches. you can use the result as a mulch for shrubs

Silver surfer

Hire of a shredder can be very expensive even just for a day.

Once shredded  the tree will yield just a tiny amount of chipped material.

It will need to be left to rot down before using as a mulch.

Quote RHS......

"Mulches from conifer trees and shrubs

Fresh conifer materials are more likely than broadleaf woody waste to contain phytotoxic compounds e.g. tannins, which can reduce germination and harm young plants. Again, this is unlikely to be an issue for mature plants, but chipped and shredded conifer mulches should be aged before use around establishing plants."



Offer the cut wood on Freecycle, someone with an open fire or woodburning stove will probably be glad to take it off your hands.


Don’t burn it on open fires, it spits like the devil, I can vouch for that.

you could use it on wood stoves but leave it for a couple of years as it tars the chimney flue.


Sorry Lyn, I didn't know that, so thanks for adding a warning!  I've got an enclosed wood burning stove, so I don't notice it spitting.

Thank you all! It’s going to be done soon! Can’t wait toget rid of it now, blocks out so much light! 

Although my little girl wants to leave so it can be an outside Christmas tree! Bless! 



Show us a pic when it's done.