What Can I Do with a Tree After I Cut it Down?
Landscaping projects can add to the value of your home by increasing the curb appeal. However, when deciding to do a major landscaping project, you can be left with lots of yard waste to dispose of. If you decide to remove a tree, you must also plan for what to do with the tree once you cut it down. Trees can be costly to remove, and yard waste can take time to gather for removal. There are a few different options for yard waste removal.
Rent a Dumpster
Especially if you expect you’ll have a large amount of yard debris to remove, renting a dumpster may be the right option for you. Dumpsters allow for yard debris to be added to it during the length of the landscaping project. You can rent the dumpster for a length of time, allowing you to finish the project and dispose of all yard debris in one place.
Once you’ve finished collecting yard debris, you can have the dumpster removed with your yard waste inside. When choosing whether a dumpster is right for your project, first find out if your dumpster company allows for cut tree trunks to be disposed of in their dumpsters.
You’ll also need to select the right dumpster size to accommodate the amount of yard debris you’ll be removing. Typically, dumpster sizes are measured in cubic yards, starting at 3 cubic yards for residential projects, all the way to 40 yards for commercial construction projects.
Grind Tree Stumps into Mulch
Another option is to reuse your cut tree trunk as mulch in your yard. Mulch is useful in gardens and is an environmentally friendly way to dispose of a tree once you cut it down. Mulch is used to keep the ground warm during cold winter months and to keep the ground cool in the hotter summer months. Mulch also suppresses unwanted weed growth and keeps moisture in the topsoil. Spreading mulch can also add an aesthetic finishing touch to any garden bed.
As the mulch breaks down over time, it will decompose and add nutrients to the soil, which in turn helps fertilize the garden for future growth. You can even spread mulch on pathways to reduce weed growth. Untreated mulch will take about three years to decompose. Once it’s fully decomposed, you can just add more on top.
To make mulch from cut tree trunks, you can rent a wood chipper from your local hardware store. You may need to use a vehicle that has a hitch to be able to transport the wood chipper to the location of the cut-down tree trunk. Each wood chipper is rated based on the diameter of wood able to be ground.
Once you’ve rented the right-sized wood chipper and transported it to the location of your tree trunk, the next step is to feed each piece of the tree trunk into the wood chipper. Wood chips exit the machine through a chute on the other end. You can also rent a wood chipper that has a bagging system in place to catch the wood chips that come out after grinding. This makes for easier cleanup afterward.
Cut Tree Trunk Pieces for Firewood
Cutting your own firewood is a great sustainable way to reuse the wood from your tree once you cut it down. You can use the firewood for your fireplace to warm your home in the cold winter months, saving you money on your gas or electric bills, or you can use the wood to make a bonfire during the warmer months. Cutting your own firewood is a rewarding job, knowing that your hard work will keep your home warm and cut down on heating costs considerably.
The most common tool for cutting firewood is a chainsaw, which can be dangerous to use if you’re not properly trained or prepared. When cutting with a chainsaw, debris can fly in all directions. Protecting your eyes with safety glasses is important, as well as wearing a sturdy helmet. Chainsaws can be loud, and protecting your hearing with earplugs or earmuffs is also important. Wear heavy boots and a sturdy pair of jeans to protect your lower half, and use sturdy work gloves to protect your hands. Check out this list of protective gear for use with power tools from STIHL.
When you’re ready to cut the tree trunk, you’ll want to cut it into manageable sizes, approximately one meter in length and trim off branches. If your tree is lying on the ground, be sure not to cut fully through the tree and hit the ground with your chainsaw. You’ll risk dulling your chainsaw blade. Cut partway through the trunk, then roll the trunk 180 degrees to finish cutting through the other side.
Once you have manageable wood pieces, you can use a raised surface, such as a sawhorse or woodblock, to hold your wood pieces for the final cuts to fireplace-sized wood pieces.
When you’ve finished the cutting, your wood pieces must dry out in order for them to burn properly. Wood that’s too moist will create a lot of smoke when burned and will produce little heat. It’s important to stack your wood in a pile that allows air to flow between the log pieces so they dry fully.
Cutting the wood during the spring and summer months allows it to have more drying time. Leaving the wood outside, raised off the ground, and in a single-stacked row will allow it to dry more quickly than if piled up indoors where the sun and wind can’t get to it.
Of course, if you decide to leave your tree removal to the experts, contact Mr. Tree, and we’ll be happy to assist. Contact us for a tree removal quote today.