Removing a tree from the yard can affect more than just the tree. Damage to the nearby landscaping is possible, but it's not completely unavoidable. The following tips can help you protect your landscaping during tree removal.
1. Move Sensitive Plants
Plants growing close to the tree are the most likely to suffer damage during the removal process. The best way to protect them is to carefully dig up the plants and their roots so they can be temporarily potted up and moved to a safe area. You can sink the pots into an empty flower bed, for example, so they don't dry out quickly. For woody plants like shrubs that can't be easily moved, the best option may be to cover the plants with a chicken wire cage and tarp for protection.
2. Prepare the Lawn
The equipment used during tree removal can leave ruts in the lawn, especially if the ground is wet. Turn off the sprinkler system a few days before the removal is scheduled. Your lawn should be able to handle a few days without water, and at worse it may go partially dormant until you resume watering after tree removal. Your tree service may also lay protection over the lawn, particularly if it's wet, to help distribute the weight of equipment so ruts will be less of a concern.
3. Consider Turf Cutting
If you are very worried about turf damage, or if you have grass growing right up to the tree trunk and you would like to save it for repairing the site after removal, then turf cutting may be the answer. The day before removal, rent a sod or turf cutter from a local hardware store. These tools remove the grass and its roots in long strips. These can be rolled, soil side out, and stacked in a shady area. If kept moist, the sod should survive the day of tree removal so that you can replant it right afterward.
4. Grind the Stump
Some types of stump removal can cause damage to the surrounding ground, namely digging or pulling the stump out. This type of removal will remove a chunk of soil along with the stump, leaving a large hole and disturbed ground. A better option is stump grinding, a service offered by most tree removal companies. The tree service will use a mechanical stump grinder to grind the stump down into sawdust. The only needed landscaping repair is filling in the hole where the stump once was and planting over it.
Contact a tree removal service for more help when it's time to take down a tree in your yard.