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Redneck landscaping: How to remove old shrubs without digging

By June 10, 2012May 22nd, 2013Gardening, House

That title may be a little offensive, but honestly, I don’t know what else to call our little Saturday morning project.


We’ve hated the hedges in front of our house since day one. They are spindly, misshapen and overgrown and looked dated and boring. In simple terms, uglier than shit.

We’ve been mulling removing them for months, but the thought of spending a weekend cutting and digging them out seemed daunting and miserable. Looking for an easier way out, I started watching videos on YouTube. I came across this video of a couple who had removed old shrubs and scrub trees with a tow strap. Easy, nearly effortless and a whole lot less messy. I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try.



We got an early start Saturday thinking it might take us several hours to remove all of the bushes. We circled the first with the tow strap and hooked it to the jeep. Neil put it in 4wd and pulled forward slowly. The bush made several ripping sounds but came right out! We repeated it with each of the bushes and a small dying tree, and were completely finished with the entire removal project in less than 30 minutes. Maybe I’m a newb to all this, but I thought it was incredible.



It’s a project in progress. Now that the old shrubs are out, we have to add some better soil and mulch to the plot and then its new residents, the boxwoods.


Here is a quick little snippet of video I took. See how easy they came out!? I have a feeling we’ll be using this method a lot…


  • This is really funny to me. I knew what you were talking about as soon as I read the title. We did this exact same thing last weekend. We removed a medusa-like catalpa tree/weed which we’ve been cutting down for years, which only grew back even bigger and more overbearing each time. We think we finally got the whole thing out with the truck.

    • Jessica says:

      I don’t know why we didn’t do this before, it’s so much easier, and like you said, it often takes care of the regrowth issue. I’m thinking it will make quick work of the side of our house, which is filled with overgrown scrub.