How to Clean Up Yard Debris After a Winter Storm in 3 Steps

How to Clean Up Yard Debris with a Log SplitterNo matter where you live in the U.S., this year’s winter storm season is proving to be a ferocious one. Extreme winds, blinding rain, heavy snow and dangerous ice can not only snap branches and send them hurling all over the yard, these conditions can uproot established trees and topple them to the ground. After the storm, the best approach is immediate clean-up, for the safety of your family and your home.

1. Survey the Damage

When the skies clear, walk around your property to survey the damage. Depending on what you find, you may need special equipment to help clean it all up. In addition to a chain saw, a log splitterstump cutter or grinder can help cut yard debris down to a manageable size for recycling, or even reuse.

2. Choose Helpful Tools

If your yard is full of tree branches and plant debris or smaller downed trees, you can cut up larger tree trunks with the chain saw, gather it all, string together with heavy twine and leave it all at the side of the road for recycling pick-up.

A log splitter will cut larger tree trunks into logs, splitting them for use as firewood. Less physically challenging than splitting trees with an ax, the log splitter uses hydraulics to split the wood easily. The engine uses gas or electricity to power hydraulic oil through the machine. Once a log is placed securely in the cutting wedge, a piston is triggered to apply intense pressure for the wedge to split the log. A manual log splitter also uses hydraulics to split wood down to fireplace size.

If a large tree has cracked or has split into pieces or has been uprooted, use a chain saw to cut it down to smaller size. Use the log splitter if you want to make firewood, or package twigs and branches for recycling. When it comes to removing the tree stump, however – renting a stump cutter or grinder is your best bet for efficient clean-up after a storm.

3. Remove a Tree Stump (step-by-step)

  1. After the tree is cut down to the ground, start by digging out the snow, ice, rocks and soil around the remaining stump manually with a shovel.
  2. Position the stump cutter close enough so the cutting wheel fits right above the center of the stump.
  3. Turn on the equipment so the cutting wheel starts to spin, then lower it directly onto the stump.
  4. Swing the cutting wheel from side to side as it slowly cuts down into the wood. Lower the cutting wheel inch by inch, until it has removed the stump to just below the surface.
  5. Raise the cutting wheel, adjust the machine as necessary, lower the cutting wheel and continue to grind down the entire stump until the wood has been removed at least six inches under the ground.
  6. Fill the remaining hole with topsoil. Spread grass seed if desired.

Expert Advice

Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with yard clean-up. From chain saws to log splitters and stump cutters, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Categories: Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “How to Clean Up Yard Debris After a Winter Storm in 3 Steps

  1. My grandparents have a ranch in Montana with dozens of trees all over. I wanted to help the, get all of the debris removed from the yard, since they can’t do it themselves. Thanks for the step-by-step guide to removing tree stumps, it is sure to help us out.

  2. I have been wondering how to clear out our property since the snow storm last winter. It looks like I should have taken care of it immediately. I didn’t consider that I could cut the fallen trees during the extreme weather. Now I have soggy logs to try to remove. Hopefully the process will go smoothly!

  3. There was a pretty nasty storm here in Wilmington, DE a few days ago and the tree in our front yard was blown over and narrowly missed our house. It snapped halfway the trunk and we have been unsuccessful at trying to remove it ourselves. The roots go pretty deep and we don’t have the proper tools to get the job done. We are thinking about hiring a stump removal service to come and help us out. I think that in this case, more experienced hands are required! Thanks for the tips!

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