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Cutting Down Leylandii Trees

Updated on November 11, 2014

Do you want to get rid of your Leylandii?

Our Leylandii hedge at the bottom of our garden was overgrown when we moved into the house 5 years ago.. and until this spring we still hadn't done anything about it. The trees were blocking an awful lot of sunshine in our garden and were no doubt drinking lots of water from our parched garen. The hedge was too tall (20 ft) for us to easily lop, and to be honest, lopping it would have left a lot of unsightly brown foliage.

So, we decided in a moment of madness/inspiration(!) to chop one down by ourselves.... and this page will detail how we went about it including the tools we used, safety steps and a basic guide to doing it yourself. - Please note, I intend to add photos of the process in the very near future, and please do contact me via the Guestbook if you have any questions.

Obviously we are amateurs ourselves, and take no responsibility for you trying this for yourself, but so far we have cut down 11 of our Leylandii with another 20 odd to go!!

I have 2 related pages, one on Getting Rid of Leylandii Roots, and the other Cleaning off Leylandii Sap from clothes!!! - both of these were other problems we had to solve while cutting down our Leylandii.

What You Need To Cut Leylandii Down MANUALLY

Bow Saw or GOOD Hand Tree Saw




The Basic Process

1) Ensure that you have enough space for the tree to fall and make a decision where you want it to fall.

2) Tie the rope about 2.5 meters up the tree around the main trunk. Ensure that BOTH ends of the rope are free to fall to the ground (and further - a 10-15 meter rope should be sufficient)

3) Use the LOPPERS and SECATEURS to cut off some of the lower branches of the tree. Move these away from the area.

4) Use the SAW to cut out a wedge from the tree at the FRONT of the tree for the direction that you want it to fall and at the height that you wish for trunk to be left (See more on this below). This wedge should go in approximately a third of the way through the trunk.

5) Cut from the back of the tree using the SAW at the height of the middle of the wedge until you are nearly half way through the tree.

6) Get 2 people to pull hard on the rope at approx 60 degrees to each other, with the tree aiming to fall in the middle of the 2 pullers. The tree should fall.

7) If it doesn't come down, SAW more at the back of the tree, then try to pull again.



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    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Great guide - getting rid of unwanted trees can be a pain in the neck.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 6 years ago from UK

      I guess it is basicaly the same operation with any tree, I had a problem with a eucalyptus a while ago and solved it in a very similar way. However I only had the one to contend with. I left the roots in the ground and it grew back from several points around the stump. but now I chop it back twice a year to keep it manageable. Good luck with the rest of your leylandii.

    • profile image

      moonlitta 6 years ago

      I've seen it done with other trees, basically the same procedure, but it requires strength, preferably:)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I hope we never have to cut down our Leyland Cypress (is that the same thing - they look the same). Ours are huge.