Is there a corner of your backyard that you neglect? I have several. Which really speaks to the whole Lazy Guy persona when there are technically only 4 corners to my yard, and I have more than one that’s gotten out of hand. Lucky for me, my friends from The Home Depot Rental are back for another project with me! And to make it easier, you can now reserve your rentals online ahead of time up to 30 days in advance! This time we are working on a multi-part project where I will be taking back my backyard!
Backyard Game Plan
Looming over our house is the biggest tree in the neighborhood. It is a massive Willow Oak that blocks out the sun, but also it takes up a big footprint of our small city yard bumped right up to a corner of our house. Around the trunk of the tree is a snarl of rhododendrons and azaleas, plus thorn bushes and whatever has decided to take up residence there.
Squirrels? Raccoons? Angry badgers? All are possible. But what worries me the most about all the overgrown shrubbery is that it could be choking that giant tree that lives over our house. So, it all must go, and we will be taking back that corner of the fenced in yard.
Speaking of the fenced in portion of the yard, on the other side of the fence from the snarl of shrubbery is another dead space we do not use between two houses. There is a large Holly tree that is overgrown that has been impeding on the roofline of both houses. Not to mention, when I must hop on a ladder to clean gutters, it is unavoidable that the holly tree is going to attack me. That’s not holly or jolly. Plus it’s so hot out, it’s also not Christmas. Now, I do not want to be the guy who tears out all old growth landscaping… but this stuff is unruly and it’s getting removed.
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Backyard Clean Up
So how do we clean up all of this? With some outdoor equipment from The Home Depot Rental! Most of the heavy lifting is going to be with the Gas Powered Chainsaw. Because the root system is so established with these Rhododendrons and Azaleas the best solution here is just to start cutting things out.
Great idea other than the crazy ivy and thorn bushes that have established themselves as well. After clearing everything out and cutting as close to the ground as I dare with the chainsaw, then the real fun began. Time to dig out the roots.
You might as well get a backhoe and pull these deep roots out, but for a few days it was dig, dig, dig, pull, dig some more and pull the roots more until we finally cleared them all out. With a brush pile cleaned out that was bigger than a SUV, it was time to move on to the side yard. What did we do with all the green waste? More on that in a minute.
On the other side of the fence in between the two houses it was time to tackle the next neglected area. There was a combination of the holly tree, saplings and more vines and thorns. I started off using a Gas Powered Trimmer to clean up the small stuff.
Then I took the holly tree down a few limbs at a time with the chainsaw again. Like I said… the piece of outdoor power equipment that did the heaviest lifting for me. But what about that stump?
I’m glad you asked. I used a 13 HP Stump Grinder for cleaning up what wasn’t cut down by the chainsaw. I’m going to be honest, I had never used a stump grinder before and wondered how easy they were to use. It couldn’t have been simpler. The bladed wheel on the front turns and burns and eats away at the stump in a few minutes of work down to several inches deep into the ground.
What About Green Waste?
So now the big question is what do you do with all of that green waste or yard waste? For us, it’s nice because the city and public works will come around and collect limbs and other yard waste for free. However, I felt like I was pushing my limits with the shrubbery and entire holly tree.
To handle those, I picked up a 4” Wood Chipper that saved me numerous runs to the landfill. The chipper made quick work of pretty much anything I threw at it that was within it’s limits and we ended up spreading the woodchips down outside of our fence for a parking pad.
With the hard part finished clearing out what I’ve neglected the last few years, the second phase of this project will start soon. That includes pulling down part of the fence that was between the backyard and the area with the holly tree.
Then extending that fenced in area an extra 20 feet towards the front of the house. We’ll be using this new extended fenced in area for a dedicated play area for our kids. That means more tools from our friends from The Home Depot Rental for post hole digging and fence rebuilding. And guess what? You can now rent tools and equipment online at homedepot.com/rentals where you can reserve your rental up to 30 days in advance! Stay tuned for the next part of this project!