To remove dead shrubs, dig in around the roots of the shrub, work the shovel around the plant, and pull the shrub out with all the roots. Use dead shrubs as mulch for other plants with instructions from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.
Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment we're going to talk about how to remove dead shrubs. Now I planted these arborvitaes this summer in the heat of the summer, and I didn't water 'em very well, so I lost a few of 'em. And I'm disappointed about it, but it's my fault, I didn't water them enough, 'cause they're kind of on the edge of the property, and I have to really pull the hose, connect, like, three or four hoses to get out here. And, so, I probably should've started them in the fall or the winter, and then they would've gotten plenty of rain, and then by next summer they would've been set. But, the result is I've lost a few of 'em. But it's not a big deal. Plants can always be replaced. So when you remove shrubs, the trick is to make sure that you really work them out and get all the roots. So the easiest way to do it is just to go down into the dirt, and go all the way around and just loosen it up. And so what I like to do is go all the way around, and loosen it up from all the sides. 'Cause a lot of times you'll have a root running one side, and you'll dig it all the way around, and it just won't come up because of that one root. But if you just keep working it away, all the way around, you'll find that eventually it'll just become loose, and it'll come right out. Now this shrub never even rooted very well, because it didn't get a chance, because it didn't get enough water in the summer, and it's just started raining in the fall. Now it's out of there, and I'm going to replace it with another plant, and so, I could throw it away, but what I'm going to do is I'm going to cut this into little pieces, and I'm going to use it for mulch. And it's an ideal mulch for my raised beds. And as long as I cut it into pieces, it'll be fine. And then I can even save some of the branches for kindling, or cut 'em up into little pieces. And so I try to reuse all the plants, even if they're dead, because they all have a purpose, and they are full of nutrition for my other plants that are alive. So whatever you do, try to either donate it, or there's a lot of different composting places that will take plants for free. And that way, you won't have to pay for garbage service, and you can get rid of 'em for little or no money. So getting rid of shrubs is as easy as digging 'em up, and if it was a bigger shrub that I just couldn't get out, you can always cut it down, too. But shrubs are really easy to grow, and it's best to start 'em in the wintertime, not in the heat of the summer. But, here and there, you do lose a plant. And I try not to take it personally. Not everybody shows up to my parties, either, and not all of my plants are going to do great the first year, either. So, as long as I keep trying, and I keep inviting plants to my garden, we're all happy and I can enjoy a beautiful yard.