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I moved into my house a couple of years ago - part of the backyard is sloped (roughly 75' x 10' / 23m x 3m) and the developers planted what I believe to be Blue Pacific juniper along the hill to prevent erosion.

I'm interested in completely getting rid of the juniper and having a landscape architect rework the backyard perhaps creating a few tiers on the hill rather than having a consistent slope.

In the interest of doing some of the work myself, I'm curious about the best way to go about removing the juniper: is there a proper way to kill it? Should I plan to completely up root it by hand?

Any and all suggestions appreciated!

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With an area that large, you'd have a huge amount of work to dig out all the roots by hand. I'd think about using power tools to do it.

However, your landscaper would probably use power tools to regrade your yard, so what I would do is cut off all the branches and cut the trunks back to a few inches above the ground. When you're getting quotes for the job, ask them to include the cost of digging up the root balls as a separate line item. It might turn out cheaper than renting a digger yourself.

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    I agree with this. As big as the area is, a backhoe mini-bulldozer would probably be the best tool. If you're going to hire a landscaper anyway, there's a good chance it's cheaper just to let them do it for you. – Shane Apr 28 '11 at 0:18

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