Ranch Land Rock Milling & Mulching Logo

How to Remove a Cedar Tree in Texas?

Table of Contents

Cedar trees, with their aromatic wood and evergreen branches, are a familiar sight in many parts of Texas.

Whether you find them in north-central Texas, south-central Texas, or any other region, they have a significant presence. But sometimes, for reasons like land clearing or cedar control, they need to be removed.

While the idea of removing a cedar tree might seem straightforward, there’s more to it than just grabbing a saw. Read on for some interesting information on how to safely and legally remove cedar trees in Texas.

Legal Considerations and Permits

Before you start dreaming of that cleared landscape, keep in mind there are laws in place! In Texas, depending on the region, there might be permits required for cedar tree removal.

This is especially true if the trees in question are mature cedars, which can sometimes be habitats for protected species like the golden-cheeked warbler.

The best way to avoid any legal snags? Check with your local municipalities.

They can offer guidance on any necessary permits and also share any restrictions, particularly in areas like the hill country where cedar control and other brush management tactics are common.

Step 1. Determining the Right Time

Wondering when to pick up that forestry mulcher and get to work? The best time for cedar tree removal in Texas is during the dormant seasons.

There are two major benefits to this. First, trees, including pesky mesquite trees and the blueberry cedar (or ashe juniper), are less stressed when dormant.

Second, it’s easier to treat unwanted seedlings at ground level during this time, ensuring your cedar control efforts aren’t in vain.

Oh, and a little tidbit? Mature cedars might have blueberries or red berries that wildlife spread, so removing them during dormant seasons can also mean less unexpected tree growth in the future.

Step 2. Safety First

Alright, before you get started, let’s chat about safety. When tackling tree removal, gear up!

Helmets, gloves, and protective eyewear aren’t just for looks; they protect you from potential injuries. Keep the area clear of folks and anything valuable because no one wants a fallen branch surprise.

Also, always, always check for power lines. The last thing you want when removing cedar is an unplanned encounter with electricity.

Step 3. Pre-removal Preparations

So, you’ve got your permits, picked the right time, and suited up for safety. What next? Prepare!

  • Marking utilities and avoiding damage – Before bringing out the heavy equipment or any top removal method, ensure you know where underground utilities lie. This will help avoid any unexpected and costly damage.

  • Assessing the tree – Look up! Check how your cedar tree leans. Does it risk falling on structures, other trees, or into a space you hadn’t planned? Think of this as the tree’s “exit strategy.”

  • Setting up safety zones – Just like in school sports, everyone needs a safe zone. Mark out an area where debris might fall, and ensure everyone stays clear of it during the tree removal process.

Step 4. Tree Removal

Tree removal, especially when we talk about the iconic cedar trees in Texas, isn’t a one-size-fits-all job. There are different methods, each with its pros and cons. But don’t fret! We’re here with all the interesting information you need to control cedar efficiently.

Let’s dive into the techniques.


  • Making a proper notch cut: Before you make that big cut, you want to start with a notch. Think of it as giving your tree a direction. This notch, usually made on the side facing the desired fall direction, dictates where your tree will land. It’s like controlling cedar with precision!

  • Making the felling cut and guiding the tree down: After the notch, you’ll make the felling cut opposite the notch. This releases the tree, allowing it to fall. The trick? Ensure it follows the direction of your notch. Sometimes, in areas like west central Texas, where the redberry cedar might be prevalent among the two species, the tree might be denser, so be patient and guide it carefully.

Sectional Tree Removal

  • Cutting the tree into sections: Not every area has the luxury of open space. Sometimes, especially when you’re clearing cedar near buildings or in tight spots, you’ll need to cut the tree in smaller chunks. This method involves removing the tree bit by bit, starting from the top.

  • Suitable for confined spaces: If your tree is nestled between buildings or other trees, sectional removal is your best friend. It provides control, ensuring each piece lands safely.

  • Rigging ropes and techniques: Using ropes helps guide the sections down safely. Knowledge of basic knot techniques and having a good crew to help guide the sections is key. And if you’re looking to use a leaf spray to manage smaller cedar growths afterward, now’s a good time.

Stump Removal

So the tree’s down, but you’ve still got that stump staring at you. What next? Grinding turns the stump into mulch using a mulching attachment, which can be great for the soil surface. On the other hand, chemical removal breaks down the stump over time. It’s a slower method but requires less heavy lifting.

Step 5. Disposal of Cedar Wood and Debris

  • Chipping and mulching: Once the cedar is down, you can turn those branches and logs into useful mulch with a chipper. It’s an eco-friendly way to give back to the earth.

  • Firewood uses and cedar wood characteristics: Cedarwood burns well and has a pleasant aroma. Consider storing some logs for your fireplace or outdoor fire pit. Just remember, cedar has a tendency to “pop” when burning, so always use a screen for safety.

  • Hauling away and potential recycling options: Not keen on mulching or firewood? Many services will happily haul away the debris for you. Some localities might even have recycling programs for wood, turning them into useful products.

  • Environmental considerations: Always think green! Disposing of cedar responsibly means less impact on the environment. Whether you’re mulching, burning, or hauling away, consider the ecosystem and choose the most sustainable method.

Step 6. Land Restoration and Aftercare

  • Repairing the soil: With the cedar gone, enrich the soil with compost or organic matter to give it a nutrient boost.

  • Planting grass or other vegetation: A cleared spot is a canvas. Plant grass or reintroduce native plants to the area to restore its natural beauty.

  • Erosion control: Especially in hilly areas, controlling erosion is crucial. Consider using ground covers, grass, or even erosion control blankets to keep the soil firmly in place.


Removing cedar trees in Texas involves more than simply cutting them down; it requires knowledge of legal requirements, safety concerns and effective techniques – plus consideration for the environment.

No matter if it’s for land development, cedar control or any other purpose, clearing is an essential task which should be approached responsibly.

With proper knowledge and care, harmony between nature and our needs can be preserved beautifully. Every tree tells a tale; let’s ensure ours is one of respect and sustainability.

Here at Ranch Land Rock Milling & Mulching, we provide the best brush / cedar mulching services in Texas. Contact us today for more information.

Interested In Getting Started With One Of Our Land Clearing Services?