June 05, 2023

How to Dispose of Tree Branches & Stumps

If you’re a homeowner, renter, or business owner wondering how to dispose of tree branches, there are numerous options available to you. Whether you’re dealing with the fallout from an unexpected storm, freeze, or an older tree has simply reached the end of its life, the debris from such an event can overtake your yard.

With our options for bulky pickup and dumpster rentals, Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) can help you eliminate unwanted tree branches and stumps. Meanwhile, our affiliate Garden-Ville takes waste recycling to another level by turning this organic matter into compost and mulch. 

Read on to find the right way to dispose of tree branches and stumps for your particular situation.

Reliable, quick solutions for branch removal

Sometimes you just need something done quickly and done well, especially when it comes to yard waste collection. To complete your tree debris removal quickly, you can rent a dumpster or pay to have your tree limbs hauled away.

1. Rent a dumpster

Renting a dumpster is one of the most common ways to remove large waste and tree limbs from your property. Texas Disposal Systems’s roll-off dumpsters, including our mini roll-off dumpsters, are available in sizes ranging from 10 to 40 cubic yards. 

If you’re not sure what dumpster size you need, refer to our dumpster rental guide’s  general rule-of-thumb chart to gain a better understanding of how the weight of debris correlates to dumpster size or contact our Customer Care team for further guidance and support. Once you scheduled your drop-off, take the following steps to ensure that you have a smooth and easy roll off dumpster delivery:

  • If you need your dumpster to be delivered within the city limits or within a residential area, make room for your dumpster in your driveway by moving your vehicles. Dumpsters cannot be placed in a yard because they could potentially damage your irrigation system or water lines.
  • If for some reason you cannot place a dumpster in your driveway and need to place it on the street, keep in mind this will require a city permit.  
  • Many HOAs have regulations on dumpster placement, so make sure to check with your local HOA representative to ensure a dumpster is approved for your neighborhood. 
  • If you plan to place your dumpster in a new build area and you do not have a driveway, it is permitted to place it in an open dirt area. 
  • Clear the area of any large, loose debris for the delivery truck to haul in and haul out your dumpster. 

Finally, use your dumpster for only the waste you’ve discussed with the Texas Disposal Systems team, as we take care to ensure we’re complying with what can and can’t be recycled (according to local laws and our own policies). For instance, the inclusion of soil and dirt can incur additional fees, and should be discussed. In terms of unit pickup, if our TDS team has clear instructions for pickup, they can even pick up and haul away that unsightly debris without you even being home! 

At TDS, we are committed to making the dumpster rental experience as transparent and easy as possible, so please always reach out to us if you have questions. 

Learn more about dumpsters and which dumpster is best for your fallen tree removal in our ultimate dumpster rental guide.

2. Have your tree limbs hauled away

You can always wait for the city to come and dispose of tree debris, but this may take a while, and some cities require that you put your waste in plastic bags, which is not ideal for the environment. The city may also not be able to accommodate the amount of tree branches and stumps you have placed near your curb.

Instead of waiting, you can schedule a bulky waste curbside pickup with Texas Disposal Systems. We can take certain organic material and process it for eventual re-use. This service is not just available for residential customers; compost processing for businesses is available as well.

DIY solutions for branch removal

For more industrious folks who want to dispose of tree limbs on their own, there are a number of ways to conduct do-it-yourself tree debris removal. 

3.  Drop off your tree limbs at a landfill or transfer station

TDS landfills and transfer stations are located throughout Texas. So, if you have the capacity to manage your own fallen tree removal and want to take care of your yard waste on your own time, this is another option for you. 

Rather than letting organic matter like stumps and trees to go to waste, Texas Disposal Systems can take your tree limbs and turn them into compost, mulch and more. Check out our gate rates for drop-off locations and additional information on best practices.

4. Rent a wood chipper & create your own compost

Composting is a sustainable way to fight land pollution. To participate in this environmentally friendly idea, rent a wood chipper and create your own compost. Doing so can improve your own lawn and/or garden! To create compost with fallen tree branches:

  1. Clear debris and grass from an area of ground so that it shows bare earth.
  2. Lay small wood debris, like twigs, a few inches into the earth.
  3. Lay alternating layers of green and brown mulch.
  4. Moisten the layers as you work, and turn the pile in upcoming weeks.

Depending on the amount of debris you have and the size of your yard, you may be able to produce quite a bit of compost. So, if you have extra, consider giving it away to neighbors or other families and farms who may need it. 

Check out our composting guide for more composting tips.

5. Store wood to be used as firewood

Another way to repurpose your fallen branches is to store the wood. Firewood is a valuable commodity and can help you prepare your home for the next freeze. It’s best to chop your tree branches down to a size that will fit in your fireplace, fire pit, or wood burning stove. And keep in mind that green wood, or wood that is relatively fresh, produces more smoke when burned. 

Read through our brush removal tips to see what equipment you will need. 

6. As last resort – create a burn pile

If you don’t have access to any of the waste disposal options above, we recognize that burning may be your only viable solution. If you do choose to burn your yard waste, be careful to do it safely! Creating a burn pile as a method for tree debris removal should remain your last resort. Do this only if you are able to comply with legal best practices. You’ll need to research the regulations in your area to know exactly what to do. 

In general, your burn pile cannot be uncontrolled —  it must be in a barrel or fire pit. Make sure your burn area is far away from your home and any other buildings by at least 150 feet. Finally, it’s best to choose a calm day with no wind so that dangerous pollution is not as easily spread and there is less chance of sparking a wildfire.   

Creative ways to repurpose fallen tree branches

Depending on your interests and skills, branches and other yard debris can be viewed as a creative resource.

7. Build an animal habitat

If you own a large amount of land, you might consider building an animal habitat with your tree branches! The simplest way to build an animal habitat is to simply leave “habitat piles.” Habitat piles are used by dozens of birds, some small mammals, and even reptiles, salamanders and bees. 

However, there are a few safety concerns when building an animal habitat. If your pile is very close to your home, mice, voles, rats and weasels may decide that your basement or rafters are also a part of their habitat. Bees, of course, come with the risk of getting stung. Snakes also tend to live in habitats like these and so you will need to teach children and family pets to avoid the animal habitat. 

Not all animal habitats are fraught with danger. You can also use just some of your tree branches to build a border around a tortoise enclosure or to help with landscaping around a pond for native fish. Look up local ordinances before starting any animal habitat or enclosure on your property.

8. Use stumps and limbs to create furniture

Tired of paying for wood? If you’re handy — or know someone who is — those stumps and limbs laying around your yard can be used to make chairs, headboards, and so much more! 

For example, you can chop large stumps into chairs or take larger branches and lay them horizontally around a firepit for added seating. Just remember to use the more sturdy pieces. In this way, landscaping after a storm can actually be a fun and inexpensive activity.

Note: Only follow this idea in a residential setting. Since this furniture will be homemade, you may not want to use it at a business where a customer or client may get hurt.

9. Create simple wooden objects

If you’re a crafty person, how do you get rid of a bunch of tree branches? Well, a DIY-minded individual may look at a tree limb and see an opportunity to create something useful, beautiful., or both! Consider these wood-based crafts:

  • Coasters
  • Cutting boards
  • Picture frames
  • Wine bottle stands
  • Dividers
  • Yard decor
  • Ornaments
  • Decorative boxes
  • Painted or wood-burned signs

You may not be able to craft your way out of an entire yard full of wooden waste, but you may be able to find some unique pieces to save from the compost or wood chipper.

10. Let your imagination run wild

There are countless ways to save your organic matter from the waste management facilities, so don’t limit your imagination. Other ideas to upcycle tree branches and logs include building::

  1. A beautiful four-poster bed
  2. A pergola or huppah 
  3. Wedding centerpieces

Or, upcycle fallen trees by planting a flower garden inside the log, chopping them into slices and using them as a path or even using the stumps for a whimsical patio chair set. 

Need to dispose of fallen trees? Texas Disposal Systems is here to help.

Now that you have some ideas for how to dispose of tree branches, you can make a more informed decision about that pesky pile of limbs taking up space in your yard.

If you plan on renting a dumpster, scheduling a bulky pickup, turning your tree branches into compost, or taking your yard waste to a landfill or transfer station, consider working with Texas Disposal Systems.

We are committed to diverting waste from landfills and will work closely with you to find the best solution for your needs. Contact us today!