How to Pull a Stump with a Bush Jack

Pulling stumps and fence posts doesn’t need to leave you bushed, just use a simple jack and a chain hoist to maximize your power.

| September/October 2019

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Bushes and shrubs are common fixtures in rural and suburban landscapes, adding beauty, interest, and privacy to a property. Eventually, however, they outgrow their space and need to be removed or replaced.

If you’ve ever tried, you know that manual removal of an established bush is a backbreaking trial. Using a car, truck, or tractor to pull a shrub is quicker, but it can also cause expensive damage to your vehicle, landscape, or nearby structures, and can be hazardous, to boot.

A third option is to build your own “bush jack.” In simple terms, a bush jack is a chain fall hoist suspended from a heavy wooden tripod. Few bushes can resist 2,000 pounds of steady, upward force for long. Gearing and mechanical advantage transform a small fraction of “human pull” force into that steady, 1-ton pull.



Supplies to build a bush jack cost $100 to $150 and are available at most big-box stores or online. Assembly will take roughly half an hour. Use sawhorses or an outdoor workbench to help with laboring over the long timbers.

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