This area, approximately 10x15, needed major attention. The tree (weeping cherry) was 2 years dead, and the shrubs completely overgrown. However, I did NOT want stumps left in my yard!!!
I cut back the 5 evergreens, dug up the stumps and removed them.
Next, I worked for days to dig up the tree, attempting to saw by hand through the huge roots when they reached the sidewalk or trespassed into our neighbor's yard. (BTW, this became the boys' mud puddle for a while). Thankfully, our neighbor took pity on me and loaned me her electric chainsaw to finish up. I quickly sawed through the last 3 roots. Then Sean came out to help me remove one of the tallest branches and to push the tree over. A friend from church carted off the debris. This area is now "smoothed" and grassed.