Am I crazy to consider doing this myself? Should I get someone I with machinery to help? The box hedge is 12 years old and no matter how hard I trim it, it is out competing my lovely fruit trees that grow amongst it . I also have a beech hedge that is too deep and high for me to trim easily and I want to remove it and expand my lawn. I reckon there are a good 30 individual plants that need to go. Any tips gratefully received.
No, you're not crazy in terms of the work, as long as you don't mind some hard graft with a mattock. (And it will be hard work, but possible if you take it steady). The main difficulty may be disposing of the stuff without an industrial grade chipper. There will be a LOT of uprooted hedge.
How tall is each hedge? A short box hedge probably isn't that much work to remove. A huge beech one is lots more difficult!
If you're worried, why not get a couple of quotes from landscaping companies to see how much it will be? At least that lets you cost the job alongside the cost of renting a chipper and doing it yourself.
Or get imaginative. This guy has an interesting way of doing it... with an engine hoist www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ErA0yva4qU And a couple of my friends ripped out the tree in their garden using their Landrover Discovery.
I'd offer it out through freecycle but that they would have to dig it out themselves during the hours X to Y on Z days so that you can be there to supervise and help and make sure the other trees don't get dug up by mistake...