Trees

How to Get Rid of Tree Roots

Trees in the garden look pleasing, but there comes a time when you have no choice but to cut them how to kill a tree. Of course, even after the trunk and the branches are gone, there are still parts of the tree that remain-the roots. They are usually embedded so deep in the ground, that you may have trouble getting them out. Oftentimes, old tree roots can even cause gardening problems.

Tree roots shouldn’t become a hindrance to your yard. There are a few simple ways to get rid of them. Here are some tips to remember. Get your tools, and get ready to dig those roots out!

Remove The Stump First

The stump is the lower part of the trunk that remains after you’ve cut down the tree. While it’s often harmless, sometimes, it can cause dangerous diseases and affect the plants near it. Before you remove the roots, you have to first get rid of the stump. Here are a few methods.

  • Burn it – Burning is probably the simplest and least expensive way to get rid of this dilemma. Before you do it, you have to consider a number of factors, such as the effect on surrounding vegetation, area restrictions. This can also turn out to be dangerous, so if you want to try it, make sure you keep an eye on the stump until it’s completely burnt.
  • Create a trench – Make a small trench around the tree stump, digging in a direction that’s away from it. Toss the soil outwards, so the stump roots will be seen. As you approach the stump’s center, continue cutting the roots with a landscape bar. Soon, the stump will shake and the roots will be easily cut. You can then pull it out of the ground.
  • Bore holes in the stump – Using a drill, bore a few holes on the tree stump’s top, each of them ½ inch wide. Fill these with a stump killing product or salt peter. Afterwards, fill the holes with water. The liquid becomes dissipated, keep adding more, to keep the holes filled, until all the stump killer has been dissolved. After you’ve done this, proceed to burning the stump. Again, remember proper safety procedures.
  • Ask a tree surgery company for help – These professionals have a “stump grinder” which will effectively remove the stump, without harming the tree or the area around it.

Once the stump is removed, you can now proceed to take out the roots.

Use A Spike

Sometimes, tree roots are not taken out because they cause harm, but rather, because you want the plant to thrive. In this case, you need to be careful if you want to remove the roots. The best way to do this is by driving down a spike in the ground. There’s a right way to do this.

  1. Find out the tree trunk’s diameter. Afterwards, multiply its feet measurement by 12, adding additional inches from the measurement of the diameter you’ve obtained. Multiply this by 1.5.
  2. The result you get is the measurement you’ll have to use when measuring away from the trunk. From this distance means you’re safe to cut off the roots, without harming the tree.
  3. Get the spike them drive it down the ground and the roots vertically. As much as possible, drive in the whole spike, making long cuts instead of chipping them away. Make as much clean cuts as you can.
  4. Repeat the last step, going around the tree. Make sure you’re still at the right distance.

Use A Backhoe

Aside from using a spike, using a backhoe also helps remove roots effectively. The method used, though, depends on the how stubborn and how large they are. Here are several types to remember.

  • For small bushes and trees – If the roots are less than four inches in diameter, you can just drag or comb the area using the backhoe teeth. When there are still stubborn roots left after the first try, dig the backhoe bucket teeth in the ground again, past the tree then roll the bucket, lowering and curling the boom. The remaining stump and roots will be levered.
  • For small and medium-sized trees – Just like with the first method, use the backhoe bucket to push and pull on the trunk. If you feel some resistance, cut some of the roots, slicing them with the backhoe shovel’s vertical edge, a foot or more from the trunk. Once the main roots have broken and the tree loosened, drag it from the ground.
  • For large trees – These are tougher, compared to the other methods. If you have to cut off the main trunk’s top, do so, but not too much, since you’ll need it for leverage. Open the loader shovel, so both its edges face down. Lower it and sink to the ground slightly, so you’ll have something to push against. Afterwards, slice in the ground in front of the tree, then cut the roots.

Some Reminders:

  • You may need to get a fire permit if you’re going to burn the stump.
  • For thriving trees, the best time to remove roots is during June or early July.
  • Wear tough footwear, such as boots, when you try any of these procedures, to prevent hurting your feet with the equipment.

Taking good care of the roots is important when growing plants, but there comes a time when removing these is the best tactic. Remember these methods and follow the, for effective root removal. Don’t forget to keep yourself safe, though! For more information regarding this article, read how to kill a tree.

About the author

Nicole Harding

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