What do I need to remove huge tree roots?

sakura2006August 3, 2008

I decided to get rid of many huge tree roots UNDER the ground myself to save $$$$.

Of course I can call tree service and ask him to grind up tree stump and huge roots UNDER the ground but because I am retired and have enough time, I want to do myself to save $$$.

The reason why I need to get rid of these roots is because I want to make perfect flower bed and I cannot plant flowers on top of many huge tree roots.

Now, what do I need?

Mattock or Axe?

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Depends on the size and how many but if it was me I'd think a lot bigger than hand tools like axes. I'd rent a small backhoe or mini excavator for a day and dig 'em up with that. Save money and the wear and tear on your back. It is hard enough to dig roots from small shrubs with hand tools, never mind large trees.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 5:14PM
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plantman314(z5-6 StL, MO)

I would recomend renting a stump grinder if the bed size does not necessitate a trackhoe. The cost is normally half.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 6:29PM
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You have 3 options:

1. Burn them out - slice them close to the ground and bore holes in them. Saturate the holes with diesel. You can also try mounding a bag of charcoal on top of the stump and lite it. A large stump can burn for days. This method isn't always practical.

2. Go to Home Crapo and rent a stump grinder. Half a day runs about $75 or so. You can usually grind them down about 8-12". This method is still a lot of work.

3. Dig them out. Either by hand, backhoe or bulldozer.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 9:48AM
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peterc38, plantman314, and davefr, thank you for good suggestioins!
I decided to leave huge stump and just get rid of large roots under the ground in my flower bed.
It is tough job and need to be patient but only need to do once and I get more than enough exercise.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 3:03PM
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masiman(z7 VA)

davefr left out one option:

4. Let it rot :)

If you are a glutton for punishment and have plenty of time to spare, by all means do it by hand.

The HD grinder is an option, but if you have access and enough stumps to grind, I'd recommend renting a larger grinder from a tool rental place. The unit will probably be self propelled and require a trailer to get it to your location but it will chew up the stumps in a fraction of the time the HD large lawn mower sized grinder will do it. Plus the HD grinder will do 1 maybe 2 stumps (depending on size) before the teeth dull.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 9:23PM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

depending on how big the roots are and how thickly they grow together, you MAY be able to use a tiller to rip them apart.

another option is to simply built the bed UP. put several inches of new topsoil and amendments on the ground and plant there. leave the roots alone.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:23PM
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