Dying Birch Trees Removed -- Root Problem

moschata(SF Bay Area 9)June 2, 2010

I had three large (30'+) dying birch trees removed from my front yard and then had the stumps ground. I then removed all the turf and to my dismay the entire front yard is a maze of fibrous roots on the soil surface and probably farther down as well. I can't proceed ahead with rototilling until the roots are gone.

Any idea how far down and extensive birch roots are?

What's the easiest way to rid my soil of roots? Some friends suggested hiring day laborers and have them do it manually. Another friend suggested using an excavator or backhoe. I'm a little leery of the later as the water and gas lines run under the former lawn to my house (not sure how deep they're buried).

I would appreciate any insights you all can provide.

Thanks in advance... kevin

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musicalperson

Are the roots all at the surface or something? Why are you rototilling?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 5:07PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Its part of the cycle to let the dead roots rot and refresh your soil. Might save on some chemical fertilizer in the future.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 8:58PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

to my dismay the entire front yard is a maze of fibrous roots on the soil surface and probably farther down as well.

Not sure why this is dismaying as this is exactly what one should expect.

Nonetheless, a 30' tree, depending where you are and your soil type and the past watering regime and the area and the climate, I would expect roots out in a 35-45' radius and down anywhere from 6-18". Not sure why you would want to pay to remove roots when they will rot down all by themselves with no effort.

Dan

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 10:34AM
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