How to Dig UP Tree Roots

How to Dig UP Tree Roots? Easy Method Explained with Video in 2023

When you cut a tree with a chainsaw, are you done with that tree? No! you have just cut the tree, but the main part is still left underground the roots. You have to deal with the roots, which is a difficult task as you may actually don’t know the size of the root.

There are many reasons why you want to remove the tree and roots, such as you may want to save the tree, or it may be cracking your sidewalks or clogging up the sewer line. Whatever the reasons are, you need to know how to dig up tree roots.

Therefore, to deal with the roots, we have designed the article with the steps, tools you can use, and other processes so that you can enjoy a free sidewalk and need not worry about damaging underground pipes.

The way you can remove tree roots

The way you can remove tree roots

Removing tree roots is not as easy as it seems. If the tree is big and old, then it’s more difficult to remove. However, you can use three options while removing the root. You first need to decide which way you want to continue with. The options are:

  • Physically removing the roots by yourself
  • Remove the root using chemical
  • Hiring professional to remove the root

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How to Dig UP Tree Roots

Dig UP Tree Roots

We have already mentioned you can use three ways to remove tree roots. You may find it difficult to do it by yourself. But the following article will help you know the process.

Equipment you needed to dig up the root

The first thing you want to know is the equipment needed to complete the task to dig up tree roots. The tools are a spade, loppers, grub hoe, a root saw, and sometimes you may need a stump grinder. You may need some additional tools, but the mentioned ones are the most important.

Select the root you want to cut

You need to select the part of the root you want to cut. Remember! Don’t cut the root close to the tree as it creates the threat of falling down the tree. To find out the appropriate cutting distance, you can measure the trunk’s diameter with tape.

Once you measure the diameter, now multiply it by 3, and the result is the appropriate distance where you can cut the tree.

Don’t cut the largest roots

One mistake everyone makes is cutting the largest root. The largest roots are called the structural roots, and they are important in keeping the tree in place, so don’t cut the structural root. Now you might have a question, how do you know which is the structural root?

Well, structural roots are usually 6 inches to one foot from the trunk. You need to decide which is the structural root by observing the tree itself and the depth and length of the roots.

Dig around the root

You just can’t simply pull the root out. You have to dig around the root but make sure you are digging at a safe distance. While digging, try to expose as many of the roots as possible, which will make the task easy.

Use a shovel or spade to dig around the root. If the root travels quite a good distance, then you have to dig a larger area to expose the roots. Some roots went straight down to the earth. In that case, you have to dig deeper to reach the end of the root.

Mark the root where you want to cut

Once you have dug around the roots and exposed all the roots, now it’s time to cut the roots. If you are cutting smaller roots, then you can use regular gardening scissors to cut the root. But in the case of a larger root, you will need a root saw or mechanical reciprocating saw.

There are some roots which you need to pull out from the ground. If the roots are relatively small, you can pull by your hand, but if the roots are big and stay deeper in the mud, you have to use grub hoe to lift out the roots.

Use stump grinder when needed

Digging up the roots is not always that easy, and you won’t always be able to dig roots only with a shovel or with other regular tools. In some cases, you use a stump grinder which will help to eliminate roots easily.

While using a stump grinder, you will additionally need a shovel and a chainsaw. First, you have to use the chainsaw to trim the trunk as close to the ground as possible. Rocks and debris can damage the grinder; therefore, make sure you dig up any rock or debris near the root.

Once you have cleared the place and trimmed the trunk with a chainsaw now, you can drive the grinder onto the stump and start grinding it down. This grinding will help you cut the above portion of the root, making it easier to pull.

Removing roots using a chemical compound

what if you don’t want that physical hardship to dig up the root? If you don’t want to do it physically, you have another option: the chemical herbicide option. You can use chemicals that will eliminate the roots.

Glyphosate herbicide will do the work of removing roots but make sure the chemical component concentrates 41% before applying the chemical cut the stump and saturate the tree’s outer layer, which will help to mix the chemical well.

Don’t spray the glyphosate directly; rather, add 50% water and 50% glyphosate herbicide and spray to the outer stump. The chemical will take around two to three weeks to completely die off the roots.

How to remove tree roots in your lawn


Dig UP Tree Root

You can now remove tree roots by following the procedures of how to dig up tree roots. Hopefully, now you have free sidewalk space without the hindrance of tree roots. Also, you are free from the tension of damaging water pipes or the infrastructure of your house.