How to Dig up Tree Roots

Tree roots can sometimes be crappy in our yard, so that we have the desire to dig them. At other times, they can be dangerous, such as when a tree is moving very close to the foundation of a house or hurting the underground pipe. However, it is not so easy to dig the tree roots using a shovel to dig a hole. Digging many roots or wrong roots can actually kill the tree, due to which you can completely remove the tree. Fortunately, if you follow the right procedures, take the right precautions, and use the right techniques, you can safely dig the tree roots without killing the tree.

Choosing the Right Roots

Trace the root that you want to cut the tree back. Cutting roots close to the tree can lead to structural instability and may cause trees to fall. Measure the tree trunk diameter with a tape measure and multiply it by 8. This number is the nearest distance to the tree which you can cut root.

For example, if your tree’s diameter is 2 feet (60.96 cm), then you should not cut the root of 16 feet (4.8 meters) from the tree.

Avoid choosing the largest roots. The major roots are called structural roots and are important in keeping the tree. These roots start on the basis of the tree and get out. Do not cut large inches from 6 inches (152.4 mm) to one feet (304.8 mm), which is a tree. You can measure the diameter of the tree by wrapping a tape measure around the tree at the height of the chest.

For example, you should not cut 16 feet (2.4384 meters) 16 feet (4.8768 meters) diameter 16 inches (406.4 mm) tree from the trunk.

Do not remove more than 20% of your tree roots. When removing large sections of tree roots, be sure to wait for three years before cutting more roots. By removing more than 20% of your tree, it will cause serious damage and can kill it. If you plan to cut a large part of the roots from a tree, then consider removing the tree completely instead.

If you are unsure about yourself, consult an arbonist if you do not believe in cutting a tree’s roots, you should seek professional guidance before doing so. Occupying the local cooperative expansions will sometimes provide tree root pronouning services for the fee. If you do it yourself, see if you can take them for a small consultation fee.

You have the tools and knowledge to safely remove the tree roots.

Digging Up the Roots

Dig a hole in the area where you want to remove the roots. Before digging your hole, measure a safe distance from the tree. If the roots you want to remove are underground, then you have to reveal them with shovel. Dig a hole around the tree where you want to remove the roots using a ditch or digging shovel. While doing so, do your best to disrupt or break the tree roots.

Draw a line where you want to delete the root. Once you want to remove the root, use a spray paint, colored chalk, or a thick marker to mark the place where you will cut the root of the tree. Marking the root will help guide you and prevent you from cutting the root near the tree. Just mark the route with a line that will help guide the view where to cut with saws.

Dig the spade around the root with the hood. With a small spade, dig around the root, as well as digging under the root. Leave the place around the root, so it’s easy to cut. Reveal the area completely where you will cut off your shovel and give enough space to cut yourself.

Cutting and Removing the Roots

Cut the route you marked, cut it off. For small roots, like those that are less than one inch (2.54 cm) in diameter, you can use regular gardening scissors or gardening scissors to cut the root. If you are cutting a big root, then you need to use a special tool – a Root saw or a mechanical rotation ripper. You can buy these saws at home and gardening stores or online.

Some stores will allow you to rent reciprocal saws for daily rates.

Hold the cut end and drag the route towards it. Hold the loose end of the root and drag it towards you until it is free from the ground. If the root is deeply embedded in the ground, then you may need to dig more soil around the root. Once you do, leave the root, and continue the other roots that you are cutting.

Install a barrier. To stop the roots from moving back, insert an obstacle under the soil before filling in the hole. Use a heavy-duty plastic tree root barrier, and install it 30 inches (76 centimeters) below the soil surface.

You can buy bottleneck of root of plastic tree in most lawn and garden centers.

Fill in the hole. Fill the hole made by you with malt or fertilizer purchased from the store. As an alternative to mulch, if you want grass in the area, you can also fill your ditch with grass seeds or soda. Take the roots of your cut tree and dispose them.

Monitor the tree in the coming days. Look at your tree on a daily basis and evaluate its health. If the branches have begun to die and fall, then it can be a sign that you have done a lot of damage and killed your tree. This is dangerous because it can fall trees. If this is the case, then you have to remove the entire tree.

If you notice that the tree is dying, it is best to call an arbirth or landscaping company as soon as possible. They will be able to evaluate whether you need to remove the tree and the steps you can take.


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