What is the easiest way to remove tree roots?

What is the Easiest Way to Remove Tree Roots?

Although trees can be a major asset to your yard, there are reasons why you may need to remove one from your yard. Tackling those stubborn tree roots can feel like waging war against nature itself. Whether you’re trying to reclaim your backyard for a new project or simply tired of tripping over those pesky tree roots, you’re not alone. So, what’s the easiest way to remove tree roots?

What is the Easiest Way to Remove Tree Roots?

Why Removing Tree Roots is Important

Removing tree roots is a critical aspect of maintaining a healthy and safe environment in your yard or property. While trees are valuable assets that provide shade, beauty, and environmental benefits, their roots can sometimes cause significant issues if not properly managed. Here are several reasons why removing tree roots is important:

1. Preventing Property Damage

Tree roots are powerful and can extend far beyond the tree’s canopy. If left unchecked, they can cause considerable damage to various structures, including:

  • Foundations: Roots can grow into foundations, causing cracks and structural instability.
  • Driveways and Sidewalks: Roots can lift and crack concrete, creating tripping hazards and requiring costly repairs.
  • Plumbing: Roots can infiltrate and clog sewer lines and water pipes, leading to backups and expensive plumbing repairs.

2. Ensuring Safety

Overgrown or exposed tree roots can pose significant safety risks:

  • Trip Hazards: Roots protruding above the ground can cause people to trip and fall, leading to potential injuries.
  • Vehicle Damage: Roots growing under driveways and parking areas can cause uneven surfaces, which can damage vehicles.

3. Promoting Tree Health

Sometimes, selective root removal is necessary to maintain the health of the tree itself:

  • Disease Prevention: Diseased or decaying roots can spread infections to the rest of the tree and to other plants in the vicinity.
  • Proper Growth: In some cases, roots growing in undesirable directions need to be pruned to ensure the tree grows correctly and healthily.

4. Landscape Management

Removing certain tree roots can help maintain the aesthetics and usability of your landscape:

  • Garden Beds: Roots can invade garden beds, competing with flowers and shrubs for nutrients and water.
  • Lawn Maintenance: Surface roots can make mowing and other lawn care activities difficult.

Easiest Methods for Removing Tree Roots

Some homeowners don’t mind leaving the tree stump and roots in the ground. However, there are occasions when you’ll need to remove them. For example:

  • The roots might present a bursting risk to the pipework.
  • Roots may have lifted your driveway.

When it’s time to remove tree roots, here are the easiest methods to use:

Dig Out the Tree Roots

Physical removal of the roots is the most challenging and laborious method, but it works. You’ll need to dig them out or use a stump grinder to remove roots. The type and size of roots determine the best approach to the removal. This method is best for smaller trees with minimal tree root systems.

Larger trees can have a huge network of roots. Different-sized tree roots can range up to 12 inches in diameter, making removal more difficult.

  1. Before digging, call your utility company and ask them where the underground infrastructure is located in your yard.
  2. Dig out the soil around the stump’s base to expose the roots.
  3. Next, remove as many loose roots as you can. Dig out around the exposed roots and cut the roots through the thicker ones using a lopper.
  4. Cut them as far from the root ball as possible. Use a grub hoe and lift out the roots you cut.
  5. Finally, loosen the rest of the roots around the root ball and stump by shifting it back and forth. Continue cutting and pulling roots until you can leverage the stump and root ball from the earth. If the roots are too thick to cut with the loppers, you’ll need a root saw to finish the task.

Use a Stump Grinder

Depending on the size of the tree, digging out the roots might not be an option for root removal. You’ll need to use the right equipment to complete the task and remove the roots. A stump grinder is a handy tool for cutting out big roots. It’s hard work, but the machine makes short work of it compared to doing it by hand.

Trim the trunk as close to the ground as possible using a chainsaw. Dig up debris and rocks around the roots to prevent damage to the stump grinder. Grind down the stump with your tool after prepping the roots and stump for removal.

You’ll need to grind down to a depth of two to four inches. After finishing the task, use the shovel to dig up the roots.

Stump grinding also creates fresh mulch for the garden, so there’s an additional benefit. For the best results, contact local tree removal experts and ask about their stump grinding services.

Treat Roots With Chemicals or Salt

If you don’t feel like using manual labor for the removal, there’s always the chemical option. Special herbicides are used in stump removal that kill the roots fast and make them easy to remove.

If you’re not a fan of chemicals, rock salting the roots is another option. However, it’s not great if you intend to plant flowerbeds in the location after the removal. The salted ground won’t grow anything. Strong concentrations of Epsom salts might work but don’t use table salt.

Hire Local Tree Removal Professionals

Why take the time and effort to remove the roots yourself when a tree care professional can do it for you? You might not have the skills to do the job effectively if it’s a large tree. Call a local arborist and get a quote on stump removal and grinding.

Tree Services of Omaha

Tree Services of Omaha, Nebraska is a full-service tree care provider that offers a wide range of arborist services including but not limited to: Tree Removal Services, Tree Trimming, Tree Pruning, Tree and Shrub Shaping, Stump Removal, Stump Grinding, Arborist Consultations, Systemic Tree Injections.

Contact us today for a free estimate!