Tree Root Removal Guide
The roots of a tree are the lifeblood that keeps it alive. They provide nutrients to the plant through their underground network of tubes called xylem. The root system is also responsible for anchoring the tree into its soil environment. When trees have been damaged by disease or insects they can lose up to 90% of their root mass.
The first step in any root removal project is determining what type of root you have. This may seem like a simple task but there are many different types of trees that grow roots differently than others. The most common mistake people make when trying to remove roots from their property is not knowing exactly what kind of tree they have.
Identifying Your Root Problem
The first step in solving a root problem is identifying what exactly you have. This may seem like an obvious statement but many people do not know where their trees’ roots begin or end. The following questions should help:
- Where does my driveway slope? Is there any soil movement on either side of the driveway? If so, then that area needs attention.
- How far away from the house is my retaining wall? Does it extend beyond the foundation?
The Tree Root System
A tree’s root system is made up of two parts; primary roots that penetrate deep into the earth, and lateral roots that extend outward from the main trunk. Lateral roots branch out at right angles from the main stem, forming a network of fine feeder roots that reach down toward the surface. These roots help absorb water and minerals from the surrounding soil. They also anchor the plant by providing support against wind pressure and other forces.
Removing Tree Roots After Tree Removal
It can be difficult to remove tree roots, especially if it was a large tree. In the right conditions, its underground root system can reach 20 feet deep. You have three options to remove tree roots after a tree is taken down most of the time.
- Pull the roots out yourself.
- Chemical treatment of the roots.
- There is a professional tree stump killer who you can hire.
Physically Remove Tree Roots on Your Own
The most laborious way to get rid of a tree stump is by taking out the stump. You can either dig out the stump or use a stump grinder to remove the tree roots. Depending on the size of the tree roots you are dealing with. It’s best to do this type of project with small roots.
Digging Out Tree Roots
You will need a spade, loppers, grub hoe, and perhaps a root saw to dig out the roots.
Call the utility company to make sure you don’t dig around water, sewer or underground lines. To expose the roots, you will want to dig out the soil surrounding them. Remove any loose roots before they become loose ones. Cut through the ones that are still intact with your loppers by digging out the dirt surrounding them. Try to cut far from the root ball.
If you have a lot of roots, it is best to remove all but one or two at a time so as not to damage the tree too much. If you do need to pull up several roots in succession, use a rope tied around each root with an overhand knot on top of the root. This will allow you to tie off the ropes together when pulling up multiple roots.
The grub hoe is needed to remove the cut roots. You should be able to pull additional ones out by hand. Continue cutting and pulling roots until you can remove the root ball from the soil by pushing the stump back and forth. If the roots are too dense for the loppers, a root saw may be needed.
Using a Stump Grinder to Remove Tree Roots
It can be hard to dig out the tree roots with a tree stump grinder. The use of equipment can be used to physically remove them. Even though stump grinding a tree trunk is hard, you can eliminate it quickly and even make some fresh wood mulch in the process.
You will need a shovel, chainsaw and stump grinder if you use this method. Between $100 and $400 is the average cost to rent. It is possible to find them at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot store. There is an equipment store called Sunbelt where you can rent one. It is important to wear the proper safety gear because of the debris. You need a long sleeve shirt, pants and protective headgear to cover your body.
The first thing you’ll do is trim the trunk as close to the ground as possible, using your chainsaw. Next, dig up any rocks and debris around the trunk that could damage your grinder. You can begin grinding down the stump once the trunk and roots are prepared.
You can grind down a tree from 2 to 4 inches, depending on the location. Once you’ve completed this, use your shovel to dig up the tree roots that were attached to the trunk.
After you’ve completed the process, it’s time to treat the area. The area where the stump was can be raked or shoveled with loose wood chips. Topsoil and grass seed should be added if it is in a grassy area. If it isn’t covered with mulch, use it. Continue to keep an eye on the hole and treat it until it becomes a part of the yard.
Treat the Roots With Chemicals
Chemical treatments for root rot include copper sulfate and lime sulfur. These chemicals will kill any bacteria that may have gotten into your soil. They should not be applied directly on top of the plant; they must first penetrate the soil before reaching the roots. The best way to apply them is by using an irrigation system that has been designed specifically for this purpose.
Chemical Compounds Can Be Used to Remove Roots
An active ingredient concentration of at least 41 per cent is needed for a saw, water hose, garden sprayer or paintbrush to be used.
The saw can be used to cut across the stump and make a fresh cut in the tree’s outer layer. The water will help with the distribution of the weed killer.
Use your garden sprayer to saturate the outer ring of the tree stump with the 50/50 solution that was created by mixing the Glyphosate and water. It’s best to avoid getting the solution on the grass or nearby plants.
Remove Roots With Rock Salt
The job will take a few months to be completed. You have to get a drill, rock salt and water. There are a number of holes in the tree stump that need to be drilled. If the ground has exposed roots, drill holes in them.
Adding enough water to cover each hole will prevent it from spilling out and causing damage to other plants. Each month you should do this several times. After a few months, the roots of your tree should be dead because of the rock salt in the water.
Hire a Professional
There are a number of reasons that you should hire a professional tree service to remove your tree stump. A professional can take care of the stump for you if you don’t want to mess with it. If you hire the same company to take out the stump for an additional fee, you can have the tree professionally removed. We at Eden are consistently ready to provide professional assistance regarding plant life and anything that has to do with landscaping.
Homeowners do a lot of crazy things to remove tree stump, including lighting them on fire with charcoal, according to the owner of Tree Stump Masters. The stump grinder you can rent at the home improvement store isn’t powerful enough for bigger roots.
Renting equipment is not enough to get the job done on a large tree stump. He said that you need a big machine for going deep.
The cost of tree root removal can be as high as $350, depending on the location and size of the tree stump.
Tree Root Removal Without Harming the Tree
Sometimes you enjoy the tree in your yard but don’t like the roots that are damaging your sidewalk or plumbing. How do you deal with them? Is it possible to get rid of the roots without harming your tree?
Yes. You can get rid of the roots by trimming them back and taking other measures. To create a root barrier, you’ll need a water hose, trowel, wheelbarrow, tarp and material to temporarily place the dirt, root saw, and material.
The first thing to do is use your hose to get the ground softened with water. The ground needs to be damp but not soggy. The trowel should be used to loosen the soil and feel out the roots. The soil should be placed in a wheelbarrow or tarp after being removed from the roots. The best way to do this is by using your hands.
If you want to cut the roots, make sure the area is clear of dirt. It’s important to follow a few guidelines so that you don’t damage the tree.
- Don’t cut more than one-third of the roots.
- Divide the diameter of the tree trunk by three. That’s as close to the trunk as you want to cut.
- Only the roots smaller than a fist can be cut.
- Do not cut any more than 25% from one side.
You should dig a trench between the roots and the area you don’t want them to go after trimming them. Create a barrier at least 12 inches high and 10 inches long using a material like metal, plastic, or concrete, then cover it with the soil. Pat or compact the soil down and spray with water to wet the ground.
Do You Know How to Remove Tree Roots Under Concrete?
It’s not an easy process since you have to safeguard both the tree and concrete. Unless you’re going to remove the tree completely.
The methods you can use to remove tree roots are listed.
- The roots can be cut or killed to stop their growth under the concrete. If you want their growth to continue, you have to cut the roots from their source or somewhere else that will stop their growth. It is possible to use a chemical to kill the roots.
- The second method is more costly than the first one. It involves removing the concrete, removing the roots and pouring fresh concrete again.
Removing Roots Inside Your Plumbing Pipes
Homeowners often have logged plumbing due to tree roots. You can easily fix this problem with a little rock salt if you take proactive measures. When you flush, pour half a pound of rock salt into your toilet. Don’t use more than two pounds at a time. Don’t allow anyone in the family to use that toilet for up to 12 hours, then close off the bathroom. The tree roots are vulnerable to being killed by the rock salt. It is recommended to repeat this monthly for ongoing maintenance.
There Are Alternatives to Root Cutting and Removal
It might seem less appealing to cut your tree roots now. Here are some alternatives if you find that the risk of losing your tree is too high.
- Reseed the roots by adding soil over their surfaced roots.
- Around the tree, root spread is where you want to design your landscape.
- The use of reinforced cement is recommended in hardscapes.
- You should install root barricades.
- A gravel walkway will replace a broken or buckled cement one.
- When planting new trees, make sure the soil is suitable for the species and that it’s the water well. You can click here for more information on watering and soil.
- The root barricades can be seen in the following video.
Look after the health of your tree no matter what solution you use. If you’re unsure, call a professional to evaluate and assess what actions should be taken.
There Are Other Ways to Handle Tree Branches
After reading this, you might decide that it’s too much work to remove your tree roots. You can always find ways to incorporate the tree stump into your design if that’s the case.