How To Remove Tree Roots(Expert Opinion)

Last Modified

May 6, 2023 by Hirah Ehsan

Tree roots can be a major problem for homeowners. They can cause damage to foundations, sidewalks, and driveways. In some cases, they may even need to be removed. But how do you go about removing tree roots?

This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to effectively and safely remove tree roots from your property. So if you’re dealing with pesky tree roots, don’t worry – we’ll show you the way.

The cost of tree root removal can be as high as $350, depending on the location and size of the tree stump.

Brief Overview How To Remove Tree Roots

Topic NameHow To Remove Tree Roots
How To Assess DamageVisual Inspection, cracked or raised areas in pavement
ToolsShovel, Axe, garden fork, trowel
For large or any stubborn rootsRoot Saw
Remaining Parts after rootsUsed glyphosate or triclopyr
Replacing The Soil Fresh topsoil, compost
Shallow Root SystemManual excavation
Deeper Root System Heavy Machinery And Specialized Tools

Assessing The Damage Caused By Tree Roots

Tree roots can cause a great deal of damage to infrastructure, such as driveways, sidewalks, and roads. It’s essential to assess the extent of the damage before attempting to remove the tree roots.

Visual inspection can provide an accurate assessment since it allows you to see the pattern of root growth and how far they have spread.

You should also check for any visible cracking or raised areas in pavement or concrete that could be caused by shifting tree roots. Additionally, if you notice any changes in your lawn’s landscape, this could be an indication of growing tree roots below the surface.

When assessing the damage, it’s important to consider how deeply rooted trees may be, as this will determine whether you will need professional help for their removal. If the problem is not too severe and the tree is relatively shallowly rooted, then basic DIY techniques can usually suffice.

However, if there are deep-rooted trees present or older infrastructure that has been damaged by them, then it may require more specialized equipment and knowledge to completely remove them.

In these cases, it would be best to consult with a professional arborist or landscaper who can advise on how best to proceed with their removal safely and effectively.

Choosing The Right Tools For The Job

Removing tree roots can be a tricky task, but it is necessary for keeping your yard healthy and looking its best. The first step is to determine the best tools for the job.

Depending on how deep the roots are, you may need to use a shovel or an axe. If the roots are shallow, you can use a garden fork or trowel to dig them out.

It’s important to make sure that you’re getting all of the root systems before trying any other method of removal. You may also want to consider using a root saw to cut through any large, stubborn roots that won’t budge with other methods.

Once you have the right tools, you should start by loosening up any soil around the roots before attempting to remove them manually. This will make it easier to get a good grip on them and pull them out without damaging the surrounding area.

After removing as much of the root system as possible, you can use mulch or grass seed to fill in any remaining holes or gaps in your lawn caused by their removal. Taking these steps will ensure that your yard looks pristine and free of unwanted tree roots.

Digging Up The Roots

Removing tree roots from the ground may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done. To begin, you will want to dig around the area of the root that is visible to expose as much of it as possible.

Once you have done this, you can use a spade or shovel to cut through the root. Be sure to cut away any additional dirt or soil that may be covering it up before attempting to remove it.

Next, take a pair of loppers, Grub hoe, and carefully cut through any remaining roots that are still in the ground. Finally, if necessary, use an ax to chop away at larger pieces of root still stuck in the ground.

With some patience and perseverance, you can effectively remove tree roots from your yard without damaging your lawn.

Killing The Remaining Roots(Chemicals)

A practical approach to removing tree roots is to first dig up the root by hand. This can be a tedious task, and it may require the use of shovels and other tools. However, if done properly, it can also be an effective way to extract a large portion of the root without damaging surrounding areas or plants.

Once the root has been removed by hand, it is important to kill any remaining roots that are still in the ground. This can be done using herbicides such as glyphosate or triclopyr with an active ingredient concentration of at least 41 percent is best.

These chemicals should not be applied directly onto plants or turfgrass but instead should be injected into the soil near where the tree roots were located. Doing so will ensure that any remaining roots are killed off without causing damage to nearby vegetation.

Replacing The Soil And Landscaping

Removing tree roots can be a daunting and tedious task. Unfortunately, it’s often necessary when tree roots have caused structural damage or are growing toward a sidewalk or building foundation.

The steps taken to remove the roots must ensure that the tree is not harmed and that the area is properly restored for safety.

Replacing the soil and landscaping after removing the tree roots is an essential step in restoring the area around the tree. Depending on the size of the root ball removed, replacing soil may involve either just backfilling around where the root ball was dug up or replacing all of the soil in a larger area to create new planting beds.

Making sure there are no large clumps of dirt can help ensure good drainage and aeration of newly replanted plants. After replacing it with fresh topsoil, compost can be added to provide extra nutrients for growing plants.

Finally, replanting with suitable trees or plants that won’t cause damage to buildings or sidewalks completes the process of restoring an area affected by tree roots.

People Also Asked

How Long Does It Take To Remove Tree Roots?

Removing tree roots is a lengthy process that can take anywhere from a few days to several months, depending on the size and complexity of the root system.

The amount of time it takes to remove tree roots depends on how deep the roots are embedded in the soil, as well as the tools and techniques used to dig them out.

For shallow root systems, manual excavation can be done relatively quickly. For deeper root systems, using heavy machinery and specialized tools may be necessary to effectively remove them.

 Are There Any Alternatives To Digging Up The Roots?

Digging up tree roots can be a laborious and time-consuming task. But there are alternatives to this approach. Depending on the type of tree, some methods such as root pruning or cutting may be viable options.

Root pruning involves cutting the roots in sections and then covering the cut area with topsoil.

It is important to note, however, that this method does not completely remove the roots from the soil and may take several rounds of root pruning to gradually reduce the size of the roots.

Cutting involves severing all of the roots below ground level and then grubbing them out by hand or with machinery. This method is more effective for completely removing large, mature root systems.

 Are There Any Particular Safety Precautions To Take When Removing Tree Roots?

When removing tree roots, it is important to take certain safety precautions. Wear appropriate clothing such as long sleeves and pants, as well as protective eyewear and gloves.

Additionally, if you’re using a tool like an axe or saw to cut through the roots, make sure you know how to use it properly and safely. Finally, be aware of any potential dangers in the area where you’ll be working; look out for things like stumps or other objects that can cause injury.

Is There Any Way To Prevent Tree Roots From Damaging My Property In The Future?

To prevent tree roots from damaging your property in the future, you’ll want to take some proactive steps. Start by planting trees far enough away from your home that their roots won’t have room to cause any issues.

You can also install root barriers at least six inches deep into the ground and several feet away from the structure. Be sure to use a barrier material that’s strong enough and designed to last, like concrete or steel, so it won’t break down over time.

Additionally, keep an eye on trees already present around your home and check for signs of root damage regularly.

 Are There Any Environmentally Friendly Ways To Remove Tree Roots?

Removing tree roots can be a tricky process, but there are environmentally friendly ways to do it. For instance, you can use an “air spading” technique, which involves using compressed air to loosen the soil and expose the roots without damaging them.

Additionally, manual digging with hand tools can be done carefully to avoid disturbing other nearby plants and wildlife.

Chemical treatments may also be used in some cases, though they should be administered by a certified arborist and used sparingly to minimize any potential environmental risks.


Removing tree roots can be a time-consuming and potentially dangerous task. It’s important to take safety precautions, such as wearing protective clothing and using the correct tools for the job.

There are alternatives to digging up the roots, such as using a root saw or chemical treatments.

These methods may not always be feasible or effective, however. It’s also important to take measures to prevent future damage from tree roots, such as trimming away any encroaching branches before they become a problem.

With careful planning and consideration given to the environment, removing tree roots can be done safely and effectively.

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