Learning how to remove tree roots without damaging nearby structures or injuring yourself is important, yet it might seem like a daunting task. However, a few effective steps will make the task simple.

How To Remove Tree Roots

If tree roots are causing damage to underground pipes, removing them can prevent further damage. Learn more about how to remove tree roots safely below.

How To Remove Tree Roots From Your Property?

To remove tree roots from your property, you should determine the size and location of the roots first. You can use hand tools to remove small roots or employ heavy machinery to remove larger roots. After finishing the job, cut the roots into manageable pieces and dispose of them.

You’ll also need to fill in the hole left by the roots. You can either mulch the area afterward or add lawn, plant bushes or trees, etc. You could also create some raised beds and grow veggies there.

1. Determine the Size and Location of the Roots

Determining the size and location of tree roots is an important first step when removing them. Before removing any roots, it’s important to understand the extent of the root system and to identify the location of the roots that you need to remove.

Determine the Size and Location of The Roots

You can use several methods to figure out the size and location of the roots. You can carefully excavate the soil around the base of the tree and examine the visible roots, as this can give you an idea of the size and location.

Another method is to use specialized equipment such as ground-penetrating radar (GPR) or an air spade. GPR uses radio waves to create an image of the soil and root system below the ground. In contrast, an air spade uses compressed air to excavate the soil around the roots without damaging them.

Once you’ve identified the location of the roots you want to get rid of, it’s important to consider their size so you know what tools to use. Larger roots may require heavy machinery to remove, while smaller roots may be removed with hand tools.

Removing large roots can be dangerous and may destabilize the tree. That’s why it’s important to consult with a professional arborist or tree care professional to determine the best approach for removing the roots safely and effectively.

2. Use Hand Tools To Remove Small Roots

The simplest but most time-consuming method of removing a tree stump is digging up the stump and its roots. Either utilizing a stump grinder or digging them out is typically required for tree stump removal. The kind and size of the tree roots you are dealing with determine this.

When removing small roots, hand tools are often the best option as they allow for more precise and careful removal. Small roots are typically defined as roots that are less than 2 inches in diameter. These can usually be easily removed without causing significant damage to surrounding plants or structures.

You will need various hand tools to remove small roots, including a shovel, a garden fork, and pruning shears. You need to begin by carefully excavating the soil around the tree’s base to expose the roots. You can use a garden fork to loosen the soil around the roots while being careful not to damage the surrounding plants.

Moreover, you need to use pruning shears to carefully cut the roots. Make sure to cut as near the base of the tree as possible. You can set root sections aside for disposal and continue this process, working your way around the base of the tree.

3. Use Heavy Machinery To Remove Larger Roots

When removing larger roots, heavy machinery such as a stump grinder or excavator may be necessary as larger roots can be difficult to remove with hand tools alone. Using heavy machinery can make the removal process quicker and more efficient.

Use Heavy Machinery To Remove Larger Roots

Stump grinding can be done to grind the roots down to a manageable size. This involves using a powerful rotating blade to grind the roots into small pieces that can be easily removed. At the same time, excavators can also be used to dig up the roots and remove them from the ground, which is further used as stump removal for tree stumps or to drill holes. 

You may grind down anywhere between two and four inches or more, depending on the size and placement of the tree. Use your shovel once more to remove tree roots tethered to the trunk once you’ve finished this.

When using heavy machinery, you should take the necessary safety precautions to avoid injuring yourself or damaging the surrounding area. Wear appropriate safety gear, such as eye and ear protection. Also, ensure that the area is clear of any people or pets that could be hit by flying debris.

It’s also important to use the machinery correctly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging surrounding trees or plants. It is important to consider advice from a professional arborist to determine the best approach for removing the roots safely and effectively.

4. Cut the Roots Into Manageable Pieces

When removing roots, it’s important to cut them into manageable pieces to make them easier to handle and dispose of. This is especially important when removing larger roots, which can be heavy and difficult to move.

You’ll need a sharp pruning saw or chainsaw to cut the roots into manageable pieces. Depending on the size of the roots, you’ll probably need to make several cuts to remove the entire root.

Once you’ve cut a root section, you can use a shovel or pry bar to lift the root out of the soil. If the root is too heavy to lift, you may need to use a chain or rope to attach it to a vehicle or heavy equipment to pull it out of the ground.

After removing the roots, you could dispose of them in several ways. Small roots can be added to a compost pile, while larger roots may be taken to a landfill or other waste disposal site. It’s important to check local regulations regarding waste disposal to ensure that you’re disposing of the roots properly.

5. Fill in the Hole Left by the Roots

After the roots have been removed, you should fill in the hole left behind to ensure that the area is level and stable. If the hole is not filled in properly, it can create a tripping hazard or lead to erosion of the surrounding soil.

Fill in The Hole Left by The Roots

To fill the hole left by the roots, start by adding soil in small increments, using a shovel to pack the soil down firmly, and continue adding soil and packing it down until the hole is filled in and level with the surrounding ground.

If the removed roots were particularly large, you might need to add extra soil to the area to ensure that it remains level. If necessary, use a rake to smooth out the soil and create an even surface. It’s important to avoid compacting the soil too much, as this can make it difficult for water and nutrients to penetrate the soil. Instead, use a gentle touch and be careful not to over-pack the soil.

After the hole has been filled in, water the area thoroughly to help settle the soil. Adding a layer of mulch to the area may also help retain moisture and prevent weeds from taking over the area. To accomplish this, scatter the loose wood chips throughout the region where the stump once stood using a shovel or rake. Add dirt and grass seed if it is in a grassy area, and if not, cover it with mulch only.

While chemical stump removers are available in many areas, it’s probably not a good idea to use them. That’s because, when it comes to tree root removal, chemical substances may contaminate the soil and affect plants or new trees you might want to grow later on.


– Which Is the Best Tool To Remove Roots?

The best tool to remove roots depends on the size of the roots, with hand tools such as pruning saws and shovels being effective for smaller roots and heavy machinery such as stump grinders and excavators being necessary for larger roots.

– How To Remove Small Tree Stumps Properly?

To remove small tree stumps properly, dig around the stump, cut through the roots with a pruning saw or tree stump remover, and use a shovel to loosen and remove the stump from the ground. You can also kill tree stumps using an effective stump killer.

As its name suggests, it is best at killing tree stumps. Some are advertised not to harm surrounding vegetation.

– How To Remove Maple Tree Roots Effectively?

To remove maple tree roots effectively, use a pruning root saw to cut roots close to the tree’s base, then use a shovel to lift the root out of the soil. Use pruning saws for roots greater than or lopping shears to cut off the exposed roots.


Removing tree roots is, without a doubt, a challenging task, but you can do it effectively by following simple steps, preventing further damage to foundations, walls, or sidewalks, and avoiding costly repairs. Here’s a summary of what you just read:

  • Before you start removing any roots, you should identify the size and location of the roots. This can help you determine the best approach for removing them.
  • If the roots are small enough, you can use hand tools such as a shovel or pruning shears to carefully dig and cut them out.
  • Once you’ve managed to remove the roots, you can cut them into manageable pieces to make them easier to dispose of.
  • After the roots have been removed, you should fill in the hole left by the roots with soil and compact it to ensure that the area is level and stable.

Executing the steps correctly when removing tree roots is significant. We hope you have gained the required knowledge on removing tree roots.

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