How To Remove Tree Roots – Detailed Guide

Are you worried about tree roots that are clogging up your sewer line? Or do you want to remove the damaged roots and save the entire tree? Here is what you need to know about how to remove tree roots. Removing tree roots is necessary to protect the tree from damage. The dead root can hinder the growth of a tree and may cause its death.

How To Remove Tree Roots

Depending on the size and age of the tree, you may need to call for professional help. I recently removed dead tree roots from my garden, and I thought I would share my experience with you. In this review, you will learn about the method of removing tree roots and the required tools.

How To Remove Tree Roots

If the tree is in good condition, the root system is spread up to 20 feet or more in the ground. The underground spread of the root system depends on the tree size and age. There are three ways to remove tree roots. The first method is the physical removal of the root. The second way is to remove it via chemical use, and the third is to remove tree roots with the help of a professional stump killer. The last one depends upon the immense spread of the root system.

How To Remove Tree Roots

Physical Removal Of The Tree Roots

It is the most time-consuming and challenging method to take out the roots of a tree physically. This method is best if you are working with small roots. You will need to dig the soil until you reach the roots and remove it with your hands. I suggest a stump grinder for ease and less physical work. This method requires more labor, and you might need someone for help, depending on the size and type of the tree you are dealing with. You will need tools like a spade, looper, grub hoe, and a root saw for digging. Also check out how to split wood with an axe.

Physical Removal Of The Tree Roots

Use a spade to dig the soil surrounded by the roots. Once the roots are exposed, use loppers for cutting the tree roots (you can also you an axe to cut the roots). It would be better if you cut the roots away from the root ball to avoid damage. Now you will need a grub hoe to pull out the roots that you have cut earlier. You can also use your hand to pull the roots that are small and loose. A stump can also help you to lose the roots that are still intact. For thicker tree roots, I will suggest you use a root saw.

Killing The Tree Roots Via Chemical Use

It is the most effective and natural way to remove the tree roots. You will have to use a chemical herbicide to eliminate the unwanted roots. If you do not have a herbicide, then you can use rock salt. Rock salt is an effective option but needs more time to affect the roots. Highly concentrated salts can also work wonders in this method. If you treat tree roots with herbicide, you will need a saw, spray, paintbrush, and a chemical herbicide named glyphosate.

Killing The Tree Roots Via Chemical Use

Cut a tree stump and dip the outer layer of the tree in the water. Take and an equal amount of water and glyphosate and mix well to form a solution. Now use a paintbrush or garden sprayer to apply this solution to the tree ring. The dripping water will help the herbicide reach the roots you want to remove. Avoid spraying it on the grass or nearby plant. Once you have poured the herbicide solution, wait for two weeks to see the desired result.

If you do not have a herbicide, you can use concentrated rock salt. Rock salt is also an effective product for killing tree roots but takes longer than a herbicide. You will need a drill, rock salt, and water for this purpose. Drill multiple holes of about 3 to 4 inches in the tree stump. Fill the gaps with rock salt and pour enough water so the holes are filled with water. It is essential to note that the water should not slip off the holes because it can damage the nearby plants or grass. Repeat the procedure every month to see the desired result.

Use Of Professional Help

It is the easiest and most effective way to get rid of damaged tree roots. If you are dealing with a tree that is too old or too big, it is the right time to hire a professional to remove tree roots. The professional will help you with digging and stump grinding. Hiring a professional for tree root removal will keep you from waiting for weeks to remove the roots.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remove the tree roots myself?

Yes, you can remove the tree roots yourself. For removing unwanted tree roots, you will need a spade, lopper, grub hoe, and a root saw. Dig the soil until you reach the desired roots. Losepaintbrush the ground and cut the damaged roots with the help of a lopper. Pull the tree roots with the help of grub hoe. For more simplest way, you can use a bow to dig the soil and a tap saw or ax to cut the tree roots.

How do you dissolve the large tree roots?

Drill several holes in the stump. The holes should be 3 to 4 inches deep. If there are any large exposed roots, drill holes in those roots, mix the rock salt with water and pour the solution into the holes. You should fill the hole thoroughly. Keep the solution from sipping off the holes to avoid any damage to vegetative plants. Repeat the procedure every month to kill the unwanted tree roots.

What is the best tree root killer?

There are many options in the market that you can use to kill the tree root, but the most effective one is the chemical herbicide naming Glyphosate. You can also use concentrated salt like Rock salt or Epsom salt. These concentrated salts are equally effective but take a longer time to kill the tree roots than usual. Avoid using table salt because it will not help in eradicating the tree roots.


We love some trees in our garden and want to keep them in our house, but the dead roots can damage the tree or shut its growth. Depending on the size and type of tree, you can use three primary methods to remove these unwanted roots. It was a detailed review about removing tree roots to help you find a way to save your favorite tree or clean the sewer line that has been blocked with the spread of the root system.

Similar Posts