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Updated: Need advice on digging through heavy tree roots

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Water line from well to the house is leaking just outside the foundation. There is a 4'+ tree not 6 feet from the dig area. Massive roots. Need to get down another foot or so.

 

Using shovels axes, saws-all, drills, chains etc and still having trouble.

Any ideas ?

Edited by Ben & Jerry's

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3 minutes ago, ChiefD said:

Chain saw?

tried this years ago. chainsaw kicked back and nearly cut me face up.

 

call a stump removal company instead. costs like 25-30 bucks. they'll get in there with a huge blade & saw that thing to dust in 15 minutes.

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Dig around that thing and expand your hole so you can release the dirt around the roots. Then go in with your sawzall. You need room to operate in there.

Otherwise, go buy a 12 pack and call someone with a big fookin digger.

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2 minutes ago, ChiefD said:

Dig around that thing and expand your hole so you can release the dirt around the roots. Then go in with your sawzall. You need room to operate in there.

Otherwise, go buy a 12 pack and call someone with a big fookin digger.

Yeah if you are DIY dig a much bigger hole

id recommend blasting any dirt off with your hose, sawz-all through what you can and keep repeating that

might be a case where you need a pro though 

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19 minutes ago, ChiefD said:

Dig around that thing and expand your hole so you can release the dirt around the roots. Then go in with your sawzall. You need room to operate in there.

Otherwise, go buy a 12 pack and call someone with a big fookin digger.

2 summers ago we had a guy come in with a digger and pull up about a dozen stumps that were buried in our yard. roots in all directions.

it took a LOT of pulling, pushing, digging, etc. to get them out. took him many hours to get them all out.

i wouldn't waste time at all with anything less than a sizable digger. this isn't a DIY especially with any kind of pipes or wires nearby.

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Patience and hard work.  I'm guessing you don't want to use a digger because of the water line?

ETA:  Looks like it would be a tough angle also with the house and tree being so close together.  I think you just have to stick with it manually.

Edited by WDIK2

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20 minutes ago, Dan Lambskin said:

I don’t really have a use for that but I kind of want it

same

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1 hour ago, WDIK2 said:

Patience and hard work.  I'm guessing you don't want to use a digger because of the water line?

ETA:  Looks like it would be a tough angle also with the house and tree being so close together.  I think you just have to stick with it manually.

Keep digging around the roots using shovels and spud bar.  Cut exposed roots withe axe and sawzall.   Dig and cut down layer by layer.  I just dug a 55' long trench 2.5 feet deep through a bunch of roots. It took many evenings and lots of Advil.   The rate of digging can be frustratingly slow but Sometimes life is not all rainbows and unicorns.  

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49 minutes ago, Dan Lambskin said:

I don’t really have a use for that but I kind of want it

After you run it for about 10 mins you’ll wish you never saw one

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5 minutes ago, DocHolliday said:

Keep digging around the roots using shovels and spud bar.  Cut exposed roots withe axe and sawzall.   Dig and cut down layer by layer.  I just dug a 55' long trench 2.5 feet deep through a bunch of roots. It took many evenings and lots of Advil.   The rate of digging can be frustratingly slow but Sometimes life is not all rainbows and unicorns.  

This sounds terrible. I’d either hire someone or rent a piece of equipment to assist me if I were doing it myself. 

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2 minutes ago, Cowboysfan8 said:

After you run it for about 10 mins you’ll wish you never saw one

My dad has something similar. I always had to use it to break ice in the driveway. Great forearm workout if you didn't mind them being numb for a couple days.

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13 minutes ago, boots11234 said:

This sounds terrible. I’d either hire someone or rent a piece of equipment to assist me if I were doing it myself. 

I would normally rent an excavator for that type of work but the idiots that built the house ran the storm drain next/over the underground electric line to the house.   I had no choice but to dig manually once the electric line was marked.  My go to excavating company wouldn't dig it either since you don't really know how deep or exactly where the line is in relation to the storm drain until you find them.   It took a lot longer than planned but the project was completed.  

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31 minutes ago, WDIK2 said:

My dad has something similar. I always had to use it to break ice in the driveway. Great forearm workout if you didn't mind them being numb for a couple days.

When I worked for my dad I would swing a 6 footer around when putting in pipe.  💪

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3 hours ago, Galileo said:

Gasoline and a match.

:popcorn:

A tree that big is going to take a whole lot of dynamite.

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9 hours ago, mr. furley said:

tried this years ago. chainsaw kicked back and nearly cut me face up.

 

call a stump removal company instead. costs like 25-30 bucks. they'll get in there with a huge blade & saw that thing to dust in 15 minutes.

LMFAO @ a stump removal company coming out with their "huge blade and saw" for only 25 bucks.

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13 hours ago, Rodrigo Duterte said:

LMFAO @ a stump removal company coming out with their "huge blade and saw" for only 25 bucks.

i've had it done at least 3 different times at 2 homes :shrug:

it's the going rate around here. tree chopping company comes out, they do their thing then the stump removal guy comes out the next day. last time i had this done it was 2 huge pines and a medium size birch. totaled out to about 80 bucks.

eta: dude was there for 30 minutes, tops. $160/hour for stump removal. seems like not half bad money.

they aren't even that big https://www.drpower.com/Power-Equipment/Stump-Grinders-/DR-Stump-Grinder/p/ST47019DEN?ctm_id=ST47019DEN&src=AW19A41XE3963309&gclid=Cj0KCQjwlJfsBRDUARIsAIDHsWozX0ohJFd7maR3WQpZwu4bDiMcafvyk7mhWNJ_P97NJEX3iF99oB8aAnb3EALw_wcB

hell, you can rent them yourself by the hour https://www.homedepot.com/tool-truck-rental/Stump-Grinder/SG1314B/

 

Edited by mr. furley

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1 hour ago, mr. furley said:

i've had it done at least 3 different times at 2 homes :shrug:

it's the going rate around here. tree chopping company comes out, they do their thing then the stump removal guy comes out the next day. last time i had this done it was 2 huge pines and a medium size birch. totaled out to about 80 bucks.

eta: dude was there for 30 minutes, tops. $160/hour for stump removal. seems like not half bad money.

they aren't even that big https://www.drpower.com/Power-Equipment/Stump-Grinders-/DR-Stump-Grinder/p/ST47019DEN?ctm_id=ST47019DEN&src=AW19A41XE3963309&gclid=Cj0KCQjwlJfsBRDUARIsAIDHsWozX0ohJFd7maR3WQpZwu4bDiMcafvyk7mhWNJ_P97NJEX3iF99oB8aAnb3EALw_wcB

hell, you can rent them yourself by the hour https://www.homedepot.com/tool-truck-rental/Stump-Grinder/SG1314B/

 

You said they were big, not me ---> "Huge blade saw".  Now you're claiming "they're not even that big".

And if your guy was there for 30 minus and charges $160 and hour.  That does not equal the $25-$30 you were claiming; more like 3 times your original estimate.

Make up your mind.

Also a stump is not tree roots (OP's issue).

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On 9/20/2019 at 11:21 AM, FBG26 said:

If a chainsaw isn't doing it, maybe rent a small backhoe?

I prefer my hoes to have large backs, I cannot lie.

As to the OP, hire a professional.

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1 hour ago, Rodrigo Duterte said:

You said they were big, not me ---> "Huge blade saw".  Now you're claiming "they're not even that big".

And if your guy was there for 30 minus and charges $160 and hour.  That does not equal the $25-$30 you were claiming; more like 3 times your original estimate.

Make up your mind.

Also a stump is not tree roots (OP's issue).

it cost me $80 for 3 stumps. he charges by the stump and size of it. you can call him if you want  :shrug:

and roots are part of the stump. this is a blade that spins and moves side to side. it could chew through roots in a split second. much safer, cheaper and quicker option than anything else anyone has suggested.

 

"huge" meaning it's bigger than a hand saw. the blade is a good 2 feet around. maybe that doesn't meet your definition of huge and i'm ok with that.

this is a weird hill to die on, btw

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1 hour ago, mr. furley said:

it cost me $80 for 3 stumps. he charges by the stump and size of it. you can call him if you want  :shrug:

and roots are part of the stump. this is a blade that spins and moves side to side. it could chew through roots in a split second. much safer, cheaper and quicker option than anything else anyone has suggested.

 

"huge" meaning it's bigger than a hand saw. the blade is a good 2 feet around. maybe that doesn't meet your definition of huge and i'm ok with that.

this is a weird hill to die on, btw

I am seriously doubting you had this done. 

You sure you didnt just see a economy stump grinding sign that says 25 bucks? Those signs are a scam. They only charge 25 bucks for crab apple trees. 

They will not dare go after roots with their grinder. 

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20 minutes ago, parasaurolophus said:

I am seriously doubting you had this done. 

You sure you didnt just see a economy stump grinding sign that says 25 bucks? Those signs are a scam. They only charge 25 bucks for crab apple trees. 

They will not dare go after roots with their grinder. 

you don't have to believe. i was there watching the guy do it and i paid him for it. right out of my own pocket. literally out of my pocket. it's a big pocket. holds all kinds of stuff.

going to have a couple trees cut down next summer. i'll take video and sign the contract in blood.

Edited by mr. furley
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10 minutes ago, mr. furley said:

you don't have to believe. i was there watching the guy do it and i paid him for it. right out of my own pocket. literally out of my pocket. it's a big pocket. holds all kinds of stuff.

going to have a couple trees cut down next summer. i'll take video and sign the contract in blood.

Give him Gator’s phone number 

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2 hours ago, mr. furley said:

it cost me $80 for 3 stumps. he charges by the stump and size of it. you can call him if you want  :shrug:

and roots are part of the stump. this is a blade that spins and moves side to side. it could chew through roots in a split second. much safer, cheaper and quicker option than anything else anyone has suggested.

 

"huge" meaning it's bigger than a hand saw. the blade is a good 2 feet around. maybe that doesn't meet your definition of huge and i'm ok with that.

this is a weird hill to die on, btw

What part of the country do you live where someone only charges $80 for 3 stumps?   

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I’m shocked nobody else has said this yet.....Dude, that tree needs to come down. Its way too close to your foundation and very likely is going to continue to create more problems. 

 

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5 hours ago, STEADYMOBBIN 22 said:

I’m shocked nobody else has said this yet.....Dude, that tree needs to come down. Its way too close to your foundation and very likely is going to continue to create more problems. 

 

It will eventually come down once he hacks it up with the various apparatus we have all suggested. 

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5 hours ago, STEADYMOBBIN 22 said:

I’m shocked nobody else has said this yet.....Dude, that tree needs to come down. Its way too close to your foundation and very likely is going to continue to create more problems. 

 

It will die anyways once he gets rinds the root

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7 minutes ago, ChiefD said:

It will eventually come down once he hacks it up with the various apparatus we have all suggested. 

Yeah this

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OP hasn't responded.  He's probably still out there digging.  I suggest Ibuprofen.  

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3 hours ago, WDIK2 said:

OP hasn't responded.  He's probably still out there digging.  I suggest Ibuprofen.  

Probably he's calling all the stump grinder asking for the 20 dollah hollah

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On 9/21/2019 at 2:58 AM, Rodrigo Duterte said:

LMFAO @ a stump removal company coming out with their "huge blade and saw" for only 25 bucks.

I don't think it should be an Otis-like $5k job deal but at the same time, I agree 100%, I don't think I could get someone to pick up a McDonald's wrapper off the lawn for $25.00 these days!

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Well it depends on where you live....

Here in the DMV we guy guys from time to time that charge $40 a stump. I think they’re either drifters or guys who have rented the stump grinder and are out recouping their rental fees. 

So if @mr furley is in Wisconsin (IIRC,) then $25 doesn’t seem that out of reach.

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On 9/22/2019 at 3:26 AM, STEADYMOBBIN 22 said:

I’m shocked nobody else has said this yet.....Dude,............ Your starting to go bald. 

 

:fro:

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Update:

The leak has been repaired. It was leaking just outside the foundation. Most likely over time the tree roots caused friction against the cinder block.

Unfortunately during the digging process, a section of good pipe behind the leak was damaged with the shovel. The wire from the well was also severed. 😠

So after exposing more of the pipe and getting a clean cut, new pipe and wire were coupled and spliced from there to the bladder tank.

Thanks to everyone who offered both advice and humor to my query.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/HuHdbJGGnCWwqhrJ6

 

Edited by Ben & Jerry's
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