Bush roots can grow to be quite deep. Even worse, they can grow back as a full bush, given time. Therefore, removing or killing roots so they don't grow back the following spring is important to those homeowners who have other landscaping plans in mind---or who just want to protect their foundations from encroaching roots. Options include pulling roots up with a backhoe, pulling them out with rope attached to a car, or poisoning them in place. The quickest but most laborious approach is to use heavy equipment to lift roots out.
Things You'll Need
- Axe or Chainsaw or Hacksaw
- Car or Backhoe
- Copper spike or several copper nails
- Hedge trimmers
- Bleach or salt
The One-Day Effort
Cut the shrub down to the stump with an axe, a chainsaw, or a hacksaw.
Dig down under the plant in order to have a gap under the stump to thread a rope through. Wrap the rope around and under the stump. Snake it through the stronger roots as well.
Tie the rope to a solid portion of your car (not the bumper!) and accelerate in short bursts. If the remnants of the bush break free suddenly, you don't want to drive through the neighbor's fence before you find the brake.
If the first attempt fails, chop at some of the roots with a hatchet to reduce the resistance and then try pulling again. Cut the roots far from the stump, though. Repeat until you succeed.
Instead of using a car, you can also rent a backhoe to finish the job. That may be easier, but it will obviously be more expensive.
The Long-Term Effort
If you plan to poison the shrub instead, time the poisoning around autumn or winter, when the shrub's nutrients (and therefore poisoning agents such as salt and bleach) will be sucked down into the root system. This will help poison the root system more effectively.
Cut the shrub down to the stump with an axe, a chainsaw, or a hacksaw. Then pour bleach and/or salt into the center of the trunk.
Cover the stump with an opaque tarp, to block the sunlight. Even if there are no green leaves left, the shrub still uses sunlight.
Tips & Warnings
- Don't set the stump on fire. "Top-killing," as this method is called, won't kill the roots. They'll just grow back again in the spring.
How to Remove Bush Stumps
Sometimes you may find that you need to remove a bush from your landscaping. Cutting it down is not usually a problem...
How to Remove Rose Bush Roots
Rose bushes must be removed for a number of reasons to ensure the health of other plants. Diseased rose bushes can spread...
How to Remove a Shrub
Bush roots can grow deep. Because a root system is all that a bush needs to grow back over time, getting rid...
How to Kill Tree Roots
Tree roots sometimes don't know when to call it a day, producing new shoots long after the tree was removed. Taking down...
How to Remove Roots
Getting rid of a plant that is causing you trouble or has become an eyesore can be quite a task. While it...
How to Kill Roots
The roots of a plant or tree feed the vegetation and keep it growing. When you discover an unwanted plant in your...
Ways to Get Rid of Stumps & Roots
Tree stumps can be eyesores and tripping hazards and interfere with your landscaping; the roots allow the stump to remain intact. You...
Tree Root Removal
Sometimes a tree and its roots can become invasive, requiring the removal of the tree, stump and roots. Once you cut down...
How Deep Are Shrub Roots?
Asked how long his legs were, tall Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying "Long enough to reach the ground." Most shrubs and...