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How to Remove Hedge Roots

By Owen E. Richason IV ; Updated September 21, 2017

Hedges are largely aesthetic landscaping plants that can add beauty to a home's exterior and provide a backdrop for a planter or garden. Hedges have root systems just as trees do, and they can be invasive to a garden, planter or the foundation of a home or structure. When cutting down hedges, the roots also will have to be extracted from the ground to ensure the hedge does not regenerate.

Cut the hedges at the base of the trunk with loppers. If the base is too large to be cut with loppers, use a saw or hatchet.

Remove the hedge and begin to dig out away from the trunk by 2 to 3 feet with a shovel. Dig into the ground about 2 to 3 feet in a circle around the trunk to expose the root ball. If you encounter a thick entanglement of roots, you are digging too close to the hedge's trunk. Widen the circle as necessary.

Dig under the root ball to expose its underside, then pull the root ball out by the trunk. If it's too heavy or bulky, get help.

Backfill the hole and lay sod over the soil, if desired. Water and fertilize the sod according to the planting instructions to grow grass.


Things You Will Need

  • Loppers
  • Saw
  • Hatchet
  • Shovel
  • Soil
  • Sod

About the Author


Owen Richason grew up working in his family's small contracting business. He later became an outplacement consultant, then a retail business consultant. Richason is a former personal finance and business writer for "Tampa Bay Business and Financier." He now writes for various publications, websites and blogs.