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Old 04-23-2006, 10:30 AM
Bear cat Bear cat is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Trenton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1
Installing privacy fence over dead roots

Hi to all. This is my first post.

The property that my house is on has a row of tree stumps (about 12 of them) that are about 10" to 14" in diameter along the property line. This was supposed to have been hedges but was neglected for several years. The trees actually grew to about 30 to 40 feet high by the time I finally had them cut down to about 3 feet high. They still grow rapidly!

What I would like to do is remove all of these (healthy) stumps and install a 6 ft privacy fence. Do I need to remove all roots of these trees with a back hoe, then back fill with several loads of top soil before going ahead with the fence, or is it sufficient to cut the stumps to the ground?

If I were to simply cut the stumps to the ground, what would I use to kill them so they don't grow back? Then, what would happen when the roots began to decompose? Would this create a dangerous soft spot along the fence line that would eventually cause the ground to sink? Also, would a large number of dying roots result in some kind of bug infestation?

I would appreciate any advice on this matter.

Thanks, Scott.
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Old 04-26-2006, 03:34 PM
upidstay's Avatar
upidstay upidstay is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: CT
Posts: 1,193
Sounds like you have a major job on your hands. You can try a couple of things. Your biggest obstacle will be the root mass.
Cut them down and rip them oput with a back hoe. Then try and put the fence posts in those holes, if possible.
Cut them down as low as you can. Rent a serious post hole digger, preferably one attached to a tractor or skid steer. This should let you rip out the roots and get your posts in.
Good luck!!
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