Removing root balls

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by wojo23323, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. wojo23323

    wojo23323 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 608

    Whats the best way to remove a root ball like the one in the pic. The tree has already been cut off. Tree services in our area are telling my customers 6-12 weeks for removal. They want them removed now so we can do lawn repair. Any idea on a price to charge? I have posted this on a tree site also. Thanks for any advice. Blowing it up is not an option. :)

  2. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    We had a very bad ice storm in Feb this year. It was not uncommon to see a tree like this on every street in Lexington, KY. In fact I had one job, my uncles girlfriend, had (6), 60' hemlocks that did the same thing. Only one thing to do, take a hydraulic stump grinder to the entire area. This will leave a huge pile.
  3. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 661

    When you cut the tree off the root ball will fall back into place. Grind the stump, a little top soil a little seed and your done.
    If this is not an option you will need a back hoe. and a truck to haul it. If you dont have either find one and let them do the work mark it up 20% and have a nice day.
    I think maybe the shovel method is out on this one.
    Check around you may not even be able to rent the equipment right now.
    So other than the first method the customer may have no choice but to wait.
  4. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    Backhoe and dump truck, then bring in topsoil. That way you wont have the stump grindings in the soil and wont have as many depressions in the lawn when the roots and rest of the stump rots causing sinkholes.
  5. T. Matthews

    T. Matthews LawnSite Member
    Posts: 206

    Hey ,

    Do like they do on farms put an elastic band around it till it falls off.

    Sorry I had to add that little laugh.:D :) :D :) :D :) :D :) :D :)
  6. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,306

    Get a skidsteer with the "teeth" attachment. Opens and closes like your mouth and has about three or four "teeth" on it. Grap it pick it up and put it in the truck and off you go.
  7. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,944

    We could use a grinder, but on ones like what you are showing, we have found that 2 men with 2 picks can chip away most of the earth.

    A grinder will make a mess to clean up anyway - so that's labor.

    I'll bet that a pick and a cheap $5 folding saw and loppers will take the root ball to a 200 pound wad that can be rolled into a trailer in about 4 hours for one laborer.
  8. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    When they removed the tree did the root ball fall back into place? If it did you may want to use a backhoe and lift it back out, or use the skidsteer with the teeth attachment and load it on a tandem trailer/dump truck. Then fill the hole with top soil. Just be careful how you bid this job. It can be costly in both time and equipment.
  9. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    just a word of advise on this one, its hard to tell how large the tree is or the root ball. I got into a project like this a couple of yrs. ago after a storm after removing the tree the ball does fall back but never completly so we dug them out with a 555 ford hoe. the fun started when it came to load them, could'nt lift them with the hoe even after I knock off all the dirt I could with the hoe. My friend has an excavator that we used to put them on his trailor,2 at a time to go and dispose of them. Lesson learned, Root Ball can be extremly large and heavy If not for friend and his equipment I would be approx. 50pds lighter after lossing my a-s on that job.
  10. Mowing Mike

    Mowing Mike LawnSite Member
    Posts: 95

    The best way to remove the root ball is with a stump grinder. Grind the whole root ball and stump then clean up the mess. I have to agree with olderthan root balls are very heavy a skid steer would do very little other than tear up the yard on a stump like that. The root ball in the picture would very easily weigh between 8 and 12 thousand pounds. plus it is still attached to the lower side. I have had alot of experince with these and I dout that 1 man and a pic could do very much in a day on digging it out. I would charge about 150 to 200 to grind a stump likr that. Just grind it and be done.


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