Skip to Content

What Can You Use To Cut Tree Roots? (How to)

Tools to cut the tree

Tree roots can be a real problem for the homeowner. They can be a tripping hazard or can even be hit by the lawnmower every time you mow. What is the best tool to use when cutting tree roots?

The easiest way to cut tree roots is to use a reciprocating saw. You should dig out around the root to expose it completely and then the saw will cut through it easily. Otherwise, you can sometimes use a shovel or digging bar to cut the root if it is small enough.

One important factor to consider when using a reciprocating saw for cutting roots is the blade. If you use a standard blade for cutting wood, it can get caught in the root easily, depending upon the type of tree you are dealing with.

A better choice is to either use an attachment specifically for cutting tree roots or to use a chisel attachment. This will chop down through the root easily and will not get bound up in the process.

As you will learn in this article, there are many different options for cutting tree roots. These include everything from using hand tools to cut smaller roots to using a stump grinder for removing large roots.

What Can You Use To Cut Tree Roots?

One of the biggest problems you will run into when cutting tree roots is the fact that they are embedded in the soil. The root itself is generally easy to cut, but the soil can quickly dull or even damage most tools that you use.

It may take some additional work on your part, but digging around the root to expose as much of it as possible is a vital part of getting the job done. It is especially important for larger roots, as you need to see what you are doing in the area.

Of course, there are a number of different reasons why you may be cutting the roots and these can also affect the tools that you use and the methods that you use as well.

If you need to cut a tree root but you plan on saving the tree, you need to pay particular attention to the health of the tree and not go too far when it comes to removal. Some people will even suggest that you don’t cut the larger roots near the tree because it can damage the tree or can even leave it unstable.

Simply put, a live tree needs its root system and it puts the roots out for specific purposes. It provides stability for the tree as well as nutrients. Cutting a tree root is like cutting off part of the life force of the tree. Go easy when doing it and watch the health of the tree afterward for any signs of stress.

In addition, after you cut and remove a root, you are going to leave a void in the ground. This can also be problematic, so you need to fill it with the same soil that is in the area and make sure you tamp it down properly. Otherwise, you may leave the tree open to problems such as root rot or instability.

On the other hand, if you are removing roots as part of stump removal, this is something that can typically be done with a little less forethought. Then again, if you cut the roots strategically, it could make the stump easier to remove.

One other important factor that should not be overlooked is the need for safety. When you are cutting roots, you are doing a high-risk job that carries a lot of potential for injury. Here are some things you can do to mitigate the injury.

1. Tool Choice – One of the important things that should be done is to choose the proper tool for the proper job. This could mean that you will use a reciprocating saw but in some cases, a grinder or even a shovel may do the job properly. Along with choosing the proper tool, you should also use it properly and keep all guards in place.

2. Safety Glasses – You really can’t underestimate the need to wear good eye protection when you are cutting tree roots. Even a small piece of root that flies into your eye could cost you your eyesight. Wear proper safety glasses or a face shield.

3. Boots – Steel-toed boots are preferable for cutting tree roots because you are doing things that could put your feet in danger. It may not be as comfortable as wearing sneakers, but it could save your feet.

4. Skin Covering – Longsleeved shirts and long pants are important for this type of job. It will protect your skin against harm from flying pieces of material as well as from tree sap, which could cause a rash.

5. Sun Protection – If you are working outside, it is always a good idea to wear a hat and to put on plenty of sunscreen. Make sure that you reapply the sunscreen according to the manufacturer’s directions if you are sweating.

6. Gloves – At a minimum, you should wear a pair of all-purpose gloves. In some cases, it may be beneficial to wear leather gloves if you are doing more heavy-duty work.

7. Hydrate – Generally speaking, it is a good idea to drink water every 20 minutes, whether you’re thirsty or not. Staying hydrated will help you to stay healthy and will make it less likely for you to suffer from issues such as heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

Now that you are prepared to safely cut the tree roots, let’s consider some of the different tools that can be used for that purpose. We will also consider some tools that are better not used for this purpose.

Can You Use Reciprocating Saw To Cut Tree Roots?

Tools to cut the tree

Reciprocating saws are used for heavy construction and when a job needs to be done quickly. Should you use them for tree roots?

You can use a reciprocating saw on tree roots to cut them quickly and easily. It is one of the better choices, but you need to choose the blade carefully. A chisel blade is the best choice but even a heavy-duty blade with large teeth would work well for most roots.

One of the reasons why a reciprocating saw works so well is because it can get into areas that other saws are unable to get into. As long as you can fit the blade down into the area, it will work well.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you should just go ahead and cut the root without giving it much thought. The dirt and some of the surrounding rocks could be problematic, that is why you need to prepare in advance.

The easiest way to use a reciprocating saw for cutting roots is to clear away the dirt from around the root. Once the root is completely exposed, you can cut it quickly and cleanly with the reciprocating saw.

We also mentioned the need to use a chisel blade if at all possible. The sharp edge of the chisel blade will cut down through the root without getting stuck on some of the smaller roots that may be in the area.

Can You Use Sawzall To Cut Tree Roots?

Are you considering using a Sawzall for cutting roots? Is it a good idea to do so?

The Sawzall, which is the brand name of a reciprocating saw made by Milwaukee Tool, is an excellent choice for cutting tree roots. Like any other type of reciprocating saw, it can cut through a tree root cleanly.

As was discussed, when using a reciprocating saw, such as a Sawzall, you should clear away the dirt from the root as much as possible. The tool will cut the root cleanly but it won’t cut quickly if you are cutting through dirt.

Can You Use Chainsaw To Cut Tree Roots?

Tools to cut the tree

A chainsaw is a tool that is often used for cutting trees. We know that it cuts through tree branches quickly but will it do the same with tree roots?

Generally speaking, you should not use a chainsaw for cutting roots. It will cut through them easily enough, but you will also be cutting through dirt, rocks, and many other items that will cause damage to the tool.

In a pinch, you can use a chainsaw to cut tree roots. Keep in mind, however, that you will have to sharpen the chain every few minutes when doing so. In addition, you have to consider the safety of using a chainsaw when cutting roots.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on August 7, 2022.

If you are not familiar with how to use a chainsaw, then I wouldn’t recommend that you use it for any job. This is not a tool like a circular saw or reciprocating saw that can be picked up and used by someone who is careful. You need to know exactly what you are doing.

If you are cutting roots with a chainsaw and run into a rock or another piece of hard earth, the chainsaw is likely to kick back and it could seriously injure or kill you.

Do yourself a favor and put the chainsaw away if you’re going to cut anything below the surface of the ground. Use a reciprocating saw or even a handsaw but don’t use a chainsaw for this purpose.

Can You Use Circular Saw To Cut Tree Roots?

Most people have a circular saw at their disposal. Is it a good tool to use when cutting tree roots?

You should not use a circular saw for cutting a tree root or cutting anything else that is below the surface of the ground. Not only are you putting yourself in danger when using a circular saw for this purpose, you are putting your tool at risk as well.

One of the issues that are often associated with cutting with a circular saw is that it can bind and kick back. If you are trying to cut a tree root with a circular saw, this can sometimes happen.

A big problem is that the tree root is green wood. It is more difficult to cut through and can easily bind the saw blade if you aren’t careful.

Of course, the simple fact that you are cutting a tree root and you would also be cutting dirt or anything else in the area is problematic, to say the least. Circular saws are meant for cutting above the surface. Don’t use one for cutting tree roots.

Can You Use Axe To Cut Tree Roots?

Tools to cut the tree

An ax is a tool that is often used for cutting trees. Should you consider using it for cutting tree roots?

You can use the right type of ax to cut tree roots quickly and easily. One of the best options is a tool that is known as a root ax. This is a tool that is specifically designed for cutting roots and other types of vegetation that may still be green.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on August 7, 2022.

The difference between a root ax and other types of axes is in the way that you thrust the tool. Most axes swing at the end of a handle but a root ax is pushed or dropped into the area where the root exists. It will use the weight of the tool to cut the root.

Sometimes, a root ax is known as a root bar. It is similar to a digging bar but the blade is wider and sharper.

Other types of axes can also be used for cutting roots, but you should choose one that is heavy-duty and is also heavy. Using this type of ax for chopping roots is going to dull the ax quickly but it can get through the root quickly as well.

Can You Use Grinder To Cut Tree Roots?

If you have a grinder available, can you use it to cut tree roots?

Grinders can be used for cutting tree roots that are exposed and above ground. You need to use the right type of blade and then guide the grinder so that you are just chewing the top of the root off of the surface.

Anytime the grinder blade comes in contact with soil, it is going to dull very quickly. You also need to keep a firm grip on the grinder so it doesn’t kick back and injure you.

Can You Use Jackhammer To Cut Tree Roots?

Tools to cut the tree

Jackhammers can break up concrete very quickly. Can they also be used to break up tree roots?

Jackhammers are not an effective tool for cutting tree roots. The reason that a jackhammer works on concrete is that it is working again something solid. When it comes to tree roots, they will often move or you could wedge the jackhammer bit in, and then it will simply bounce on top.

Something similar is also the case if you’re trying to use a jackhammer for a tree stump. More than likely, the jackhammer will simply stick into the tree stump and the bit will remain stuck while the jackhammer bounces on top.

Can You Use Sod Cutter To Cut Tree Roots?

Tools to cut the tree

Sod cutters are often used in the same areas where tree roots exist. Can they be used to cut the tree roots?

A sod cutter will cut through small tree roots quickly and easily as it is removing sod. It will not, however, be effective for larger tree roots that would require additional power to cut through them.

As long as you are not cutting through any more than tiny roots that may be within a few inches of the surface, you can use the sod cutter to cut the grass and the roots. Otherwise, you should use a reciprocating saw to cut the root in advance.

Can You Use Auger To Cut Tree Roots?

Tools to cut the tree

If you are digging a hole, an Auger is an excellent choice. Can you use the auger to cut tree roots that may be in the way?

Installing a fence post would require that you cut a hole with an auger. If you run into a tree root, the auger will likely drill through the root so the post can be installed. It is not the ideal tool for doing so, but it will work.

If you run into an unusually large tree root, you may need to dig part of the hole by hand and then use a root ax or root bar to cut the root and remove it before digging further.

How To Cut Tree Roots Correctly And Safely?

confused man standing

If you have a root and you want to cut it the right way, there is one particular method that works very well. Not only will it cut the root cleanly, but it will also do so safely.

The easiest way to cut a root is to clean the soil from around the root and then cut it with either a reciprocating saw or a handsaw. Doing so will cut the root cleanly without damaging the tool and running the risk of kickback.

Of course, you should also use the appropriate PPE and pay careful attention to how you use the tool, so you are using it properly. Some safety equipment to wear include gloves, safety glasses, steel toe boots, and potentially a face shield.

Choosing the right saw blade is also something important to keep in mind. Use a saw blade with heavy teeth to cut through the root easily. You can use a finer tooth blade if you need a clean edge on the cut root.

Finally, the hole needs to be refilled with soil or it could leave the additional root system exposed to root rot. It is best if you use the same type of soil that is in the area where the root was removed.

The best tool for cutting tree roots is a reciprocating saw. You can also use a sharp handsaw or a root ax. If using a reciprocating saw, you must clean all dirt from around the root so you can cut through the root cleanly.

Related Articles

What Can You Use To Cut Formica?

What Can You Use To Cut Fiberglass?

What Can You Use To Cut A Lock?

What Can You Use To Cut Concrete Block?

ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on August 7, 2022.

What Can You Use To Cut Mosaic Tile? (How-to)