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Your Guide to Tree Root Removal

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Stump grinder removing a tree stump on a green lawn
Stump removal
November 12, 2021
minute read

How to remove tree roots across your property

Root removal is a crucial aspect of your garden's maintenance. Roots that are left behind after a tree has fallen or been cut down can provide an enticing place for pests such as termites, rats, and mice to make a home, putting your remaining trees and home at risk of invasion. They are also unsightly and take up unnecessary space in your garden that could be better utilised.

A far superior option is to have the tree roots professionally removed. Your garden will look much better for it and you'll reclaim precious space while eliminating the risk of pests moving in and causing damage to your property. If you're considering removing tree roots from your property, Trav's Tree Services can help. We have years of experience providing safe, expert tree solutions. Find out how we can help with our professional tree stump removal service.

Can I remove the root myself?

Root removal may seem a straightforward process of digging down under the remaining stump, but you may be surprised to know what is growing beneath the surface of your garden. Tree roots can be significantly intertwined and extend to great distances from the tree stump. It can be back-breaking work and is potentially dangerous if you're not a skilled user of the equipment or process required to complete the work.

What happens if I decide to dig out the root myself?

While you can go it alone and try to dig out the root yourself, we advise against it. It's not particularly efficient to just dig down under your tree root and cut it off close to the surface of the soil. The entire root system may simply grow back, just like grass growing back after being mowed!

Moreover, roots that are left behind can continue to spread out underground, so, over time, there will be more roots than before. And, if you dig up too much of your precious topsoil, you can also cause other problems for your garden, such as creating holes where water will collect. If you want to get rid of these roots for good, you should always hire a professional root removal service.

Trav's Tree Services has over 15 years experience removing roots and stumps across Melbourne. We have the right know-how and specialist equipment to get the job done properly, quickly, and with minimal disruption to your surrounding garden.

Why is root removal necessary?

Roots can cause a considerable number of problems in your garden including:

  • Encouraging erosion on slopes
  • Loosening the soil around your garden beds
  • Damage to concrete paths and driveways
  • Ruining sewer lines, drains and other pipes

Roots that need removing from pipes, sewer lines and drains should be handled by an expert that can manage any of the associated risks of working around these delicate areas. Pests including termites, mice and rats love to make homes within the stumps of old trees, and this puts your house at unnecessary risk from severe damage and infestation.

How deep do tree roots grow?

Tree roots have been known to reach out far beyond the diameter of a tree's canopy. In fact, most tree roots extend between 2-3 times the canopy radius, often reaching out 5 times the radius of the tree canopy and even further in dry climates. That's a lot of roots to dig up!

It's worth noting that if you don't successfully remove the entire root system, you may have the unwanted issue of regrowth down the track. Trees such as Yukkas, for example, are notoriously hard to remove without professional help due to their pervasive root systems. 

How can I tell where the root system has grown?

Trees can grow up to 6m deep with roots that resemble tentacles rather than the standard circular roots of other trees. Some tree roots also branch out horizontally and as well as vertically downward, making it difficult to identify where they appear above ground.

It is always advisable to seek professional assistance when removing a tree stump from your property. A professional arborist will be able to identify your tree and the likely area where the roots are growing, saving you significant time and money down the track, not to mention heartache if, after all your hard work, the tree and roots continue to grow! 

How do you get roots out of the ground?

There are many factors to consider with tree stump and root removal, including the type of tree being taken down and its location. Tree removal often leaves behind a stump with roots that have grown deep into the surrounding soil.

There are many different ways to remove them that do not require the full excavation of the stump and roots. Here at Trav's Tree Service, we generally advise people to ground tree stumps rather than a complete tree stump removal.

Root removal methods include:


This method is done by digging a trench around the entire circumference of your tree and then cutting off all limbs and sectioning the trunk. Each section is then removed and chopped into pieces, and carried away to a disposal location.


Extracting your tree’s roots involves pulling out and removing the entire tree, roots and all. This option allows better use of this area of your yard and you can choose to replant in this area or repurpose it. However, it is a messy and timely process that requires the use of heavy machinery and results in a large hole which may be dangerous and unsightly until it is filled in.

Stump grinding

When we grind a stump down, we use a machine which chips away at the wood until we reach around 30 cm below the soil surface. We recommend tree stump grinding services in many cases as this method:

  • Reduces the disruption to surrounding structures
  • Reduces the movement of precious topsoil
  • Has a lower risk of damaging fence lines, garden beds and piping
  • Is much safer and more efficient
  • Creates the same appearance in your garden as as stump and root removal

How do I get rid of large roots in my yard?

You should always consult a professional tree removal service when removing larger roots because the tree removal equipment necessary to complete this work may be hazardous without proper experience and training. 

Trav's Tree Services is a professional root removal service provider in Melbourne offering root grinder work and quality arborist work. Our prices are transparent and affordable, ensuring you receive excellent value for your root removal service. Contact us today for a free on-site evaluation.

How much does it cost to remove tree roots?

The best way for us to provide you with a comprehensive assessment of the costs of your root removal is to arrange a free on-site evaluation. First, we'll assess the size of the tree stump, its species and age, and the time required to do the job. Then we'll give you a quote.

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