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Dealing with Roots When Digging Post Holes


Yes, roots might be the root of your problem today. If you’re dealing with roots when digging post holes, we get your reason for frustration. However, if you’re not a professional, it’s undoubtedly hard for you.

Although it’s hard, with some effort and time, you can do it in no time. Well, that’s why we’re here today. We’ll make it easy for you with some easy steps.

When you’re done reading this article, you’ll know all the ways you can do the digging and how you’re going to do it.

So, without further delay, let’s get into the roots of your problem.

Last but not least, your safety should be your first priority. So, make sure to wear your glasses and gloves before you start.Then, let’s get digging.

Tools You Need

Well, digging in an area where you are most likely to deal with roots, it’s surely not a fun job. Especially when you want to keep the garden landscape and other parts intact throughout the process. 

However, you’ll need the correct tools to start. Here are the tools that you’ll need:

Now, make sure to grab the best tools from the market. Or else, your cheap tools might even break when you are on your way to deal with the roots. 

How You Will Start?

Here’s the thing.

It depends completely on you how you’ll remove the roots. Because there are two methods. 

On the one hand, you can use your electric auger. And on the other hand, you can use the tools that you might already have. But it’ll take more time and effort.

Let’s cut to the chase so that you can decide which one you want to follow.

Electric Auger Method

An electric auger uses its structure and with a bit of effort it easily breaks the roots that cause you trouble. Isn’t it obvious that it’s the fastest way to get your job done?

However, if you don’t own or if you can’t buy an auger, you can rent it. It’s going to cost you a little money but it’s going to be effective. Simply put, it’s going to be worth it.

Here are a few steps that you’ll need to follow if you are using this method:

Step 1: Use the Post Hole Digger

First, you’ll need to use the post hole digger. You’ll have to dig the post hole with it. However, you can also use a spade. Your hole should be about six inches.

You see, when you dig a hole at the start, it gets easy for you to move the soil and roots later on.

Step 2: Use A Helping Hand

You’ll need help to handle the auger. You see, the auger is a large drill and it’s heavy. Moreover, it can throw you when it hits the root that is troubling you. 

So, you should have someone to help you do the drilling. It’ll make the work a lot easier for you.

Step 3: Position Your Auger

Here’s the trick.

You’ll have to place the tip of the auger drill bit into the hole you dug. When you do that, the pressure is concentrated at a certain point on the surface. This does the magic and breaks the soil or anything solid super fast.

However, you must stand on one side of the auger and place the helper on the other side. This’ll create a balance on the vibration of the auger.

Step 4: Keep Your Auger Steady

Your auger is very powerful. However, you’ll need to make sure that your auger is steady. You see, it gives a powerful reflex when operating. 

So, you’ll need to hold the auger steady and with a firm grip until it cuts through the tree root.

Step 5: Check the Root

You’ll need to check the root to see if it’s broken perfectly or not. By now, it should be shattered into pieces inside the soil.

However, you might need to do another session of this process if it’s still not broken. Well, if the coast is clear, now you can put your post in the hole and set it up.

Now, if you want a more DIY solution. Then, the next method is for you.

DIY Method

Here’s the good news for you.

You won’t need the costly auger in this method. However, you can start this method with your basic digging tools. Moreover, you’ll need to follow some steps and you’ll need time to do this.

Here are the following steps:

Step 1: Remove Dirt

It’s pretty basic but you’ll need to remove as much dirt you can. Also, you can use a shovel for it.

However, you should make sure that you have enough room to work safely with a landscape bar and to set the post. So, keep on removing dirt until you have the room.

Step 2: Use Your Landscape Bar

Now, you’ll have to cut the roots with the landscape bar if you have a clear coast. However, use the sharp side of the bar to cut the roots. 

What do you do if it’s a thick root? Well, as we said before. It’s going to take time. So, keep on slamming the bar on the root safely.

Besides, if it’s too thick, clear the whole area of soil, and then use the chainsaw to cut off the root.

Step 3: Set the Hole for Your Post

However, you should cut enough roots to set a room for your post. Then, you should clear dirt and unnecessary stuff or pieces of root from the hole. 

You see, the unnecessary things in the hole can cause a problem for the post in the future. 

Also, make sure to cut all the roots, and then you set the post.

Tips for You

Here are the tips for you that might actually help you:

  • Make sure that you know the location of gas and water pipes before you dig.

  • Be cautious when you use the chainsaw, landscape bar, or the auger.

  • Don’t damage the tree for your post hole. If you cut large roots, make sure that it doesn’t harm the tree in the long run. You need to think about the tree too.

  • Consult a professional before you use an auger. It’s for your own greater good.


Dealing with roots when digging post holes can be hard for you. So, always make sure to get professionals to advise before you start. Also, don’t be selfish. Think about the tree too.