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Old 12-21-2011, 09:45 AM   #1
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Any pros here that can help find a power digging tool?


I just finished hand trenching a retaining wall footing at my house with shovels and and pry bar, and I am seriously whooped. I have some trees to plant in the future and my soil is rock hard compacted sand. Shovels don't work on it but a large pry bar does. What do you pros use to dig with. I know there are spade attachments for power tools. Any suggestions on something I can buy for less than $200?

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Old 12-21-2011, 10:15 AM   #2
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Any pros here that can help find a power digging tool?


I think I'd consider RENTING a "Ditch Witch" if it's a one time project.

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Old 12-21-2011, 10:17 AM   #3
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Any pros here that can help find a power digging tool?


Oops... just saw "trenching", not trees.... perhaps a rototiller would break it up and make it easy to shovel out? ...again, rent it if you don't NEED to own it.

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Old 12-21-2011, 10:19 AM   #4
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Any pros here that can help find a power digging tool?


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I think I'd consider RENTING a "Ditch Witch" if it's a one time project.

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Thanks I may use that from time to time but I'm looking for one of those hand held power diggers with a D handle that have a spade attachment for digging hard soil. Kind of like a mini jack hammer.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:19 AM   #5
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Any pros here that can help find a power digging tool?


You can rent power post hole diggers for tree planting. Just dig several holes side by side until you have the needed excavation.

Typically a pick-ax and shovel are used for such hand work.

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I know there are spade attachments for power tools.
There are if you feel like you want to ruin your power tools in quick fashion.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:55 AM   #6
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Any pros here that can help find a power digging tool?


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You can rent power post hole diggers for tree planting. Just dig several holes side by side until you have the needed excavation.

Typically a pick-ax and shovel are used for such hand work.


There are if you feel like you want to ruin your power tools in quick fashion.
Yeah I'll have a pick the next time I dig. This soil feels like concrete even right after the rain.
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:26 PM   #7
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Any pros here that can help find a power digging tool?


Ayuh,... I agree with Bud,....

Pickaxes, 'n shovels are for diggin',...
Crowbars are just for rollin' big rocks outa yer way....

How many trees,..??
How big a rootball/ hole is needed,..??

If it's Alota trees, with big rootballs,... Rent a little Backhoe....
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:07 PM   #8
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Any pros here that can help find a power digging tool?


You can also rent a skid steer with augers. When I had mine I had several augers, the biggest was a 24" auger for planting trees for the government. Too bad we weren't planting money trees.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:49 PM   #9
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Any pros here that can help find a power digging tool?


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Ayuh,... I agree with Bud,....

Pickaxes, 'n shovels are for diggin',...
Crowbars are just for rollin' big rocks outa yer way....

How many trees,..??
How big a rootball/ hole is needed,..??

If it's Alota trees, with big rootballs,... Rent a little Backhoe....
Given the soil type you describe you need to dig at least 2-3 times the width and depth of the rootball and fill in with a planting mix to give the trees a chance. If you don't and only dig the size of the rootball you will essentially cause it to be "pot bound" just as if you plunked it in a container and the roots will just wrap around themselves and eventually KO the tree.

If planting anything but fairly small trees I would think you are probably going to need something like a backhoe---as suggested---although I guess several augered holes and some followup hand work would do the trick. In that kind of soil, anything handheld is probably going to bounce around on you like crazy so be careful and keep your feet out of the way!

Depending on how many trees, you might see what a tree company would charge you? Some nurseries and tree companies might even warrant the trees would live and promise to come back out if the don't. You are probably on your own if you plant them.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:08 AM   #10
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Any pros here that can help find a power digging tool?


I've used gas powered post hole diggers in clay/stone soil but it can still be a handfull.

There is a tow behind gas posthole auger ( that you can rent)that would probably be the ticket.

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