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Old 09-28-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
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I dislike these crape myrtles in my yard. It's impossible to plant anything near them because of the roots. The roots are barely under the surface and mass of tangles, mostly the size of large fingers. They snap easily when I stab them with a shovel then I pull up and break them off.

Last week walking past tools I noticed a nice sharp ax. I thought aha!

Does that sound like a way to speed up my task of removing these roots? Like many women I don't have a lot of strength in my arms but I think the momentum of raising an ax and swinging downwards should get the job done.

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Old 09-28-2013, 05:07 PM   #2
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Hate to see a good ax ruined in the dirt.
I would suggest a grubbing mattock
http://www.amazon.com/Truper-31638-5...d_sim_sbs_lg_1
or a Pulaski Fire Ax
http://www.amazon.com/Truper-30529-2...d_sim_sbs_lg_4

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Old 09-28-2013, 05:17 PM   #3
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Which do you think would work better for me? The first one actually says "cuts thru tree roots".

I usually go to HD for things like this.
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
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This may sound like tool abuse--but I use my Saws All to cut roots----works well--

I use Milwaukee blades--they last a long time----
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:55 PM   #5
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Try this:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/ROCKFORGE...2#.Ukdbkz-8CJ4
When the mattock doesn't go thru, turn it over and the ax will.

I looked and their cutting mattock (grubbing) and it is longer and heavier.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/ROCKFORGE...d#.UkdcWD-8CJ4

One nice thing about a store, you can look at and handle both.

Edit: It will give you ideas about the tool types, but look for or ask for something better. If they don't have it, go elsewhere. Apparently Rockforge fiberglass handles have problems. At least in these less expensive tools.

Last edited by Oso954; 09-28-2013 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:12 PM   #6
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Going back to the Amazon tools, the Pulaski should be sharper than the grubber. It is also 3 1/2 lbs as compared to 5. Easier to swing.

The handle on the Pulaski is a Hickory ax handle that is usually available in most areas.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
This may sound like tool abuse--but I use my Saws All to cut roots----works well--
I have to agree with that...if roots are in the way my sawzall is the go to tool every time. Plug in and cut!
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:18 PM   #8
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In my little town I never find anyone at the big box stores who know anything. I have 2 of those stores. One never has any clerks available. That's why I check here first.

I took out three 30 y.o. shrubs last summer by digging around them then using a $1 garage sale saw on the big roots. I have one more that isn't healthy looking I need to remove but no time now. It's really not as bad a job as it sounds to do it by hand.

These crape myrtle roots are suffocating my camellia and other favorite things I've just planted.

edit:
Maybe I'll put a Sawsall on my xmas list for my kids. There are often little boards and things that make me wish I had a saw. At the moment no budget for one, but considering I've never heard of them before I now want one.

And my kids laugh at me for wanting tools. Gone are the days of expensive perfume and jewelry......all I want now are tools.

Last edited by Startingover; 09-28-2013 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Startingover View Post
edit:
Maybe I'll put a Sawsall on my xmas list for my kids. There are often little boards and things that make me wish I had a saw. At the moment no budget for one, but considering I've never heard of them before I now want one.

And my kids laugh at me for wanting tools. Gone are the days of expensive perfume and jewelry......all I want now are tools.


Well now that you have that new long extension cord be sure that they get you one that plugs in (no batteries).

You can also tell them you like your sawzalls to be the color Red!
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:49 PM   #10
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Get the axe because you may not find a more versatile hand tool. Just ask any pioneer. If it dulls, the axe is about as easy to sharpen as it gets and it will cut shallow phone cables, water lines etc. just as well as roots.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:51 PM   #11
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I prefer a regular axe for cutting roots. Maddox will get dull just as quick and they both sharpen easy enough. What ever you can swing the best will cut the root faster.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:16 PM   #12
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ok, now I know for certain that an ax (or axe) will do the job I can tell it will be a major decision for me to choose which axe. I have decided on a hickory handle instead of a fiberglass handle.

thanks everyone for all your help.

edit:
it seems both spellings are correct.

"Ax
and axe are different spellings of the same word. Axe is standard in varieties of English from outside the U.S. Axe also appears in American English, but the newer spelling, ax, has gained ground over the last half century and is now more common."

Last edited by Startingover; 09-28-2013 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:30 PM   #13
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one of these would work well.
https://www.google.com/search?q=bypa...&bih=598&dpr=1
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:15 PM   #14
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One advantage of a Mattock over the other devices is that it can serve more purposes. Other than having a cutting-edge for what you need now the other edge can be readily used as a pickax for digging trenches or holes. They are one of the more versatile tools you can have.
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:30 PM   #15
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Msradell, Thanks. That was the type of description I needed.

Fix'n It, yes, I also need those loppers.

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