Have you ever found yourself struggling to uproot stubborn cedar trees from your yard? Picture this: you’re faced with unruly roots that just won’t budge, leaving you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. But fear not, as we’re here to guide you through the process of digging up cedar trees with ease.

In this article, we’ll share practical tips and techniques to help you successfully remove cedar trees from your property. From identifying the right tools to understanding the best methods for extraction, we’ve got you covered. By the end of this read, you’ll feel confident and equipped to tackle this task like a pro.

Get ready to say goodbye to those pesky cedar trees causing havoc in your garden. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of safely and efficiently digging up these stubborn plants.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the root system of cedar trees, including shallow feeder roots and deep anchor roots, is crucial for successful removal.
  • Cedar tree roots can spread wide and deep, impacting the removal process, so it’s important to consider the full breadth of the root system.
  • Assessing tree size, location, and gathering the right tools like chainsaw, safety gear, shovel, and winch are essential for efficient tree removal.
  • Timing the tree removal during late fall to early spring when the tree is dormant can increase the chances of successful transplantation.
  • Clearing the area around the cedar tree, digging around the root ball carefully, and handling the tree post-dig process can ensure the tree’s survival and growth after transplantation.

Understanding Cedar Tree Roots

When it comes to digging up cedar trees, understanding their root system is crucial. By knowing how cedar tree roots grow and spread, you’ll be better prepared to tackle the removal process effectively. Here’s an overview of the root system of cedar trees and how deep and wide their roots can extend.

The Root System of Cedar Trees

Cedar trees have a complex root system designed to support their height and girth. The roots of cedar trees consist of a network of shallow and deep roots. The shallow roots, also known as feeder roots, extend horizontally from the base of the tree to absorb nutrients and water from the soil. These roots can spread out quite far from the tree, sometimes reaching beyond the canopy.

The deep roots of cedar trees serve to anchor the tree and provide stability. These roots grow vertically downward, penetrating deep into the soil to secure the tree in place. The depth of the deep roots can vary depending on the age and size of the cedar tree, but they can reach several feet into the ground.

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Understanding the different types of roots in a cedar tree’s root system is essential when planning to dig up the tree. You need to consider both the shallow feeder roots’ spread and the depth of the anchor roots to ensure you remove the tree entirely.

How Deep and Wide Cedar Tree Roots Spread

Cedar tree roots can extend quite far from the base of the tree. The feeder roots, which are responsible for nutrient uptake, can spread out horizontally up to three times the tree’s canopy’s diameter. This means that the root system of a cedar tree can cover a significant area underground.

The deep roots of cedar trees can also spread widely to provide stability. While these roots primarily grow downward to anchor the tree, they can also radiate outward, especially in search of water sources during dry periods. The horizontal spread of deep roots can extend beyond the drip line of the tree, making it essential to consider the full breadth of the root system when planning to remove a cedar tree.

Understanding the depth and width of cedar tree roots gives you insights into how comprehensive your removal process needs to be. By accounting for the extensive root spread, you can approach the tree removal methodically and ensure that you address all root components effectively.

Preparing to Dig Up Cedar Trees

Assessing the Tree Size and Location

Before starting to dig up cedar trees, it’s crucial to assess the size and location of the tree properly. Checking the height and overall dimensions of the cedar tree will help you determine the equipment needed and the level of effort required for the removal process. Additionally, evaluating the proximity of the tree to any structures, power lines, or other trees is essential for planning a safe and efficient removal.

Here are a few key points to consider when assessing the tree size and location:

  • Measure the height and width of the cedar tree to gauge its overall size.
  • Check if there are any obstacles nearby that could hinder the removal process.
  • Ensure there is enough space to safely cut down and remove the tree without causing damage to surrounding structures.

Gathering Necessary Tools and Equipment

To effectively dig up cedar trees, you’ll need the right tools and equipment to ensure the job is done safely and efficiently. Having the necessary tools on hand will help streamline the removal process and minimize any potential risks or delays.

Here are some essential tools and equipment you may need:

  1. Chainsaw: A chainsaw is essential for cutting through the trunk and branches of the cedar tree.
  2. Safety Gear: Wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and sturdy footwear to protect yourself during the removal process.
  3. Shovel: A sturdy shovel will be needed to dig around the tree’s base and expose the roots.
  4. Ax or Maul: An ax or maul can be useful for splitting large roots or trunk sections for easier removal.
  5. Winch or Pulley System: For larger cedar trees, a winch or pulley system may be necessary to assist in lifting and moving heavy tree sections.
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By assessing the tree size and location and gathering the necessary tools and equipment, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the process of digging up cedar trees effectively. Remember to prioritize safety at all times and proceed with caution to ensure a successful tree removal.

Step-by-Step Guide to Digging Up Cedar Trees

Determining the Best Time to Dig

To ensure a successful cedar tree removal, it’s crucial to pick the right time for digging. Optimal digging times for cedar trees are in the late fall to early spring when the tree is dormant. This is when the tree’s energy is focused on the roots rather than the foliage, making it easier to transplant the tree. Avoid digging during the tree’s active growth periods to minimize stress and increase the chances of successful relocation.

Clearing Around the Cedar Tree

Before digging up a cedar tree, you need to clear the area around the tree to ensure you have enough space to work efficiently. Remove any rocks, debris, or plants near the tree to create a clear working area. This step is critical as it prevents obstacles that could hinder the digging process. Clearing the surrounding area also reduces the risk of accidents and helps you maneuver around the tree more easily.

How to Safely Dig Around the Root Ball

When digging around the root ball of a cedar tree, it’s essential to take precautions to avoid damaging the roots and ensure the tree’s successful transplant. Start by digging a trench around the tree at a distance equal to the tree’s estimated root spread. Use a sharp shovel or spade to carefully cut through the soil, gradually working your way around the tree. Be mindful of the roots’ depth and avoid cutting through large roots unnecessarily. It’s important to maintain the integrity of the root ball as much as possible to enhance the tree’s chances of survival during and after transplantation.

By following these steps, you’ll be well-equipped to dig up cedar trees effectively while minimizing the risk of damage and ensuring the tree’s successful relocation.

Handling the Cedar Tree Post-Dig

After successfully removing a cedar tree, it’s essential to handle the post-dig process properly to ensure the tree’s health and survival during transportation and replanting. Here are some key steps to guide you through this crucial phase:

How to Transport the Cedar Tree

  1. Prepare the Tree: Before transporting the cedar tree, make sure to trim any excess foliage or branches to reduce weight and prevent damage during transit.
  2. Secure the Root Ball: The root system is crucial for the tree’s survival. Ensure the root ball is intact and secure to maintain the tree’s health during transportation. You can use burlap or a wire basket to keep the root ball compact and protected.
  3. Use Proper Support: When loading the tree onto a vehicle for transportation, use padding and supports to prevent the tree from shifting or sustaining injuries during the journey.
  4. Avoid Damage: Handle the tree with care to avoid causing stress or damage to the roots. Proper handling will increase the chances of successful transplantation post-dig.
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  1. Select a Suitable Location: Choose a site for replanting that offers adequate sunlight, proper drainage, and sufficient space for the cedar tree to grow and thrive. Avoid areas prone to waterlogging or strong winds.
  2. Prepare the Planting Hole: Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball to accommodate the tree’s roots comfortably. Loosen the soil around the hole to facilitate root growth.
  3. Positioning the Tree: Plant the cedar tree at the same depth it was previously growing to ensure proper root development and stability. Avoid burying the trunk or exposing the roots above ground level.
  4. Watering and Mulching: After planting, water the tree generously to help it establish in its new environment. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the tree to retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.

By following these guidelines on handling the cedar tree post-dig, you’ll enhance the chances of successful transplantation and promote the tree’s continued growth and well-being.


You’re now equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to successfully dig up cedar trees. By understanding the root systems, assessing the tree’s size and location, and having the right equipment on hand, you’re ready to tackle this task. Remember to choose the optimal time for digging, clear the area around the tree, and carefully excavate the root ball for a smooth removal process. After the tree is out, follow the steps for post-dig care to ensure its successful transplantation. With these guidelines, you can confidently remove cedar trees and set them up for continued growth in a new location. Happy digging!

Frequently Asked Questions

How important is it to understand cedar tree root systems before removal?

Understanding cedar tree root systems is crucial for effective removal, as it helps to minimize potential damage to surrounding areas and ensures successful transplantation.

What tools and equipment are essential for removing cedar trees?

Essential tools and equipment for removing cedar trees include a chainsaw, safety gear, shovel, ax or maul, and a winch or pulley system for larger trees.

What are the key steps involved in digging up cedar trees?

The key steps in digging up cedar trees include determining the best time for digging, clearing the area around the tree, and safely digging around the root ball for successful transplantation.

What should be done post tree removal to ensure successful transplantation?

After removing a cedar tree, essential post-dig steps include preparing the tree for transportation, securing the root ball, selecting a suitable replanting location, preparing the planting hole, positioning the tree correctly, and watering and mulching for continued growth.

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