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Ruby12Ruby12 Posts: 2,193

can anyone tell me how far berberis roots go down? I have to dig them up. The oldest is about 15 years The youngest is about6. I need to know the degree  of difficulty so I can work out if I can do it myself, even if I have to do it bit by bit. I know there are no absolutes  but a loose idea would be good. Thanks.

 Occasional flights into reality. B) 


  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,128

    Not knowing the species of Berberis in your garden , I think you'll be struggling with the 15-year old unless you've access to a mini-digger !

    The 6-year old should be easier , but still with a substantial root system ; as for depth , this is largely dependent on what the ground is like underneath your garden . If its chalk , there's a chance the roots wouldn't penetrate it anyway .

  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,087


    Last year I grubbed out a Beberris Superaba, which grows to about 3m high by 2m wide. I would suggest heavly watering the soil around the shrub ie: creat a dam effect around the soil and leave the hose running. This will loosen the soil around the plant. Remove all the top growth first to leave a centre stump. Then dig out around the stump to expose as much of the root ball. The tools you will need to manually remove the root ball are a pick axe , fence bar( looks like a very large crow bar) pruning saws and branch pruner , Using the saw and branch pruner, cut away as much of the exposed roots around the plant. Then, get ready for a workout with the pick axe and fence bar. The fence bar will allow you to get under the root ball and force it out of the ground. The pick axe will chop out any bigger tap roots growing directly under the root ball

    I went down appropriately 2 foot to remove all of the roof ball 

    It took me a good 4 hours to get it out and I'm 59 years young and be prepared for a big hole to back fill 

    Wear good quality gloves that protect you from thorns and safety glasses. 

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