Fastest way to dig a hole...

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Old 04-05-16, 08:54 PM
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Fastest way to dig a hole...

I planted ten palm trees around 2009. When I planted them, they were each about seven feet tall. Two of them died in 2013. I removed those two but left the trunk which were 6-8 inches in diameter. They were about ten feet tall in 2013.

So now 2016, I have bought two new King Palms (small three feet tall) to replace those two that died three years ago.

What is the fastest way to dig a hole or should I tried to remove the trunk first?

Has anyone used one of theses Post Diggers? How effective is it?

Razor-Back 48 in. Fiberglass Handle Post Hole Digger-2712600 - The Home Depot


Should I use a reciprocating saw and saw into the remaining trunk? Wonder how hard the trunk is now? It was difficult to remove back in 2013. I made the mistake of cutting the dead palm off with a reciprocating saw. I should have left the tree and used that as leverage to bend it lose which I used that technique recently to remove another palm tree.
 
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Old 04-05-16, 10:30 PM
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Rent a stump grinder and an auger maybe. Just a guess. Grind the stump then drill holes around it.
 
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Old 04-06-16, 02:25 AM
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Has anyone used one of theses Post Diggers? How effective is it?
A lot depends on the soil type and the user but post hole diggers work good for post holes, I would not even consider using one to dig a larger hole. A shovel would be more effective! If your palms are similar to the ones in fla it shouldn't take much to remove the old stumps.
 
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Old 04-06-16, 04:26 AM
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Last time I dug a hole in LA area it was rock hard soil. Had to use a pick and shovel. But I was young than. 50 years ago. House is now under 405 freeway.
 
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Old 04-06-16, 05:47 AM
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Holes

What is the fastest way to dig a hole or should I tried to remove the trunk first?
What size holes? What trunk?
 
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Old 04-06-16, 08:07 PM
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Thanks for all of your replies.

Ray, I just learned what an Auger is.

MarkSR, I am a bit fascinated by it but if you say it can't dig large holes, I will take your word for it.

Pugsi, the dirt is soft after watering it. I am not in LA, the land of pot holes on the streets.

WirePuller, the size of the King Palm is in a 2-5 gallon. Digging the hole is no problem. Digging the hole into the trunk maybe.
 
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Old 04-06-16, 08:47 PM
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Digging the hole into the trunk maybe.
Which is why I suggested a stump grinder.

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Old 04-06-16, 11:52 PM
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Hi Ray, I am sure the home depot (with rental) next to my house doesn't have one of those. Plus, that might be too big since I have pavers all around the area. The trunk is about 6-8 inches in diameter in a planter area 3x3.

Maybe, I will just gnaw on it? How long do you think it would take?

I am going to put a stake in the middle and pound it down with a sledge hammer. Maybe that will split it open. I will update tomorrow.

Thanks
 
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Old 04-07-16, 12:38 AM
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Old 04-07-16, 12:40 AM
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Jeez, I'd just rent a mini-backhoe or similar. Pull the stumps and the hole is already there. Maybe $200?
 
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Old 04-07-16, 01:35 AM
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Do you know a wrecker guy?
 
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Old 04-07-16, 03:18 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions Ray and Gunguy.

I am going to make first attempt. If not successful, I will look into a "Wrecker Guy".
 
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Old 04-07-16, 03:31 AM
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I am a bit fascinated by it but if you say it can't dig large holes, I will take your word for it.
It's not that it can't dig a large hole but rather that it would take too much time as you are only removing a small amount of dirt at a time. A post hole digger is designed to dig a deep narrow hole to set a fence post in.

Fla palms [the only ones I'm familiar with] just have a root ball at the bottom that doesn't go deep. It's not a big deal to dig around them and tip/rock the root ball out.
 
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Old 04-07-16, 06:23 AM
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Digging Holes

After reading the posts again, I am understanding that you cut the dead trees at grade level or slightly above and now you want to remove the stumps and replace the dead trees.

I suggest a small backhoe or self-propelled stump grinder. Stay away from the walk behind stump grinder unless you are a professional steer wrestler.

The post hole diggers you referenced in you original post would be useless for the job you want to do.
 
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Old 04-07-16, 01:27 PM
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If the planter area is only 3x3 and you aren't going to remove the surrounding pavers, then hand digging is probably the way to go. For just two stumps it should be manageable. You will know soon on the first. Lay down some plastic to shovel the dirt onto and work around. If the ball is large and you want to stay within the 3x3, that post hole digger may actually be of use.

The trick is getting deep enough on the sides to be able to reach under and cut the roots. A quick search on Palms, few up here in Maine, didn't indicate a deep root system, more laterally. Once you cur around the current stump it may come loose.

They make some very aggressive blades for reciprocating saws that would be adequate for cutting the roots to each side.

Bud
 
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Old 04-07-16, 01:34 PM
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They make some very aggressive blades for reciprocating saws that would be adequate for cutting the roots to each side.
Agree 100%. When I dig my Sawzall is always at my side. I remember the days before Sawzalls and trying to cut roots with axes or just a spade*. Just shudder to think about it. Never again.

*Yes. spade. For me using a spade always seemed a lot easier than using a shovel.
 
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Old 05-17-16, 03:23 AM
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Update: My new palm trees have been planted.

Surprisingly, the old dead trunks have shriveled to mulch. They had its form of a trunk but as soon as I plowed my shovel into them, they crumbled from the inside (mulch). Anyway, it took less than 2 minutes to dig a 3 feet hole.

Lesson Learned: Tree trunk becomes mulch in two years
 
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Old 05-17-16, 04:03 AM
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Tree trunk becomes mulch in two years
Depends on the tree! I cut a hemlock that was over my driveway and it took nature about 20 yrs to dispose of it .... but there isn't much to a palm's trunk
 
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Old 05-17-16, 04:15 AM
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Correction:

Lesson Learned: Wimpy Palm Tree's trunk becomes mulch in two years
 
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