I recently had a 40 ft blue spruce tree removed from my front yard. I dug a hole in that area to put a new tree but noticed there is a solid metal wire inside of this hole.

Maybe this wire was the wrap around the bottom of the old blue spruce? In either case I tried using cutters, knife, shovel anything and these things do not cut. Is there a strong tool to cut these metal wires out?

Here is a picture of them, they went from gray / silver in color to almost brown probably because they are now exposed:

enter image description here

  • 3
    I think I'd figure out what it is before I started hacking away at it. It might be a ground wire. It'll probably cut easily with a bolt cutter or hack saw. What's the question?
    – isherwood
    Jun 19, 2018 at 19:16
  • Ground wire to what? I guess I dont know how to find out what it is. The question is id like to cut this wire out since I want to plant a new plant there.
    – JonH
    Jun 19, 2018 at 19:17
  • No idea. It doesn't matter. Have you tried tracing it? What buildings or equipment is it oriented toward?
    – isherwood
    Jun 19, 2018 at 19:18
  • There is so much of it and so deep I didnt want to continue. I thought it would be the wire basket around the bottom base of the original tree.
    – JonH
    Jun 19, 2018 at 19:20
  • 3
    I would never cut a wire I did not know where it went or what it did. It sounds like steel or galvanized wire that could be a tracer for a deeper pipe in my state trees grow like weeds so even a 40' is not very tall or very old. But not knowing what a ground wire is would be a good reason not to cut it until you know what it is.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 20, 2018 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


A bolt cutter or hack saw will make quick work of it, as would an abrasive blade in a circular saw or angle grinder. It appears to be soft iron judging by the rust.

  • It isnt soft at all...it is very hard. I was scared to use a saw on that darn thing...I tried using pliers and twisting it and it is so strong.
    – JonH
    Jun 19, 2018 at 19:24
  • Do you think it is just the wire basket for the old Tree? My electricity and cable still work even after some of it has broken off.
    – JonH
    Jun 19, 2018 at 19:24
  • Pliers aren't the right tool. They don't offer enough leverage, which is why bolt cutters exist. I don't know anything about tree baskets.
    – isherwood
    Jun 19, 2018 at 19:25
  • And most electrical systems work fine even with their grounding disabled, at least until there's a fault, and then things get dangerous. If it's iron, it's probably not a grounding wire, though.
    – isherwood
    Jun 19, 2018 at 19:26
  • Bolt cutter worked - it was just the metal wire basket around the burlap of my old tree. The cutter was around 15 bucks at Home Depot. Thanks.
    – JonH
    Jun 21, 2018 at 10:27

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