Answer: You'll probably want to figure out where the roots are coming from before you proceed. While most established trees can overcome the loss of a root or two, you might be compromising the health of the tree to which these roots are attached if you sever them. If the tree is no longer around and the roots are just the remains of the original root system, a chainsaw does a good job, but you'll need to dig a hole deep and wide enough to accommodate the blade. Or, if the root is not massive you may be able to cut through it with a folding tree saw. The blades on these are slightly curved and about 12" long. They're inexpensive and quite sharp. Best wishes with your project!
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