How to remove landscaping rocks?

A natural rock is a versatile component used for landscaping design. You may find several issues like water retention and drainage with the old rocks in the landscape. The best way to get rid of these issues is to remove the rocks from the yard.


Landscaping rocks are generally used on the creek beds, borders of the yard or may be scattered throughout the yard. If the landscape is not extensive, you can remove it by your own with the help of your friends. Before starting the process of removal you should gather the required tools.


  • Rake – A rake is a hand tool made up of steel teeth, it helps in the leveling and removing the decayed material from the yard and smoothing the surface.
  • Shovel- shovel is another hand tool that is made of a broad blade fixed to a medium-length handle. This tool can be used for the purpose of lifting, digging, and also moving landscape supplies like coal, soil, gravel, sand or snow.
  • Wheelbarrow-Wheelbarrow is a tiny hand-propelled vehicle, usually with just one or two wheels, designed to be pushed and guided by a single person using two handles at the rear. It will be easier to carry rocks from one place to another by a wheelbarrow.
  • Bucket – Small amount of rocks (small landscape) can be carried in the bucket in the absence of a wheelbarrow. On steep path bucket is preferable instead of wheelbarrows.
  • Mesh wire screen- Mesh wire screen nailed to wooden form is used to separate the small landscaping stones from the soil.
  • Wrecking bar or Pry bar- It is advised with a single curved end and flattened points, consisting of a metal bar, often with a small fissure on one or both ends for removing nails.
  • Motorized equipments- mini bulldozer, backhoe, tractor or skid steel loader are few motorized tools which can serve the purpose of removing large rocks or a large quantity of gravels. These equipments can be hired on rent. Before hiring do not forget to check the capacity of the engine to move the rock.

Along with the tools you need to cover yourself from head to toe with full sleeve shirt, pants, a pair of gloves (comfortable in carrying the rocks), high steel toed boots and cover your face with a mask (especially if you are allergic to dirt). Preparing yourself is vital as you may get injured while working, so be careful while working with heavy rocks.


  1. The small gravels should be removed first, using rake and shovel, fill them in a wheelbarrow or bucket. Drag the wheelbarrow; vacate the trash the place in your yard where you want to compile the rocks.
  2. After removing all small stones, switch to larger rocks; place the rock in the wheelbarrow with the help of a thick piece of wood and wrecking bar. Make sure another person is holding the handles properly; otherwise rock may slip and hurt you. Place a small stone or a thick piece of wood at the rock’s base, putting it on the side of the rock opposite the wheelbarrow. Insert a pry bar between the large rock and the wood piece or stone, pushing the pry bar as far under the rock as possible.
  3. Push the wrecking bar downward from the top while maintaining pressure at its bottom end. Lever the landscaping rock onto the wheelbarrow. Take the wheelbarrow to the site, you want to place the rock and place it.
  4. While carrying the stones with hands (if necessary), hold the stones with grip, if rock is about to slip throw it forward in order to avoid any injury.
  5. Replace other huge landscaping rocks from garden beds in the same way you removed the earlier ones. You may use the motorized equipments, if required in removing the huge and heavy rocks.
  6. After placing all the rocks, put mesh wire screen nailed in wooden frame over a container. Slowly put the small landscaping stones grabbed with the soil on the screen, separate the soil from the stones and place the soil back in the yard.
  7. Level the yard again with the help of rake. You may add more soil to your yard to level the pits formed due to the weight of the rocks.