I've got several large bushes I am trying to get rid of in my yard. I started by cutting them down close to the ground, and then tried to kill the root stump with root killer (copper sulfate pentahydrate). However, a few weeks later, instead of everything having died, new shoots are starting to grow!
So I tried digging a hole around a couple of these plants to get at the root bulb, but one of them appears to have a rather large root (2-3 inches in diameter) which goes straight down and then grows under a patio slab. I think if I had some kind of tool that I could stick in the hole and cut through the root that might do it, but I don't have such a tool and don't know what kind of tool I am looking for.
The other one I have tried is very difficult to dig around because the soil is full of rocks and roots from the bush. I cannot use a shovel, because it hits both of these. I have tried using a hoe or other similar digging tool to dig around but it is very slow and tiring and at the rate I am going I estimate would probably take at least 30 hours to finish, which at about one hour a week until I am worn out digging would take me months to finish.
Is there some kind of tool that I can use to effectively dig up or cut out the root ball? Some other method I am missing? I'm sure I could just call a landscaper and pay them a lot of money, but I would like to do it myself if possible. What would they know that I don't?
Update: Well it was hard to pick from all the answers to choose an accepted one, but the answer suggesting the cutting mattock was the most help, and I found I already had one of those! For the bush that was accessible I basically just chopped like crazy in a circle around the root ball until it was loose enough to pry from side to side to finish the job. The mattock basically just pushed the rocks out of the way as it hit them. Along the way I also used a pruner to snip at the thinner roots that were exposed to conserve my swinging strength.
For the bushes against the slab I did not have room to swing the mattock, so I actually used a regular drill with a fresh 1/4" bit. First I drilled straight through the center of the root as far below the ball as I could access, then I drilled diagonally in through the same hole around 45 degrees on either side, then continued drilling at angles in between, and then into the same plane from a different angle outside the root. When I had done this enough I was able to just snap the root in half and the ball came right out.