Root Finder - Gardening

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OsamaAbdullah

Senior Member
Arabic
Hello everyone

I came across this in a text from UK and my question is:

What is a root finder? is it a trowel?

Sorry, there is no context. All i know it is mentioned in a gardening and farming text but i tried to look it up and the only results I came across were mathematical equations.

Thank you
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    There are several possibilities:

    1. It is a trade name for a tool that is used to remove roots once you have found them (Such things are often given optimistic names.)
    2. The phrase is used ironically to describe a tool whose main disadvantage is that roots interfere with its operating.
    3. It is a sharpened metal rod that can be pushed into the ground so as to detect larger tree roots.

    Without a source and context, it is not going to be possible for me to say any more.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    This isn't a well-known implement or device or whatever, OsamaAbdullah, so we need additional context in order to help you. By context, I mean the sentence in which you saw it. A link to the website (assuming there is one) might be helpful, too, but what we really need is the sentence or paragraph in which you saw it. You may provide up to four sentences, if you think this additional context will help.
     
    Last edited:

    OsamaAbdullah

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Thank you guys for help, It's a gardening manual, and the text lists some tools, so there are no sentences. I don't know why they are using root finder.

    Paul Q, do you reckon it's a trowel?
    3. It is a sharpened metal rod that can be pushed into the ground so as to detect larger tree roots.

    Thank you
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The clue might be in how the word is written: if it is "Rootfinder" - capital R - it could well be a trade name for a trowel.
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    Osama, you say "there is no context", but the manual is the context. What is the name of the manual? Where do the words appear, and is there anything else either before or after them? I find it very unlikely that you saw the word "root finder" on an otherwise blank page!!! Was this part of a caption of a photo? Was it a listing of an article for sale? If so, what did the full caption, or full listing say? That additional information is the context that we need.
     

    OsamaAbdullah

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Mahantongo.

    Thank you for your response.

    I am not allowed to share the name. Sorry for that.
    It is a list without pictures. Pruning tools, digging tools, rakes and wheelbarrows.
    Different types of fiskars, round and square shovels, leaf and shrub rakes, yard carts and lawn spreaders.
    I have the root finder under the digging tools.

    In the manual, they wrote a bit about some of the tools, but unfortunately not the root finder.

    The 'no pictures' part is what making it more difficult for me. I managed to do the rest but I don't know why I could not find the root finder as a digging tool anywhere. And since it is a list, i don't think it would have another hidden meaning. I wanted to see if it's familiar to native speakers, and if it looks anything like a trowel or it might be a metal rod as Paul suggested.

    Thank you everyone for your patience and help.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    I don't think there is such a thing in AmE, anyway - not a tool solely dedicated to finding roots. I can't promise that, but I've never heard of one, and I just checked several websites that sell gardening supplies - big ones, specialty ones, etc. - and there wasn't anything.

    So my guess, but it is a guess, is that the term refers to "whatever sharp implement you use to poke around for roots." If this is the case, a root finder isn't anything specific, but it's the tool - the shovel or trowel or hoe or whatever - that a given gardener uses to poke in the dirt looking for roots. I personally use a spade or garden fork. :)

    (Cross-posted with velisarius.)
     
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