I am building a fence and need to dig about 22 or 23 holes for posts. The holes are going to be 2' deep by about roughly 12" square (4"x4"x8' posts). So far so good. The area I am digging them is in a wooded area and here lies the problem. So far I have dug 3 by hand (well spade actually) and they have taken me several hours to dig EACH ONE!!! The reasons being, the amount of thick tree roots I am having to chop through as well as rubble and the fact that the mud/clay is bone dry. I am hitting the spade into the ground and chipping away fractions at a time as well as sending huge shock waves through my hands, not to mention the fatigue. Is there any quicker way that you could recommend? I thought about an auger, but this would just get caught up in all the roots (or would it cut through them?). I have even sharpened my spade so it cuts into the roots better, but its still such slow progress. At the moment I am using a normal spade and a trenching spade. I am also using branch cutters to chop through the roots, but still need to clear a lot of earth away before I can get to each one. To make matters worse, I have started off digging what I thought would be the easiest ones with out many trees in that area, so haven't even got to the most populated area yet.