After you cut down a tree, the real work begins. Getting rid of a tree stump can be an extremely challenging process. In fact, it is often much more difficult than cutting down the tree itself.
The best time to deal with an unwanted stump is right after you cut down the tree. Although stumps can be a unique addition to your landscape, they also can lead to a number of problems if they aren’t removed in a timely manner.
For instance, stumps that are left in place can wind up developing honey fungus. Despite its innocuous sounding name, this fungus has the potential to infect other nearby plants, sometimes killing them in the process. Old tree stumps also tend to attract insects, providing the perfect shelter for everything from ants to wasps.
Additionally, they can send up small tree shoots, also known as suckers, long after the original tree has been cut down. This can create a lot of extra work when maintaining your landscape. By removing the tree stump right away, you can avoid all of these headaches.
The Stump Removal Process
Stump removal is a lot easier if you plan ahead before you cut down the tree. Regardless of whether you are removing the tree yourself or have hired someone to do it for you, you should try to keep the height of the stump as low as possible.
If the tree is small enough, you may be able to take the stump out by hand. In most cases, however, the roots of the tree will be so well-established that you will need to use more dramatic measures. Typically, this either involves grinding the stump away using specialized equipment or applying a special product to the stump that will not only kill it but will also aid in the decomposition process.
Burning stumps can also be an effective removal method. However, this option should be used only as a last resort since there is always a risk of the fire spreading. If you decide to burn the stump, make sure to hire a professional to do it for you rather than trying to do it yourself.
No matter which approach you take, it is important to keep children and pets out of harm’s way.
Removing Stumps With A Stump Grinder
If you don’t want to wait around forever for the stump to decay, your best option is to remove it with a stump grinder.
These specialized tools can usually be rented from home improvement stores. Keep in mind, however, that they can be difficult and dangerous to use. You should only go this route if you are confident in your ability to keep the machine under control during the stump grinding process. Otherwise, you should hire someone, such as the Good Guys Tree Service to do it for you.
If you do wind up renting a stump grinder, be sure that the equipment you get is right for the job. Describe the stump in detail at the rental store. That way, they can help you choose a stump grinder that will work well for your situation. If the stump is particularly large, if it is located in an area that is difficult to reach, or if you are not confident in your ability to safely use such a large piece of equipment, you should contact a professional company to do the job for you.
While you are at the rental shop, be sure to ask questions about how the machine works. If possible, have them give you a demonstration so that you can see it in action before you take it home and use it.
Don’t forget, as well, that the stump grinding process leaves behind a lot of sawdust. You can either throw this sawdust away or you can use it as mulch in your flower beds or garden.
Removing Stumps With A Chemical Stump Killer
When left untreated, stumps take a long time to decay. As a result, there is an increased risk of problems with insects or disease. One way to get around this problem is by using a commercial stump killer to speed up the decomposition process.
These products work in a couple of different ways. First, they kill the stump, preventing any regrowth from occurring. This can not only eliminate problems with suckers or new growth but can also help start the decomposition process much sooner. They also may have ingredients in them that help accelerate decomposition, allowing the stump to decay more quickly.
These products work best when they are applied directly after cutting down the tree. Because the cells on the surface of the trunk are still fresh, the product is much more effective than if it is applied to an older stump. Keep in mind, the stump should be as dry as possible when you apply the product. That means that you may need to wait a few days to apply it if it is raining out.
Typically, the application process involves painting the product onto the cut side of the stump with a brush. You should wear gloves during the process to keep the product from getting on your skin.
For a larger stump, you can make the product more effective by drilling holes down into the surface of the stump. You can then fill these holes with some of the stump killing solution. This will allow the solution to work its way into the wood more quickly, resulting in faster decomposition.
Typically, it takes anywhere from about a month to a month and a half for the stump killer to finish killing off the tree. At that point, the process of decomposition will kick into high gear. This can help the stump decay much more quickly than it would have on its own.