It is a sad day when you come to realize that the tree you have tried to love, nurture and take care of over the past several years is on its last root. Whether it is due to natural weather conditions, bug infestation or another reason, there comes a time when you must say goodbye to the tree that helped shade your yard and provide aesthetic curb appeal. The easiest way to rid your yard of your expired tree is to chop it down in sections, however the stump will require more effort than simply chopping away at it. If you are left with a painful reminder of your once beautiful tree in the form of an ugly stump, it is time you take care of removing this final piece of the tree. Here are some of our suggestions for effectively removing tree stumps.
Depending on how long the tree lived will make a big difference on how strong the trees roots and tap roots are intertwined beneath the ground. There are a few methods of removing tree stumps, but for safety reasons, we will be discussing two options. One is an immediate action, which will require quite a bit of manual labor, and the other is a long-term option that will be physically easier, but will require the stump to remain in your yard for quite a while longer, but both options are effective at removing the stump, it all boils down to your personal preference.
1. Short Term Option: Manually Remove Tree Stump
This option is the immediate way to remove your tree stump, but is very manual and will take some blood (hopefully not literally), sweat and tears. You will need a shovel and an axe or even a mattock can come in useful. You can also rent a tree stump grinder to help you accomplish the removal process but this can be expensive. You will basically be digging around the tree stump and chopping away the pieces of the stump and the roots. This could take anywhere from one hour to a few days depending on how fast you move and how intensive the trees roots where. The other downfall is that you will be tearing up your yard and will need to be put back together by adding more soil and planting another tree or laying down sod to fill the big hole where your tree once laid claim.
2. Long Term Option: Kill the Stump Over Time
An easier, but longer term option is to kill the stump from the inside out over time. Simply cut the stump down to ground level, or as close as possible. Take a drill (the largest and longest you have) and drill holes a few inches in around the perimeter of the tree stump. You want the holes to be the biggest and deepest possible so you are able to saturate the internal stump with ground stump remover to rot it from the inside out. Tree stump remover is basically just a nitrogen based formula that kills the remaining life out of the stump and roots. By pouring this tree stump remover into the drilled holes you are saturating the tree stump with this poison reaching its roots and tap roots and over time, one to two months, the stump will begin to deteriorate and become much easier to remove with an axe. As a side note, this process works best on stumps of trees that have been removed for at least six months or longer.
Susan Wright is an experienced veterinarian, a home owner and a freelance writer. Dr. Wright enjoys sharing helpful home owner tips based on personal experiences.