When a tree is cut in your property, the tree stump is left and needs to be removed. This is because tree stump not only spoils the look of the property grounds but is also a tripping hazard for people especially children playing in the property. Tree stumps also take up space in the property and act as an obstruction for many tasks. Thus, tree stump removal is necessary after cutting the tree.
Some common methods employed for tree stump removal have been listed here.
Machines called stump grinders are available for stump removal by grinding. The machine consists of sharp rotating teeth which cut through the stump. The machine is placed on the stump and switched on. The machine grinds the tree stump all the way down and also grinds the root system. The grinding needs to be continued until the stump has been grinded to about a foot beneath the ground. Goggles must be worn to protect the eyes against the flying wood debris. Ear protectors and gloves must also be worn. The stump grinder is a heavy machine and requires careful handling. Thus, it is better to hire a professional arborist for the job if you are not well versed with the machine.
The hole created due to stump grinding can be filled with sawdust or loam. The wood grindings are shoveled away and disposed of.
- Chemical Method
Chemical products are available in the market to accelerate the rotting process of the tree stump. Potassium nitrate is usually used in these chemicals for speeding up the decomposition process of the tree stump. In this process of stump removal, holes are drilled into the stump in a uniform pattern. The chemical is placed inside these holes for absorption by the tree stump. The chemical begins to react with the stump and softens it within a few weeks or a month. The rotten stump is soft which is cut easily using an axe. The residual portion of the tree stump and the root are burned down.
The chemical applied on the tree stump is dangerous for health. Therefore, no one should come in contact with the tree stump during the time when it is being decomposed.
- Burning the Stump
Chopped pieces of wood from the tree that was cut down can be used to start a fire on the stump. The chopped pieces are placed on top of the tree stump. The tree stump can also be surrounded by more pieces of wood. The fire needs to be kept burning for a long period of time. Wood pieces can be added regularly to keep the fire going strong. The tree stump must be burned until it merges with the ground. The ash needs to be shoveled out of the hole and disposed of. The hole must be covered up with loam or sawdust. Burning is not a very effective method especially in case of tree stumps fixed deep in the ground. This is because parts of the stump inside the ground do not receive sufficient oxygen for a roaring fire. Burning under low oxygen levels can also lead to the formation of a charcoal material which does not decompose and is difficult to remove.
This method of stump removal is also called grubbing and involves manual exertion. A trench needs to be dug around the circumference of the stump. The trench should be deep enough to expose the roots. The distance of the trench from the circumference of the tree should be one to two feet. Thereafter, the roots need to be severed from the stump using a lopper or root saw. The stump can be removed after all the roots have been severed. A shovel can be used to dislodge the stump.