Your Guide to Tree Stump Disposal

Your Guide to Tree Stump Disposal

Is there a tree stump in your yard taking up space? Maybe it’s a tripping hazard or it’s attracting pests. For whatever reason it needs to go, we can help you find the best method to remove it. Here are some tried and true tree stump disposal methods you can try.

Stump Grinding

One of the most popular and effective methods of tree stump disposal is stump grinding. If you’re doing this technique yourself, you’ll need to rent a stump grinder. Trying to grind a stump yourself can be one of the more expensive options as you have to rent the equipment to do it. You’ll also need to have protective equipment when using this method as there could be flying debris. After you have gathered your equipment, you can follow these steps:

1. Before you can begin stump grinding, you first need to make sure the area is clear. Remove any surrounding debris or rocks that can get in the way.
2. With all obstructions out of the way, use a chainsaw to level the stump or remove as much of it as possible.
3. Now you can start grinding. You’ll want to lower the grinder wheel three inches into the stump, then start moving it side to side.
4. After grinding down the stump by approximately four inches, it’s time to switch directions. Instead of side to side, you’ll move the wheel forward. Keep repeating steps three and four until the stump is at least 4 inches below the ground.
Unless you know what you’re doing, this method can be dangerous. For the safest and most efficient removal, we recommend hiring a professional stump grinding service.

Manually Uproot the Tree

Another option for tree stump disposal is good old-fashioned manual labor. For smaller trees or older, diseased trees, it’s possible to uproot the stump with a little elbow grease. However, to use this method, you will need many tools like a chainsaw, a pick mattock, a shovel, or digging bar, an ax, and possibly a four-wheel drive truck and chain.

1. Start by removing all tree limbs and most of the trunk with a chainsaw. Be sure to leave enough of the stump for leverage.
2. Then, using a shovel, pick mattock, or digging bar, dig around the trunk to reveal the tree roots.
3. Once the roots are exposed, use an axe to cut the major roots. This will begin to free the stump from the ground.
4. Push and pull the remaining trunk to reveal and cut more roots until it’s free.
5. If you still have trouble releasing the tree stump, you’ll need to use more horsepower. Wrap a chain around the remaining trunk and attach it to a four-wheel truck. Keep alternating pulling and pushing to free the stump.

Using a Chemical Solution

For an easy tree stump disposal, you can also use a chemical solution to soften the stump. With this method, you’ll need a drill, a chainsaw, potassium nitrate, an ax, and optional kerosene.

1. Cut off as much of the tree and stump as you can with a chainsaw. If you’re able, try to level the stump to the ground.
2. Once you’ve cut the stump down as much as you can, drill holes eight to twelve inches deep around the perimeter and in the base.
3. After you finish drilling, pour potassium nitrate into the holes followed by water.
4. Over the next four to six weeks the stump will begin to absorb the solution. Once it becomes spongy, use an axe to break it up.
5. If you don’t want to wait four to six weeks, then you can fill the drilled holes with kerosene instead of potassium nitrate. Add kindling to the top and light it on fire until the stump is burned down.
If you prefer burning as your method of tree stump disposal, only do it in safe conditions. Don’t try burning the stump if dry weather or in an area that’s prone to wildfires.

Increasing Rot

If you don’t want to remove the stump, you can also hasten decomposition with a high-nitrogen chemical solution:

1. Like the previous method, you’ll want to drill holes eight to ten inches deep around the base and the perimeter of the stump.
2. After you’ve drilled the holes, fill them with a high-nitrogen chemical solution and follow with water. You’ll want enough water to saturate the stump, but not wash away the solution.
3. As the stump softens over time, you can gradually chip off pieces.
If you want to use a more natural method to accelerate decomposition you can also pack the stump with rather Epsom or rock salt:
1. After drilling your holes, you’ll want to fill them with the salt of your choice. If you choose rock salt, also cover the stump with soil and mulch before the next step.
2. Water the stump lightly. You’ll want enough for the salt to penetrate the wood, but not enough to wash away the salt.
3. Cover the stump with a tarp and repeat the process every two to three weeks. Within a year, your tree stump should decay.
Rather you choose chemical or natural, waiting for the stump to rot is the longest tree stump disposal method on this list.

Where does the Stump Go?

Unless you have burnt the stump, let it decompose, or chipped away at it, you might be wondering what to do after your tree stump disposal. With the stump removed, you have a few options to do away with it:

Have it picked up with additional road waste
Turn it into mulch with a wood chipper
Turn into a bonfire
With the stump gone, you can fill the hole and cover it with hay, sod, or seed.

Tree Stump Disposal Without the Hassle

For the most effective and efficient tree stump disposal, leave it to the professionals. At Progressive Lawn and Landscaping, we offer stump grinding services so your yard can be stump-free without the hassle of doing it yourself. Contact us for a consultation on your stump grinding needs.

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Your dream lawn is around the corner. Reach out to us to tell us what you’re looking for and rest assured that we’ll make it happen.