Tag Archives: Tree Stump

How To Remove a Tree Stump Without a Grinder

Exposing tree roots to cut them and remove the stump

Avoid spending hundreds of dollars hiring a firm or renting a grinder to remove your tree stump. By knowing how to safely remove a tree stump, you can regain your landscape and save money.

72tree.com assembled the following information on methods for removing a tree stump without a grinder and crucial safety measures to observe.

Manual Tree Stump Removal

You can remove small and medium-sized stumps yourself with a few tools, some ingenuity, and muscle. When it comes to more massive stumps, you may want to get the help of a friend or relative to speed up the job and help with the heavy lifting.

Project Time: Manually removing your stump could take as little as 4 hours or up to 12, hours depending on the root ball’s number of roots and depth.

Removal Time: 4 to 12 hours

Tools, Protective Gear, and Costs:

•A sturdy and sharp shovel $15 to $35

•A mattock (similar to a pick-ax) $20 to $30

•An ax $25 to $45

•A steel 17Lb+ digging bar $30 to $40

•A bow saw $12 to $50

•Sturdy steel-toed boots $50 to $100

•Well-fitting work gloves $5 to $25

Using an ax to sever roots from a tree stump and reduce its mass

Your work gloves should snugly fit your hands. Loose gloves will move around, rub the skin, and cause blisters (defeating the purpose of wearing them).

Removing The Stump

1. Use the mattock, digging bar, and shovel to clear as much of the soil from around the stump and roots. Dig deep and wide to gain access to as many of the roots as possible. The larger the stump, the more soil you will need to remove.

2. Use the bow saw, mattock, and an ax to chop your way through the roots. When wielding an ax, take care to avoid over-chopping into the soil; this will quickly dull the blade.

3. As you cut roots away from the stump, cut them a second time to remove them from your work area.

4. Work your way around and under the root ball. Some species will grow a taproot, and this root will require some effort to sever. The more mature the tree, the more substantial the taproot will be. Dig deep and wide to gain as much access to this root as possible.

5. Once the stump is free, drag it out of the hole and fill in the void. (it will take more soil to fill in the hole than you removed from it).

Note: If you are not comfortable or knowledgeable using an ax, DO NOT use one. This tool can inflict severe harm if misused, use your mattock and/or bow saw in its place.

Tip: You can save a lot of time using a pressure washer to clear soil away from roots. Do this in sections and let the excess water soak into the ground. You can also dig a trench to guide water and soil away from your work area as you blast through the soil.

Chemical Tree Stump Removal

Just because there is no trunk or canopy, your stump may still be alive. Other trees in close proximity may be sharing water and sugars through their root systems, or your stump’s roots may have enough stored water and nutrients to attempt a comeback.

If multiple trees are connected by roots, the use of harsh chemicals on your stump may have adverse effects on the trees helping it to stay alive. Read more about killing tree stumps at 72tree.com/how-to-kill-stop-tree-stumps-growing-back/

You can remove medium and large-sized stumps chemically. While this process is much slower than manually removing the stump, it will save you from digging up your yard.

Project Time: Your stump’s height and diameter are determining factors for this project. It can be done in 1 hour and last as much as 4 hours.

Removal Time: 6 months to 1 year

Tools, Protective Gear, and Costs:

•A chainsaw (if you need to lower the height of the stump) $60 to $250

•A bow saw $12 to $50

•A drill and large boring bit (use the largest bit you can find) $70 to $200

•Plastic tarp $4 to $18

•Potassium-nitrate stump remover granules or high-nitrogen fertilizer $15 to $25

•Organic mulch $15 to $25 (free if you compost)

•Sturdy steel-toed boots (if using a chainsaw) $50 to $100

•Well-fitting work gloves $5 to $25

Using a chainsaw to reduce the height of a tree stump before removal

A note about the removal time: This process relies on the breaking down of organic matter and relies on warmth and moisture. In cooler climates, removal time may exceed 1 year while in warmer climates, this time may be less than 6 months.

Removing The Stump

1. Use your chainsaw or bow saw to lower the height of the stump. The lower to the ground, the more efficient this process will be.

2. Dill several deep holes in the stump. Use the widest bit available to you and drill the holes close together.

3. Fill each hole with water and your remover granules or fertilizer (don’t be shy, pour it in).

4. Use a soaker hose to saturate the soil surrounding the stump and apply a 3 to 6-inch layer of organic mulch over and around the stump.

5. Cover the stump and mulched area with a tarp to further retain the moisture.

6. Secure the tarp by staking it, covering it with a thick layer of organic mulch, and placing heavy objects (rocks and/or potted plants) on it.

7. Every 2 to 3 weeks, remove the tarp, repeat steps 3 and 4, and replace the tarp.

Under optimal conditions, the stump may soften within 3 to 4 months. It can then be broken up with an ax, retreated, and completely buried to further decay underground.

Note: Protect yourself with gloves, protective glasses, and clothing when using or dispersing chemicals. Wash your hands and any exposed body parts thoroughly after completing this job.

Tip: When having a tree removed, request that the tree be cut as close to the ground as possible. By doing this, you will save a lot of time when chemically removing your stump.

Caution: While other, more caustic agents like muriatic acid can be used to chemically remove a stump, they bring severe health hazards with them. Many acids do not require physical contact to cause harm, inhaling their vapors can cause significant respiratory damage. Avoid using such chemicals to preserve the health of your loved ones and surrounding wildlife.

Tree Stump Removal by Fire

You can remove medium and large-sized stumps by burning them. Before embarking on this method, verify that there are no municipal restrictions or forbiddance by HOA rules on burning out tree stumps.

Project Time: Depending on the freshness of your stump, this project can be done in 1 hour and last as much as 2 hours.

Removal Time: 1 day

Tools, Protective Gear, and Costs:

•A drill and large boring bit (use the largest bit you can find) $70 to $200

•A sturdy and sharp shovel $15 to $35

•Kerosine $2.70 to $3.30 per gallon (pricing varies with fuel market values)

The more time your tree stump has had to dry out, the more effective this method will be. However, stump removal by fire can be used at any time.

1. Start by digging a trench around your stump 4 to 6-inches deep and 10 to 12-inches wide. This will remove grass and debris that might ignite.

2. Drill several holes as wide and as deep as you can into the stump, the more, the better. Using a hammer and chisel, bore out a deep hole 3 to 4-inches wide in the center of the stump.

3. Pour kerosine into all of the holes and let the stump soak it up. Repeat this step several (3 to 4) times before lighting the stump on fire.

4. When you are ready to light the stump, apply kerosine once more. The larger, center hole should be wet with kerosene and filled with charcoal to intensify the heat. Ignite the stump from a safe distance.

5. Let the stump burn completely before disturbing it.

6. Anything left after this method should be easily broken apart and buried where the stump once was.

Tree stump removal by fire completely burning it

Tip: Keep a fire extinguisher and water hose close by when burning a stump. If winds pick up, embers may be blown to surrounding structures, use the hose to extinguish the embers.

Caution: Kerosine floats on water. If you must extinguish the fire, use a fire extinguisher on the stump. The use of water may carry lit kerosine spraying in all directions.

Tree Stump Removal

Along with the options presented in this article, come specific hazards that should be addressed when attempting to remove a tree stump. If, at any juncture, you feel that you cannot safely remove your tree stump, stop what you are doing, and call a professional tree service to remove the stump for you.

How To Remove a Tree Stump

In this article, you discovered multiple methods for removing a tree stump without using a stump grinder and crucial tips to speed up the job and keep you safe.

By following some simple instructions and properly using your tools, you can remove your tree stump without the cost or mess of using a stump grinder.

Improperly trying to remove a tree stump may result in catastrophic physical injuries leading to costly medical bills and health consequences.

Sources:
extension.sdstate.edu/how-remove-stump
extension.illinois.edu/blogs/rhonda-ferrees-ilriverhort/2014-06-20-removing-tree-stumps
warnell.uga.edu/sites/default/files/publications/Stump%20Removal%20pub_14-8.pdf

 

How To Kill and Stop Tree Stumps from Growing Back

Kill and stop tree stumps from growing sprouts and new trees

Is the tree you cut down trying to grow back from the stump? Many times, when trees get cut down, the stump and roots will continue to send out new growth. Knowing why they do this and what to do with it once the tree is gone can save you loads of time, effort, and money.

72tree.com assembled the following information on why trees grow back after being cut down, how to kill a tree stump, and remove it.

Do Trees Grow Back After Being Cut Down

Yes, they can. That’s why it’s essential to be knowledgeable about tree growth when you need to remove one permanently.

Cut trees with enough stored sugars and nutrients in their roots can produce sprouts from the roots and trunk as a measure of survival and reproduction. The following species will commonly sprout after being cut down:

• Poplars
• Maples
• Lindens
• Boxelder
• Red Oak
• Willows
• Beech
• Ash

When this survival mechanism is triggered, single, or multiple sprouts may appear. If left unabated, these sprouts will grow into trees without having grown a stable root plate, and likely pose a much more immense falling hazard than the original tree.

How to Stop Tree Stumps and Roots from Sprouting

Before you select a method to kill or remove a tree stump, evaluate the potential impact on the environment and immediate surroundings. The following are methods to eliminate tree stumps from sprouting:

Kill and stop cut tree stumps from growing back

Use Fertilizer for Rapid Decay – To accelerate the decaying process of the stump, do the following:

• Cut the stump to soil level
• Drill half-inch to inch-wide holes six to eight inches deep into the stump and aerial roots
• Apply a slow-release fertilizer to the holes and over the stump
• Cover and “mound” with soil

With little to no impact on the environment, this method is highly effective but takes several months to decompose the stump fully.

Note: In this and the following methods, areal roots are the large protruding “anchor” roots at the base of the stump.

Using Epsom or Rock Salt to Kill It – This process is one of the more economical, but takes several months to kill the stump. Apply this method by:

• Acquiring enough Epsom or rock salt to fill several deep holes and cavities in the stump
• Drill half-inch to inch-wide holes six to eight inches deep into the stump and aerial roots
• Pack the holes and any cavities with salt
• Use hot wax or another water-proof sealant to seal the holes and cover the cavities
• Secure a dark plastic tarp or trash bag over and around the stump to keep rain and sunlight out

In six to ten weeks, your tree stump should be dead and breaking apart.

Tip: While table salt will produce similar results, it is very harmful to the soil in the vicinity of the stump. Use only 100% Epsom or rock salt with no added ingredients.

Cover The Stump To Kill It – You can slowly kill your tree stump with this method, and it’s free.

• Secure a dark plastic tarp or trash bag over and around the stump to keep rain and sunlight out

Without adding any chemicals or salt, this method will take up to six months for the stump to die and start to decay.

While the tree is covered, there should be no growth. However, if sprouts do appear while the stump is still alive, cut them off.

Burn The Stump – Burning the stump is an effective way to remove it after it has died. The following steps will help you safely burn and remove your tree stump:

Kill and stop tree stumps from growing back using fire

• Drill several half-inch to inch-wide holes six to eight inches deep into the stump and aerial roots. The deeper you can drill into the stump will ensure that it burns to the roots.
• Pour enough kerosene into the holes to thoroughly saturate the stump.
• Build a fire on top of the stump by placing scrap wood, twigs, and small logs on it. As the fire burns down, add more wood as necessary to keep the fire ablaze.
• When the stump has burned away, remove the ashes and replace them with soil.

As with any controlled burn, never leave it unattended. Keep a hose or fire extinguisher on hand in case the fire gets out of hand or begins to spread.

NOTE: Before using this method, consult your municipal ordinances to ensure that your controlled burn is legal, for more information call 411.

Tip: Turn the stump burning into a “bonfire” and invite friends and family over for an outside gathering.

Grinding a tree stump to kill and stop the tree from growing back

Grind The Stump – Grinding the stump allows you to chop it up and remove it immediately. This method requires protective clothing and equipment and some knowledge of machinery operation and safety. The following steps will help you safely remove your tree stump:

• Use a chainsaw to cut the stump as close to the ground as possible, leaving a level surface
• Grind the stump and any areal roots until fully ground up
• Remove the wood chips (use them for mulch or discard them)
• Fill the hole with fresh soil

Keep children and pets at a safe distance while the stump grinder is in use.

Note: Before operating this or any other machinery, refer to the operating manual to ensure its proper and safe use. There may be safety features that you are not aware of on the machine.

Call A Professional Tree Service – Take all of the stress, equipment, time, and chemicals out of the process by calling a professional tree service to come out and remove your tree stump. They have specialized equipment and experience to remove your tree stump quickly and safely.

Stop Your Tree Stump from Growing Back

In this article, you discovered why trees continue sending up sprouts after being cut down, how to kill a tree stump, and how to completely remove one.

By killing and removing your tree stump, you are preventing sprouts from growing and creating a hazard to surrounding structures and people.

Allowing a tree to re-grow in this manner is significantly dangerous. These new trees grow without establishing a firm root plate and may topple as they increase in size without warning.

Sources:
umass.edu/urbantree/factsheets/26killastump.html
ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=20662
warnell.uga.edu/sites/default/files/publications/Stump%20Removal%20pub_14-8.pdf