When you need to remove one or more trees from your back yard the work does not end just by cutting down the tree and removing it from the site. No matter how hard you try to cut the tree all the way to the ground, there will be a tree stump left. That tree stump can be a hazard to kids, the lawnmower and even the eco-system beneath the grass. The stump has to go!
Reasons to remove the tree stump
In addition to removing the hazard to the kids tripping over the stump or breaking the lawn mower by running into it, you’ll also want to remove the stump to improve your property value. Yep. While trees ADD value to your property, tree stumps LOWER your property value.
Tree stumps are also an invitation to a host of fungi, cankers, beetles, woodlice and carpenter ants. An infestation of beetles or carpenter ants is the last thing you want to have to deal with. Getting rid of your tree stump also gets rid of the insect home.
Besides all of these practical reasons, stumps are just plain ugly to look at.
Methods of tree stump removal
Tree stumps can be removed through various methods. Here are the four most often used methods:
Digging out the stump
We don’t dig out tree stumps so we turned to TreeRemoval.com for step by step instructions for you on digging out a tree stump.
It may also depend on the type of tree stump you’re digging out. Pine trees have wide and flat root systems but Oak trees have deep roots and a tap root that goes straight down.
If you’re up for some back-breaking hard work, this is the method for you.
Burning the stump
Some homeowners report burning the stump has worked for them, but even more have reported that it has not worked for them. HomeAdvisor warns, “One of the most popular and age-old methods of getting rid of a stump is burning the stump out of the ground. In actuality, this method is less than perfect, since stumps set deep in the ground rarely receive enough oxygen to facilitate a fire that actually makes a measurable difference in eliminating the stump from your property. In fact, a low oxygen burn can instead create a charcoal material that is almost impossible to decompose and remove.”
If you decide to burn the tree stump, check your local ordinances before setting fire to it. Many Twin Cities’ suburbs prohibit stump burning in residential areas.
And keep this tip in mind, courtesy of the gardening forum StackExchange, “Obviously there are dangers to lighting fires in your yard so take reasonable precautions. Also don't do this if the stump is above gas mains...”
Use chemicals to remove stump
The ads would have you believe that you buy the chemicals, pour or spray them on the tree stump and all you have to do is stand back and watch the stump disintegrate. That’s not exactly true. What you have to do is drill holes in the stump – many holes actually (do you have a drill?) – at least 10 inches deep. Then you pour the chemicals in the holes. And wait. And wait. And wait. In fact, it may take up to 10 years for your tree stump to disintegrate. This is because the chemicals actually only hasten the degeneration of the stump; they don’t destroy it.
According to GardensAlive.com, “Forget about using any 'stump killer', 'stump remover', 'stump decayer', 'stump dissolver' type products. University of California researchers tested them back in 1994 and found that they simply did not work.”
If you insist on using chemicals, be sure you keep pets and kids away from the stump with the chemicals on/in it. Homeguides.SFGate.com warns, “Some of these chemicals are toxic and may irritate the skin or cause health problems if inhaled or ingested. The label may not advise you to wear protective clothing, but rubber gloves, safety glasses, long sleeves and pants, and a respiratory mask should be worn when handling any type of chemical. Some chemical stump removers, such as those containing potassium nitrate, are combustible and pose a fire hazard.”
Grinding out the tree stump
We, and many tree removal experts, believe this is the best way to remove a tree stump. This is the only way to remove the tree stump completely without having an adverse effect on the environment. You can rent a stump grinder at Home Depot, Loews or many other hardware stores. Bear in mind that, depending on the size of grinder you rent, you may need a vehicle with a hitch and a tow rating over 1000 pounds to tow the machine. Sometimes rental dealers will deliver it to your home for an additional fee.
The way a stump grinder works is that its circular disc with its “teeth” chips away at the stump, grinding the stump into wood chips. It is also powerful enough to cut through the tree roots. Once the stump is ground down (at least 8-10” below grade) you’ll need to gather up the wood chips, which you can dispose of or use as a landscaping tool. Then fill the hole with topsoil and spread grass seed or lay turf.
If you prefer, you can call us at 952-679-7373 and we’ll do it for you. Either way, it’ll cost you about the same amount of money. If you own your own stump grinder, then it’ll be more cost-effective for you to do it yourself. But if you don’t own a stump grinder, you might as well let us take care of it.