How to Remove a Tree Stump

How to Remove a Tree Stump

Removing tree stumps is no walk in the park. In the past, farmers would use fire to burn out these stumps. Alternatively, they depended on oxen or horses to pull them out. Nowadays, you can use chemicals designed to cause the stumps to rot. The disadvantage of this technique is that such substances are lethal and the process could take months. The easier method is to dig out the stump. You can follow these steps when removing a tree stump.

Digging the base of the tree trunk

Firstly, you should start by loosening the soil around the tree stump with the aid of a mattock. Work in a circular pattern around the base of the stump, digging out as far as you can. Once the soil becomes loose, use your shovel to dig it out. If you have dug deep enough, you should be able to see the root system of the stump at this point.

Cutting out the upper root system

This next phase requires cutting the medium-sized roots. As soon as the top layer roots are exposed, you can start cutting through the medium ones using your pruning saw. Afterwards, cut through the large roots using your axe. Before cutting each layer of roots, be sure to remove any soil surrounding them to make the process easier.

Cutting the lower roots and removing tree stump

Now that you have cleared the top root system, you can start digging in below the stump. Use this stump as your support system, and try pulling it away from the surface in a bid to reveal the lower roots. You can then use your pruning saw to cut these roots. Finally, remove the stump from the ground and start backfilling the hole with soil.

Aside from digging out and using chemicals, there are two other techniques of removing stumps. They include:

  • Stump Grinding

The fastest, and often, safest method of removing tree stumps, entails hiring professional contractors. These experts use a unique piece of equipment known as a stump grinder. The tool works by reducing the stump to tiny chips that resemble sawdust. If you have a garden, you can use these chips as mulch.

  • Burning the stump

A more traditional and unsafe technique of getting rid of a stump is to burn it. For safety, only attempt this process during the cold season. It would also be prudent to consult your local fire station and ensure that it’s not illegal to burn stumps. If you opt for this method, ensure that you place wood pieces on top and around the base of the stump. That way, the fire is contained to the area of the stump.

Stump removal can be easy if you follow the right steps. These steps entail, digging around the base of the trunk, cutting the upper root system, cutting the lower roots, and, finally removing the stump.