Taking Care of a Tree Stump After Removal

Many homeowners find themselves with an unsightly tree stump left over after a recent tree removal. Left unattended, these stumps can become home to a variety of pests and fungi that may spread to other plants in your garden or even invade your house’s foundation and cause structural damage. This is why it’s important to take care of a stump as soon as possible. Luckily, there are many options for doing so, from physical methods that involve digging and burning to chemical solutions and using a stump grinding machine.

Stumps and their roots are incredibly persistent, and can continue growing long after the trees have been cut down, sometimes wrapping around and damaging underground plumbing, lifting and cracking sidewalks, patios and driveways, or even invading and uprooting other trees in your yard. In addition, the rotting stump and roots can attract insects and critters that can eat other parts of your yard and create pest problems for you and your family.

If you decide to remove a stump tree stump removal manually, you’ll need to start by cutting the stump down as close to the ground as possible. A chainsaw works well for this, but if the stump is particularly large, you may need to use a hand saw or even dynamite to cut it down. You’ll then need to dig down into the stump and expose as much of the root system as possible. This can be difficult and time consuming, but is very effective.

Once the stump is exposed, you can either choose to fill in the resultant crater with sawdust or loam (or both) to keep it from settling and sinking, or you can try setting fire to it. If you’re going to attempt this, make sure it’s a safe distance away from your house and other structures, and use caution when lighting it. Also, be sure to encase the stump in chicken wire or another type of protective barrier to prevent it from spreading to other areas of your yard.

If you’d rather speed up the natural rotting process by adding nitrogen, you can add pure potassium nitrate pellets or commercial stump remover solutions that contain almost all of the same ingredient. These can be found online or at some gardening stores. It will still take several weeks to rot the stump, but it should be soft and pliable at that point so you can use a chainsaw or mattock to remove it from the ground. It’s best to have a friend or two help with this, as it can be very strenuous work in hot weather.