If you’ve had a tree cut down or a tree on your property has fallen over, you know what an eyesore a tree stump can be. If you leave the stump behind it not only poses a safety risk and attracts weeds and grass to grow on it. The remaining roots could also sooner or later start sending out new shoots and before you know it, you have new trees sprouting up. Removing a tree stump is the best and safest solution.
However, getting rid of a tree stump is much more complicated than simply cutting down a tree. There are several ways to remove a tree stump, depending on the kind of tree, your budget and your preferred time frame.
Digging it out
Depending on the root system of the tree, digging out the tree stump could take 1 to 3 days to complete. First, dig a deep hole around the stump to expose the largest of the attached roots. Using a saw, cut those roots up into manageable pieces and pull out as much as you can.
The remaining roots and those embedded deeper into the ground can be yanked out with a backhoe or digger if you have the machinery available or can hire it. Continue this process until the majority of roots have been removed. Only then is it safe to remove the tree stump by dislodging it. For smaller trees, you may get away with a spade and an axe but for larger trees, the roots will be far too large to practically remove them without heavier equipment.
The chemical solution
This option takes longest and does involve chemicals, so you need to ensure that neither animals nor children come anywhere near the stump during the entire process. Using chemicals will help soften the wood so it rots faster, making it easier to remove the tree stump.
You begin by drilling holes into the tree stump through which the chemicals will be absorbed. Once the solution has been poured into the holes, carefully following the instructions, it will take a few weeks until you can proceed with the final step.
By then the wood should be soft enough for you to chomp down the stump with an axe and dispose of the debris.
Burning the stump
Again, this method involves a higher risk, which is why I don’t recommend you attempt removing a tree stump without professional help. Burning down the stump is only an option in the colder months when there are no fire restrictions in place.
In order to burn the tree stump, you will have to cover it with wood to ensure it’s fully enclosed. You will also need to supervise the fire the entire time. For emergency situations, have the proper gear and equipment to extinguish the fire straight away before it gets out of hand.
Once the tree stump has burnt down completely, fully extinguish the fire, dig out the remains of the stump and dispose of the ashes. Ensure that you don’t leave a hot stump overnight that can reignite and cause an out of control fire.
Grinding the stump
Though this is the fastest and easiest way to dispose of a tree stump, the necessary equipment should only be used by a professional. A stump grinder reduces the stump down to small chips, almost like sawdust, which you can later use as mulch in your garden. It’s also a great filler for the gap the stump leaves behind once it’s been removed.
Whichever option you choose. Once the tree stump has been removed, ensure that the hole is adequately filled to avoid the hole from collapsing. Safety comes first!
If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, consider using a professional arborist! Along with tree felling, an arborist will take care of this for you in a safe and professional manner. Simply ask for a free quote and discuss your options.
Stump Removal Contractors
- www.arboraid.nz (Far North & Bay of Islands)
- www.symbiosistreeservices.co.nz (Whangarei)
- www.northlandtreeworks.co.nz (Northland)
- www.canopyarborists.co.nz (Waikato & Bay of Plenty)