We offer an affordable solution to your tree stump problem as described under Stump Grinding on this site.
Ideally, tree and stump removal should be completed at the same time. Ordinarily, a professional tree removal company will include the removal of a tree stump when asked to cut down and take away a tree. So, in the ideal world, you shouldn’t be facing this problem. But perhaps you asked that the stump was left due to cost concerns. And perhaps you’ve had second thoughts about the stump that remains and need it removed after all.
There are some DIY alternatives to stump grinding that will speed up the removal of your tree stump, apart from the labor-intensive ordeal of digging the stump out manually. Oh, you could hire stump grinding equipment yourself but the machinery is heavy and dangerous. Three alternatives are set out below. They each have their pros and cons and we don’t offer these as a commercial service. All will take longer than stump grinding which we can do for you. Nonetheless, they could be useful to you if conducted safely and if legal in your neighborhood and state.
Alternatives to stump grinding
The process of decay of your tree stump can be accelerated by physical, biological or incendiary means as follows:
- Physical – When removing the tree itself and you have opted not to remove the stump, ask the removal company to leave the stump a little higher than they normally, say by one or two feet. What remains of the tree will seek to protect the cut surface with sap which contains resin. Resin is one of the agents that protect the tree from decay. After a few days, the base of the cut tree will have no more resin to surrender. Once the sap has stopped rising, leave for a few weeks and then cut the stump down, closer to ground level. This will leave the remaining stump free of its protective resin crust leaving it more prone to faster decay. It will still take years though. This is the slowest of the alternatives to our stump grinding service.
2. Biological – There are proprietary enzymes and chemical compounds that can be purchased which accelerate the rotting process. These are available from most good hardware stores or online. Follow the instructions provided with the chemicals. Most are applied by drilling holes into the tree stump and then pouring in the enzymes over time allowing them to soak into and around the wood. The stump should be cordoned off from pets and children while these enzymes or chemicals are being used. Depending on the conditions, this method will stake take a couple of years for your tree stump to disintegrate. CAUTION - Before adding any chemicals to the ground you should check your local and state laws to ensure the legality of your actions.
3. Fire – Burning the stump is a time-consuming process and fraught with danger so extreme caution must be used. This method can also be troublesome for neighbors as smoke crosses their properties. It works best for older stumps that have been exposed to the elements so use other methods for freshly-cut tree stumps. First drill several 12 inch holes into your stump. Pour saltpeter (potassium nitrate) into the holes followed by boiling water to ensure the solution soaks into the wood. Cover and leave for a week or two to soak in and dry out. Saltpeter is an oxidant which will help the kerosene burn deep within the wood where oxygen from the air cannot penetrate well. Kerosene can then be poured into deep-drilled holes in the stump and left to soak for a couple of weeks.
Pour in more kerosene and leave for a few days. Again, cordon off the stump to ensure animals and children are protected from kerosene vapor. Then once the kerosene has well and truly soaked into the wood, ignite by dropping a lit match into each of the holes you have drilled previously. Leave until it has burned through below ground level. Caution must be exercised to ensure surrounding brush and vegetation does not catch light and, again, a cordon must surround the smoldering wood. NEVER use gasoline as it is far more volatile and combustible than kerosene.
If none of these alternatives appeal to you then call us for a quick chat and a FREE estimate for our stump grinding service. It takes hours rather than the years, months and days for the DIY options described above.
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