If you recently cut down a tree in your yard, you have several options for getting rid of the unsightly stump. You can dig it up by hand, grind it, burn it, or use a chemical stump remover. Choose the method that works best for the root system you’re dealing with.
Reasons to Remove a Stump
After going through the trouble to have a tree removed, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to leave the stump sitting there. A few of the top reasons to remove stumps from your yard include:
- They are Eyesores – No one likes gazing out into the yard and seeing old stumps dotting the landscape. They look even worse when weeds and other plants start growing on them, which inevitably happens over time.
- They Take Up Valuable Space – Most people want the widest, clearest yards possible, and stumps really get in the way.
- They are Hazardous – Some stumps are obvious, but others get camouflaged by grass, weeds and other plants and become tripping hazards. Nothing is worse than stubbing your toe on an old tree stump.
Removing a Stump by Grinding it Away Yourself
If removing a stump manually won’t work and you’d like to get rid of your stump (or stumps) quickly, you can always rent a grinder and grind the stump away yourself. These heavy-duty machines weigh around 1,000 pounds, and you can expect to pay between $100 and $200 to rent one for a single day (see our guide to Stump Grinding Prices & Costs ). Therefore, it only makes financial sense to do the job yourself when there are several stumps to remove.
In addition to the grinder, you will need a shovel, a mattock, a chainsaw and a rake.
- Use a shovel or mattock to clear rocks away from around the stump.
- Cut away as much of the stump as possible with a chainsaw. Try to get it as the level to the ground as possible.
- Using the hydraulic lever, raise the grinder wheel a couple of inches above the stump. After turning it on, lower it about 3 inches into the stump. Move it side to side with the lever.
- After grinding down to about 4 inches with the grinder wheel, move it forward. Repeat the process until the entire stump is at least 4 inches below ground.
How to Remove a Stump by Hand
People who set out to remove stumps by hand often go about it the wrong way. To do this successfully, it helps to be dealing with a relatively small tree stump. If it’s from an older or diseased tree, that helps a lot too. To remove a stump yourself, it’s essential to have the right tools.
You’ll need a chainsaw or climbing saw, a pick mattock, a shovel, a digging bar, an ax, a four-wheel-drive truck and some chain.
Tree Stump Killer and Chemical Stump Removal
If manual labor isn’t for you, you could always try the chemical route. To remove a stump chemically, you’ll need a drill, a chainsaw, potassium nitrate, an ax and fuel oil or kerosene.
Burn a Tree Stump
Let’s say you’ve chopped down a tree on your property and cleaned up all of the pieces except for that unsightly stump. Instead of trying methods that will either break your wallet or potentially break your back, you could also try removing the stump by burning it.
Rot a Tree Stump
Very much the same as burning a tree stump, you can also remove a stump by rotting it and then filling in the hole after the process is complete.
How to Use the Space
After removing a tree stump, fill in the hole with topsoil, spread grass seed over the top, and then cover it with mulch hay. Water it well and monitor its progress. After grass has covered the spot, you can use it however you see fit. Even if you choose to just keep the spot grassy and clear, you will love how much better your yard looks.
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