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Removing a tree from the garden is a big enough job, but even after the tree is gone, the stump still needs to be dealt with. Removing a tree stump can be more laborious than the cutting of the tree itself, and many home owners choose to forgo removal of the stump for this reason. Depending on the size and location of the stump, it may be best to simply leave it where it is. But there are several good reasons to consider rather removing it entirely.
Melbourne arborist James O’Brien of OB Trees explains why getting rid of old tree stumps is a good idea, “The roots of a tree stump can sometimes continue growing and cause damage to pipes, sidewalks, and other parts of a home. Stumps can also divert nutrients from surrounding plants and when they decay, can harbour fungi that infect nearby trees.
The process of decay can take a long time, and during this process, the stump may also attract beetles, termites, ants and other wood-boring pests which can eventually spread to the home.
Having several old tree stumps in a yard can be unsightly, take up valuable space and even drive down the value of a property. Once camouflaged by grass, weeds and other plants, tree stumps can become tripping hazards and get in the way of lawnmowers, potentially damaging them.”
Once a decision has been made to remove a tree stump from the yard, there are several ways to go about this. Some stumps are easier to remove than others – the roots of deciduous tree stumps tend to be long and deep.
Manual removal – removing a stump manually involves digging around the trunk to reveal the roots, which are then cut away with an axe. The stump must be manoeuvred backward and forward to loosen it until the stump can be pushed over entirely. If pushing and pulling the trunk doesn’t dislodge the stump, it may need to be pulled out with a four-wheel drive, tractor or truck.
Grinding – this is more efficient than manual removal but it does leave the tree’s roots behind. First, as much of the stump as possible must be cut away with a chainsaw, and the remaining ground down with a stump grinder until the entire stump is at least 10 cms below the ground.
The cost of hiring a stump grinder for a day is usually feasible enough to do the job yourself, especially if there is more than one stump to remove. Bear in mind though that a stump grinder is a heavy and dangerous piece of equipment and experience and protective gear is recommended.
If the stump is large, a large pile of wood chips may be the result, but these can be used as mulch for other plants in the garden.
Chemical removal – holes are drilled in the stump and filled with potassium nitrate and water. The stump will become spongy within four to six weeks and can then be broken up with an axe.
Burning – once again holes are drilled in the stump and filled with potassium nitrate and hot water. Scrap wood is placed on top of the stump and lit.
When there are several stumps to dispose of, it might be worth renting a wood chipper, as wood chips can be used for various projects around the yard. Or, if it’s permissible in the area, you may be able to burn old stumps, but be sure to cover them with scrap wood first. A large stump may take a long time to burn away completely.
Removing a tree stump is a job which could be done yourself, but weigh up the time, cost and effort involved, as it likely has to be hired or the tools bought to get the job done properly. Having several stumps to remove, is probably a job best left to the professionals. The advantage of hiring professional services is that they will usually take the stump away too.
OB TREES Arborist and Vegetation Management Specialists service southeast Melbourne suburbs. And specialise in professional tree care, providing fast, simple solutions for all your pruning, horticultural and landscaping needs. The team are fully qualified, insured arborists with years of hands-on experience in everything from tree pruning, removal and preservation to hedge trimming, stump removal, risk management, vegetation management and tree obstruction resolution.
For further information visit OB TREES Tree Removal, Arborist and Vegetation Management Specialists or call their friendly team on +61 435 912 457
We hope you enjoyed this article
The information contained in this article is based on the authors’ opinion only and is of a general nature which is not indicative of future results or events and does not consider your personal situation or particular needs. Professional advice should always be sought relevant to your circumstances.
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