Tree stumps take up usable yard space and they can also be a tripping hazard.
Small kids, elderly adults and others will find that these obstacles can be a pain to maneuver around. More importantly, if neighbors or other visitors should trip over a stump and fall on your property, you could be dealing with costly liability issues. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to remove tree stumps in order to create a fresh, smooth and aesthetically pleasing space.
Whether you’re ready to rent special stump grinding equipment or prefer to use a less intrusive method, you can clear a stump from your property in almost no time at all.
Assessing The Tree And Choosing The Right Removal Technique
The very first step in the stump removal process is to assess the tree stump and determine which removal method will be best. Deciduous trees and their roots will be more challenging to remove without special grinding equipment than will pine trees.
There are two other factors that play major roles in determining how easy stumps will be to remove. Older, small-sized trees will generally cause fewer problems than will younger, bigger trees. If you live in a place like North Carolina where the trees are very aged, can be massive in size and have a hearty and large tree stump on your hands, you may want to consider professional stump grinding equipment or a tree removal Raleigh company. High-quality equipment will also be ideal if you have a number of tree stumps that you wish to get rid of.
Using A Stump Grinder
For big jobs, you can rent a stump grinder from a local supply company. Many suppliers have drop-off and pick-up services so that you won’t have to transport this equipment yourself. Before simply grinding away, however, you should prepare the area by using a mattock or shovel to pull all rocks and other hard debris away from the stump. This will help you to avoid blade interference.
You should then use your chainsaw to cut away as much of the stump as you possibly can. Your chainsaw should be cutting away from the stump and your goal is to level the stump with the ground. You can then place the stump grinder wheel several inches above the remaining stump by using the hydraulic lever.
Next, turn the grinder on and drop it down to approximately three inches into the stump. Using the lever, move the grinder from side to side, shaving away the stump until it is several inches below ground. You should always have on safety goggles, gloves and other protective gear during this process.
Removing Stumps By Hand
You’ll need a number of tools to take a stump out by hand, especially if it is a hearty one. You should have a pick, chainsaw, an ax, a shovel, some chain, a sturdy truck, a digging bar and all of your protecting gear. Start by removing any low hanging branches from the stump with your chainsaw.
You should also cut the top of the stump down while making sure to leave enough for leverage. With a pick and shovel, begin clearing dirt away from the tree roots. When these are accessible, use your ax to cut the tree roots. Push against the top of the tree stump and start rocking it from side to side.
Continue cutting roots as these become visible. You may be able to uproot the stump entirely by pushing and pulling on it while intermittently cutting away at the roots. If not, wrap the chain around the stump and connect this to your pick-up truck. You should be able to uproot a stubborn stump by alternately driving forward and reversing.
Removing Stumps & Trees With Chemicals
There is also the option of burning tree stumps or removing these with chemicals. This process takes a bit more time but it requires a lot less hard labor. You’ll need kerosene, a drill, your chainsaw, potassium nitrate and your ax.
Start by using the chainsaw to cut the stump down as much as possible. Drill holes around the stump perimeter measuring one-inch in diameter. Try to make these holes at least eight inches deep. You should add a considerable amount of potassium nitrate to the holes and then fill them with water.
After six to eight weeks have passed, the stump will be spongy and you can start breaking it up with your ax. Any remaining portions of the stump can be saturated with kerosene oil and burned.
It will usually cost a bit more to rent a stump grinder or to have a stump professionally ground for you. No matter what method you opt to use, however, you can look forward to having more usable space. Getting rid of an old tree stump will limit the risk of liability issues by eliminating a major trip and fall hazard. It will also allow you to create a seamless and aesthetically pleasing landscape design.