How to Get Rid of a Tree Stump
Trees located in the front or back yard can offer a myriad of benefits, including welcome shade, a home for birds and squirrels or a place to tie a hammock. But once the tree dies and you are left with a massive stump, you’re ready to hire Wile E. Coyote and his infamous stick of dynamite. No need, however, for drastic measures. There are several ways to get rid of a tree stump without blowing it out of the ground.
Help the stump decay naturally
When trees die, there are organisms and fungi that feed on the dead wood. To help hasten the natural decay of the tree stump, all you need is a power drill, a black tarp and a box of dry milk. Drill holes in the stump about 3 inches deep over the entire surface, then fill with a little bit of the dry milk. Put a wooden plug into each of the holes, water the stump, and cover with the black tarp to create a moist and dark environment for the natural decay of the stump. Check the stump’s condition every week or so until it is weak enough for you to easily remove the debris using a shovel or pick axe.
Rent a Stump Remover
Although you can actually hire a person who specializes in stump removal, a stump remover is a machine you can learn to operate. Check with your local home improvement store to see if they are available for lease or rental. The stump remover works in the same fashion as a circular saw. Using a back and forth motion, you bring the blade down over the tree stump, slicing away until you are below ground level. The roots will still be earth-bound, but unless you need to dig down onto the site of the stump, you can cover over the stump depression with fresh ground in order to have a level area free of dead tree stump. And the sawing motion creates wood chips for your garden.
Treat the roots and stump with chemicals for removal
There are effective products on the commercial market such as Stump-Out which can be purchased at the hardware store to help rid your property of tree stumps. Follow the package directions and pour the formula on the stump. Within a few weeks the stump will be reduced to mulch. Products such as this work best once the stump has already been cut down as close to the ground as possible and that you carve an X or a cross into the stump with an axe for better saturation.
Whether you help the tree stump decay naturally, manually use a stump remover machine or treat the stump and its roots with a commercial product, remember that short of blasting the stump out of the ground, the removal process will take time.