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What’s the Best Way to Remove a Tree Stump?

Having trees in your garden or land comes with many benefits including adding beauty to your landscape, potentially increasing property value, providing a conversation starter for guests, offering a shaded area on warmer days, improving air quality and many more. 

That being said, dead trees provide the complete opposite and take away from your landscape aesthetics. Removing a dead tree is a relatively simple task, especially for a tree removal company in Amersham

Once the dead tree is removed, you’re left with the stump, which is a much more complicated process to remove. Let’s explore the reasons why you should remove a tree stump in your garden or land and the best methods on how to do so. 

Why Do You Need to Remove a Tree Stump?

Once a tree is cut down, the stump should be removed soon after. Firstly, a tree stump doesn’t look very appealing. If you take pride in your garden and spend time maintaining it, then having an unattractive stump will take away from the beauty of your landscape.

A random tree stump in your garden also acts as a safety risk for children, family, yourself or any visitors you may receive. Children are most likely at risk with an unattended tree stump as it’s in their nature to climb and jump over objects. Anyone who comes in contact with the stump is at risk of tripping over the stump or roots, which could even result in a lawsuit. 

Tree stumps are notorious for attracting wood-boring insects, wasps, beetles, termites, spiders and other critters. Fungi also thrive on dead tree stumps which can actually pose a threat to your pets and children if consumed.

What are the Different Methods for Tree Stump Removal?

There are various methods when it comes to removing a tree stump from the ground. With so many options, which one do you choose? Each option comes with its own benefits and disadvantages and will also depend on your previous experience with similar tasks and tools available. 

When working with chemicals, fire or machinery such as a grinder, it’s critical that you wear the correct safety equipment and take the correct precautions. This includes protective, eyewear, gloves and ear protectors if working with loud machinery. Ensure the area is free from children, pets or anyone who isn’t suitable to be within the working area. 

Chemical Removal 

A common method for tree stump removal is using chemicals. The chemicals frequently used are potassium nitrate, sulphuric acid, and nitric acid. Holes are drilled into the stump with the chemical solutions poured directly into these holes. The stump will start to soften and rot and after a few weeks, you should be able to chop up the rotten wood with an axe, then remove it.

We don’t suggest this method for various reasons. Not only is it a long, tedious process having to wait weeks for the chemicals to soften the wood, but the chemicals may also damage nearby vegetation. If these chemicals get onto your skin this may cause irritation, allergic reactions or respiratory problems. As the stump will be present and coated in chemicals for a few weeks minimum, this also poses a threat to unsupervised children and pets. 

Burning the Stump

Another method to remove an unwanted tree stump is by using fire to burn the stump. Although this method is effective, it may also cause damage to any other vegetation nearby. This means that if the tree stump is in your garden, among other plants and trees then it may not be the ideal solution for you. It’s also important to comply with any laws against fire within your location. 

Dig around the tree stump to expose as much wood as possible, getting close to the tree routes is ideal. Holes are then drilled into the stump which is then soaked in kerosene which is a flammable liquid. Leave for at least 48 hours to allow the kerosene to absorb into the wood, multiple layers of kerosene may be ideal depending on how thick the stump is. Coal or firewood is then placed around the tree sump and it’s then ignited. Eventually, the stump will then be completely gone and turned to ash. You can put out the fire at any time with soil or water. 

Ensure all fire safety regulations are met when using fire as a method to remove a tree stump. 

Stump Grinding Removal 

The final and best method of removing a problem tree stump is by stump grinding. We have found this to be the most effective method of tree stump removal as it is fast and can be delivered within one day compared to other methods which take weeks. It’s also the least risk to nearby vegetation and even people or pets. 

The stump is cut down to a manageable size, closer to the ground the better. Nearby debris such as rocks or stones are removed as these can damage the teeth of the grinder if they come into contact. The stump is then ground down to about 2 inches below the grass surface, turning the stump into wood chips. The correct safety equipment is necessary including eye protection, ear protection, boots and gloves. 

This is a labour-intensive process which requires the right equipment and experience to handle such machinery as a stump grinder. It can also get pretty dangerous with inadequate training on how to use this equipment.

Hire a Professional Tree Surgeon

If you choose to not complete the task of stump removal yourself, then you should hire a professional. We recommend hiring someone if you don’t have tree and stump removal experience, the correct equipment, knowledge or expertise. 

Quill Hall Arboriculture provide tree surgeon services in Amersham, High Wycombe, and across Buckinghamshire & Hertfordshire. We work with both domestic and commercial clients, offering a range of services including tree removal, pruning and stump grinding