DIY Stump Removal Methods and Tips (Part 1)
We love trees, but needing to cut them is sometimes inevitable. Trees are usually just cut, not uprooted, when they become a nuisance. However, when you cut a tree, you leave behind its stump, which is harder to remove than the tree itself. The remaining portion of the trunk may be harmless, and people just pay no attention to it. But sometimes it can stand in the way of an infrastructure development or a home renovation. Stump removal in Alexandria is quite difficult, which is why you can see a lot of neglected tree stumps anywhere in Virginia. People just don’t have the equipment to remove it. Or they don’t have the time and energy.
Should you remove a stump?
You’re probably wondering whether you should just leave the tree butt alone or remove it by any means. The decision depends on you. But if it’s bothering you, it’s time you got rid of it. Here are some reasons we at Alexandria Tree Services suggest having a stump removed:
1. It ruins the view. This is probably the pettiest concern, but it’s a valid one. If a tree stump sits like an anomaly in your otherwise ornamental garden or if it looks like an ugly creature protruding from your green lawn, consider removing it.
2. It takes up space. You want to extend your home, but the stump gets in the way. Or you want to build a backyard pool, but there’s the remnant of a dead tree mocking your plans. Or maybe you want to convert a space into a badminton court. Sure, a stump takes up just about a square foot of space, maybe two, but it’s always in the middle of an area that may be used for something worthwhile. In addition, its roots can crawl several feet from the butt, invading so much space.
3. It’s a devil waiting idly for its victim. The protrusion may seem harmless, even benign, but may become a real hazard when covered with weeds or shrubs.
Preparing for Stump Removal
A few factors affect the difficulty of removing a tree stump.
1. Type of tree. Some types of trees have harder trunks and more stubborn roots than other types. Pine stumps are usually easier to take out than maple ones. But take into account that pine trees have wide roots, while roots of deciduous trees burrow deep into the ground.
2. The environment. Stumps abandoned in rocky ground or areas with lush vegetation are also harder to remove than stumps in an open field.
3. Age. Old stumps are easier to remove because the structure has succumbed more to decay.
4. Size. Just as large trees are more difficult to uproot than small ones, large stumps are more difficult to remove than small ones, too.
5. Number of stumps. You probably can remove one tree butt left after the rest of the tree has been cut off, but removing several stubs can be burdensome for one person.
Renting a Grinder
Manual stump removal isn’t unheard of, but it isn’t the popular option either, especially if there are several stumps to remove. You can rent a grinder, a machine that can grind the leftover wood away. You’ll be spending anywhere from $100 to $200 to rent a typical grinder for a day. You will also need other tools, like a shovel, a chainsaw, and a rake.
First, remove weeds and rocks from the surrounding using a shovel. Then use a chainsaw to remove as much of the butt as possible so that what’s left of what was once a tree is basically its roots branching out from it.
Now, when using a grinder, wear protective clothing, which includes a face mask, a long sleeve shirt, gloves, and work boots, to protect your skin and eyes from flying chips of wood. Do not attempt to use a grinder if you haven’t used it beforehand, if you don’t know how to use it, or if you’re not well coordinated to avoid accidents. See if your local home depot tool rental center has a technician who can show you how to use the equipment.
When you’re ready, raise the grinder wheel about half a foot above the stump. Turn it on before lowering it into wood. Use the lever to move grinder side to side, burrowing it about 4 inches down. Move the wheel forward, and repeat the process. You know you’re done when there’s not a single protruding part of the dead tree on the ground.
Renting a grinder is a good option if you need to remove several tree stubs. However, if you only have one or two stumps to get rid of, you’ll spend roughly the same amount on professional stump removal as you will if you rent a grinder and do the job yourself. Also, companies like ours don’t leave pesky root systems behind. Our tree doctors know how wide and deep root systems of trees in Alexandria are, and we leave no pesky root behind.
Do you want to rent a grinding machine or inquire about professional stump removal in Alexandria? Call us at 571-371-0611.