Tree stumps are an unsightly blemish on any yard, and they also pose a potential tripping hazard. Unfortunately, stump removal often is not included in a contractor's standard tree removal service. Here are two methods you can use to remove tree stumps on your own.
Digging Out a Stump
Digging out a stump is naturally the first stump removal option that many people consider. While it is possible to remove a stump with digging alone, the process is more difficult than it may sound. To effectively dig out a stump, you must first dig a trench a few feet away from the stump that is deep enough to start digging under the stump's roots.
Once you dig the trench, begin digging sideways through the trench toward the stump, using an axe to sever any tree roots that you come across. Eventually, you will sever enough roots and remove enough dirt from beneath the stump that it no longer has the support it needs to stay anchored to the ground. While this process is free as long as you have a shovel and axe, it is extremely time-consuming and physically demanding and there is a more efficient way to remove a stump.
Rotting Stumps With Potassium Nitrate
If you want to remove stumps from your yard with as little work as possible, the first option you should consider is chemical removal. Commercial stump removal products are available under several different brand names, but the most common ingredient in these products is powdered potassium nitrate. Potassium nitrate accelerates the process of decay in tree stumps so that they soften and can be removed more easily.
To effectively rot a stump with potassium nitrate, you must first drill holes into the top of the stump. Ideally, the holes should be approximately a foot deep and cover most of the surface of the stump when space two to three inches apart. This will allow the chemical to permeate the stump thoroughly.
After drilling the holes, pour stump remover into them according to the instructions on the bottle, and then pour water into the holes until they are filled. Within a few weeks, you should find that the stump is soft and spongy enough to break it apart with an axe and remove it.
DIY stump removal is an achievable task for homeowners who are willing to put in the time and effort it requires. Contact a business, such as Todd's Tree Service Inc, for more information.