If you just removed a tree from your front yard, you will next need to decide what to do with the stump left behind. There are several options one can take in removing a stump in an attempt to improve the visual appeal of the land. Here are a few methods one can try for tree stump removal on their own.
Dig The Stump From The Ground
If the stump is not massive in size, you may be able to remove it using a shovel. This method would work best for a stump less than a couple of feet in circumference, as the roots will be tough to dig out and cut on a stump left from a very large tree. Dig around the stump, exposing any roots in the process. Cut at the roots with an ax so the stump loosens from the ground. A chainsaw can be used to remove chunks of wood from the stump if it is too heavy to lift.
Rent A Stump Grinding Machine
Head to your local equipment rental service to see if they provide a stump grinder for rent. This piece of machinery can be used to pulverize the stump into small wood chips. Make sure to ask the rental service for instructions in how to use the machine before trying this method. It is a good idea to have someone else spot you as you use the machine so they can inform you if there appears to be any safety issues in the way you are handling the machine.
Try A Slow Yet Steady Method
If you are not concerned about the amount of time the stump remains on your property, adding chemicals can be an option that will work effectively in its removal. First, drill several holes downward into the top of the stump using a spade bit and spade bit extension. A one-inch width should work effectively. Drill down several inches so the chemicals used will seep far into the stump.
Powdered potassium nitrate can be purchased from a home goods or landscaping supply store to aid in stump removal. Pour this chemical agent into the holes you drilled and simply wait for the tree to deteriorate. It will become spongy after several days, softening from the chemicals added to the holes. Test the composition of the stump every few days with a shovel to see if it breaks apart. This method will take several weeks, but is a favored method for those who do not wish to do manual labor to remove the stump.
Use A Controlled Burn To Remove
You can use the instructions above to drill holes in the stump, but forego chemicals and use gasoline instead. Wait until the conditions are dry to add the gasoline to the holes so it has a chance to saturate through the wood. Let the gasoline continue to seep through the stump for several weeks before lighting it on fire. This method will burn the wood effectively, but it will need to be monitored for several days to make sure the fire does not spread to other areas of your yard. Keep a garden hose nearby and contain the stump beneath an upside-down metal refuse container during times you cannot be nearby to watch over the smoldering process.
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