Deciding when to remove a tree stump from your lawn can be a difficult decision. There are pros and cons to tree stump removal, but most experts will agree: if you’re going to go the removal route it is best to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
Perhaps you’ve recently had a damaged tree removed from your lawn and now want to remove the remaining roots. Or maybe you’ve had an existing stump on your lawn for years and are now looking to update your landscaping.
There are many good reasons to remove a tree stump, but some of the most important factors to consider before tree stump removal are the aesthetics of your home, the health of your existing flora, and even the safety of your loved ones.
Once you’ve made your decision, how to get rid of tree stumps and roots can be a simple process that any professional arborist can handle.
Here we break down the major steps in this process so that you can better decide if tree stump removal is the right choice for you.
Why tree stump removal is necessary
The first and most common reason is that tree stumps are unsightly. Stumps can make a beautiful yard look shabby. Tree stump removal is an effective way to improve the look of your yard rather quickly.
Many people decide to remove tree stumps when looking to sell their homes so that their houses look as presentable as possible. Not to mention that for the serious landscape enthusiast, stumps take up yard space that could be better used for new growth or more interesting features.
Once you’ve spoken to a licensed professional about how to get rid of tree stumps and roots, you might even want to start with a sprout for a new tree! The possibilities are endless. So if your yard is starting to look a little unkempt, it might be time to invest in stump removal.
Protect your home from your tree roots
While a tree root may not be strong enough to damage your pipes or sewage lines from the outside, there have certainly been cases where a root has grown in an already damaged pipe, causing that pipe to burst.
A growing root can also absorb offshoot water from a leaky water line, which will allow the root to spread. If you are planning on stump removal, it is important to have a professional remove all of the roots of your tree stump so that there is no risk for root growth.
Protect your lawn from decay and pests
Tree stumps can spread decay and invite unwanted species into your yard. For instance, termites, beetles, carpenter ants, and many other wood-boring insects are particularly fond of tree stumps. Once your stump has been infected it will almost certainly spread to healthy trees or shrubs on your lawn. Or worse, the wood in your home might even be at risk!
A tree stump can also grow fungi, which is dangerous for pets and small children. It is best to get the entire stump removed to prevent decay, mold, or infected wood from spreading. The health of your yard depends on it.
Tree stumps can be dangerous
If you are a homeowner who has young children, play time in the yard can be greatly impacted by existing stumps on your property. Running children may trip over a stump or tree roots and no one wants to risk a lawsuit if a visitor trips and is injured.
A stump that is left on its own may also have roots that continue to grow and impact sidewalks or the foundation of your home. A root that has lifted the sidewalk in front of your house can be dangerous for bikers or walkers and a shifty sidewalk will certainly detract from the look of your home. It is best to get the stump removed to keep your green space healthy.
How to get rid of stumps and roots
If you’ve weighed the pros and cons of stump removal and have decided that you wish to get your pesky tree stumps removed, hiring a professional is the best way to go. Though it might seem like a good idea to try and remove the stump yourself, many beautiful lawns have been ruined by enthusiastic DIYers trying to remove a stump with a chain and a few good pulls from the back of their car.
Not only is this an excellent way to lose a bumper, but it will most likely not remove both the stump and the roots, which is key for proper removal.
Instead, hire a trained specialist who is knowledgeable and knows the tricks of the trade to remove your stump. Specialist will know the safe way to burn, rot, or grind the stump down. They will also have the proper equipment to do the job well with little damage to the surrounding lawn.
A stump grinder is the easiest way to rid your lawn of your stump. A professional will bring a grinder to your home (though grinders can be rented from local hardware stores, if you are determined to try this yourself) and the process will only take a couple of hours.
Burning or rotting the stump is less costly than using a stump grinder, but takes a longer time to be effective. A professional will drill holes into the stump and then fill the holes with potassium nitrate. The potassium nitrate will need time to penetrate the stump entirely, hence why this process can take up to a few days to work.
Then your professional will ignite the chemical mixture with a lighter. This won’t cause huge flames, but will instead smolder into a manageable flame that once cooled will make the stump easy to break apart and remove.
No matter how you decide to remove your stump it is always best to hire a professional tree removal service to take care of the job.