After a tree is cut down, what is left of the trunk is going to die, and then the process of decaying will begin. However, you may not want to wait for that process to conclude before eliminating the trunk. In fact, you may want to eliminate that trunk as soon as possible, but you need to make sure that the method of tree trunk removal you use is safe. And while there are multiple ways to go about tree trunk removal, all the safe ways of doing it will take time and a significant level of care.
Think of tree trunk removal the same way you would think about removing a tooth: you could just tie a string to a door and slam it, but that’s likely to be very messy and painful. Same with using a reckless tree trunk removal method like hooking the trunk up to a car and speeding off. This isn’t only an unreliable method—it often doesn’t work—but it frequently damages cars as well. So when you attempt safe tree trunk removal, you should avoid methods like that at all costs and instead rely on tried-and-true safe procedures to get the job done.
Tree Trunk Removal with Fire
A simple way to dispose of a large tree trunk is to let it burn out. The best way to go about doing this is to use a drill to put holes in the trunk and then fill those holes with fuel oil or kerosene (gasoline must be avoided, however). Let the fuel oil or kerosene soak through the trunk over the course of a week and then come back and drop a lit match into each of the holes you drilled. The burnout process should take a few days before eventually turning to charred ash.
If you use this method, you must make sure that pets and children are kept away from the burning trunk, and you also must ensure that you are not violating any local fire code regulations that could draw a fine. In addition, you absolutely cannot leave the burning trunk unattended or there will be nothing you can do if something goes wrong and the fire needs to be put out.
Mechanical Tree Trunk Removal
If you’re afraid of causing a dangerous fire or want a method that involves machinery for tree trunk removal, you can use a chainsaw that will chop the trunk into small pieces. Before doing this, however, you must dispose of all debris and rocks around the trunk. After you have done that, you can use a chainsaw to remove most of the trunk by cutting it down to the ground, or at least as close to the ground as you can.
You can rent the proper equipment you need to do this from a garden supply store, but if the trunk is abnormally large or if you need to dispose of multiple trunks, you may want to hire a professional tree service company, such as Mr. Tree. Also, if you attempt to use machinery for tree trunk removal, you must wear proper safety gear, which includes long sleeves, long pants, eye and ear protection, and steel-toed boots.
Chemical Tree Trunk Removal
Home and garden stores have numerous chemical products that can assist you with tree trunk removal. Whichever you choose should contain potassium nitrate to speed up the decomposition process and nitrogen, which will produce the bacteria necessary to facilitate the bacterial growth that will help the process of gradual decay.
If you’re going to go through this process, much like when you use fire, you need to drill holes into the trunk. Once you have done that, you prep the chemical fertilizer you purchased at the home and garden store, usually by mixing it with water. Then fill up the holes you drilled in the trunk. From there, the trunk will take a few weeks or months to decompose into a soft and mulchy substance that you can then use a pickaxe to break up and remove. It’s essential that you keep all pets and children away from the stump for safety reasons.
Manual Tree Trunk Removal
If the tree trunk is too big and you need to remove it manually, you shouldn’t attempt to remove the entire trunk and its roots all at once. That takes far too much time, and it’s far too often ineffective. Instead, you should expose as many roots as possible by digging a trench around the trunk and stump. Use a chainsaw or an axe with a very sharp cutting blade—one that is strong enough to avoid being damaged by cutting through a tree trunk—to cut through the major roots.
From there, you should work your way around the trunk and jar it loose from every side using a pickaxe to loosen the soil surrounding the trunk until it pops free. Create a wide circle for yourself in which to do this, because a circle that is as large as possible will increase your maneuverability. Maples and willows are ideal trees to use this method on, as they both have shallow root systems. You can then hall the trunk, stump, and roots away all at once.
Natural Tree Trunk Removal
This may sound a bit unorthodox but doing nothing at all is a reasonable option in terms of safely removing a tree trunk. Once a tree is cut down, the trunk will begin to decompose naturally. If you leave the trunk in the ground, it will rot. If the trunk is excessively large, this can be an acceptable option, as you can cover the trunk with fertilizer, mulch, or soil in order to help build up the bacteria and fungus that will cause the trunk to decay. While this may take a longer period of time than the other options, the trunk will eventually become weakened and relatively easy to remove.