Depending on the situation, a garden tree stump can either be removed or kept as is. In order to determine with absolute certainty whether to keep a stump, remove it yourself or get a professional to have it removed, there are certain factors you need to keep in mind:
The exact location of the stump
If a stump exists in a very inconvenient location, it may be wise to remove it as soon as possible. For instance, a stump may hamper proper lawn mowing if located right in the middle. Also, stumps that are seen near walls, fences or buildings may prove to be quite detrimental to the particular structure, especially if extensive roots are seen. If such case arises, be sure to contact a professional for the job of elimination.
Kind of the stump in question
Certain tree stumps may cause a variety of root diseases if abandoned without care. For instance, there is a common issue known as honey fungus, a type of fungal disease or infection which has the ability to affect woody plants and other trees in a close proximity. Note that, in this case, food stump is mainly utilized as a source of food by the fungus.
Trees susceptible and resistant to honey fungus
Certain trees are affected commonly by honey fungus, such as apple, willow, walnut, lilac etc. Trees like cedars, birch, monkey puzzle, privet etc. are affected largely too. Among other susceptible species, flowering cherries, wellingtonia, cypresses, leylandii and eucalyptus are notable.
Many trees, on the other hand, exhibit resistance toward honey fungus. Beech, ash, bamboo, oak etc. are the primary ones of this type. Box elder, cherry laurel, grand fir and junipers fall in this category too. Moreover, hornbeam, Californian black walnut, yew, whitebeam, larch etc. are quite notable as well.
Important things to know about honey fungus
Honey fungus does not stop with mere tree stump removal if it is already spreading through the ground. There are certain companies that may even pressurize customers for stump removal by overstating the risks of honey fungus. It is true that honey fungus risks may be reduced a bit by stump removal as food source is removed, however, that does not mean there is any guarantee of relief.
Additionally, note that honey fungus tends to affect only the trees which are weak already.
Tree stump size
If the diameter of the tree stump removal in question is lesser than 5 inches or near 5 inches, the stump can be removed easily by digging. This easy strategy ensures that there is no chance of the stump growing back. Moreover, one can start re-planting the area right away.
Mattocks that are equipped with flat blades and are visibly similar to pick axes work nicely for this job. Around 15 euros is sufficient to buy a good mattock from any DIY store.
Ensuring proper leverage, chopping the outside area and then cutting the roots well is a good overall strategy for tree stump removal.
Stumps that have more than 5 inches of diameter are not easy to remove on your own. Therefore, it is best to opt for professional help. You may spend a whole weekend trying to remove it completely, but a professional can do the same job just within 10 minutes! Actually, even when a stump may seem only about a foot wide, the involved root system may be extensive and complex, making the removal job considerably difficult.
The woodchips are mostly left in place, and you can utilize the same as garden mulch. If you wish, you can have the professional grinder company get the leftovers removed for an extra cost. Have in mind that the damage that occurs to the ground is quite ordinary or negligible.
Myths surrounding tree stump removal
If you try to find information regarding stump removal online, you may end up stumbling upon some advices which are completely ineffective. Certain suggestions are even quite dangerous. The following myths are the common ones:
1. Use of chemical makes stumps rot sooner
Although there you can find poisons meant for killing a stump with a view to terminating its ability to
re-grow, there does not exist any chemical that can make the whole rotting session or process quicker than usual.
2. Trusting nitrate fertilizer as a catalyst for rotting is effective
You can dig all the holes you want in the stump, and fill each and every hole with nitrate fertilizer, but this practice will save merely 12 months at best from a long process which literally consumes a number of years.
3. Kerosene burning can be a quick fix
You must not try to burn a stump with the help of kerosene because this strategy ends up making a stump hard and dry. Ironically, a stump treated in such a way will be harder to remove even for stump grinding professional. Along with being very ineffective, this method is quite dangerous, so avoid it.
4. Utilizing the power of chainsaw is the way to go
There are people who think that using chainsaws in stumps is a good idea. It is highly misleading since chainsaws are not meant to work with stumps and earth. The practice can damage chainsaw blade totally, and it remains one of the most dangerous of myths.
Selecting the right stump grinder
Any well-recognized association for stump grinders is not known. However, note that many prefer to go with the Arboricultural Association. There is, however, no reason to dismiss non-registered grinders as ineffective, as many small agencies do excellent job, but do not want to pay high membership costs.
A stump grinding professional who truly knows what is being done will always inquire about things that matter and are very relevant. You will be asked about the type of the tree, space around the stump, reason for removal, steps planned after removal, presence of walls or buildings etc. Although most professionals will be able to provide quote over the phone, some prefer to visit personally and provide quote only after practical assessment.
Do not choose people who claim quick fixes such as use of chemicals for rotting, removal using bare hands, poison removal etc. Moreover, never pay any upfront fee to anyone, and always check whether a person in question is rightly insured or not for tree stump removal.