It is always sad to see a tree die, especially when it is in the back garden and it once provided your home plenty of shade. You have a stump which remains after chopping down the dead tree, and you are trying to decide which method of stump disposal is better for you and your garden. You don't want to leave the stump there for long as you want to plant a replacement tree. You can physically remove a tree stump, or it can be ground down, so which option is your choice?
Physical stump removal
You have the option of several different ways to remove a tree stump using physical methods:
- dig it out which takes a lot of time and hard labour; all tree roots must be chopped through with a spade before the stump can be dug free of soil
- chemical disintegration which involves drilling holes into the tree stump and pouring in a potassium nitrate based chemical which causes the inner stump to rot
- leaving the tree to rot naturally for several years until reduced to a pile of soft compost
When considering any of these methods, be mindful that physically digging out the stump is the only fast way to remove it. Chemical decay and natural rotting may take several years to get the tree to a state where it has gone. Chemical disintegration is not recommended for a back garden where young children play due to the toxicity of the chemicals.
Stump grinding, on the other hand, can get rid of the tree stump in a couple of hours. A stump grinder is a machine with a rotating disc which sits on top of the tree stump. As the disc rotates around, it chips away at the stump. It continues to spin until the stump is below soil level.
There are a couple of significant benefits for stump grinding instead of stump removal. Firstly, there is no residual hole which needs filling in after the stump has been dug out. Secondly, there are no toxic chemicals in your back yard. Thirdly, stump grinding is very quick, so you can replant your replacement tree now in spring, which is the perfect time to plant all types of vegetation.
Stump grinding is not a do-it-yourself project due to the heaviness and awkwardness of safely using a grinding machine. Contact your local tree service and arrange for them to do the task for you instead.