If you’ve had a tree stump in your back yard, or have recently moved into a property that has one, you’ll know how annoying they can be. They get in the way when you’re trying to mow the lawn, disrupt the area around them so you can’t plant anything near them and create a trip hazard when you or others are trying to be active in the area.
It’s a little known fact that old tree stumps can also pose a serious threat to your buildings and surrounding lawn and plants, as they can attract wood boring insects and termites, as well as ants and beetles. Termites in particular can be dangerous for any timber structure in the vicinity as the pests can completely demolish them within just a few months. Getting rid of these nasty insects can be a time consuming and costly process, especially if the wood is old and has several cracks, fissures or holes in it where the insects can hide. The chemicals in pesticides used in eradicating pests can also be poisonous to the rest of the plants and grass in your garden.
Tree stumps can also harbor a number of diseases and fungi which can be detrimental to the rest of your garden. Finally, if not treated correctly, the stumps can also actually ‘come back to life’ and spread small tendrils into the surrounding soil and eventually grow branches off the main trunk. Generally the only way to prevent these things from occurring is to have the tree stump removed. There are a number of issues you need to consider before embarking on this project.
Should you remove the stump yourself or get a professional arborist to do it?
Even experienced gardeners suggest that you have tree stumps removed by a professional, simply because you need the right equipment, years of experience and know how to do the job properly. Tree stumps are rather like icebergs in that the part that is visible above the ground is only a fraction of what lies underneath. Older tree stumps may have an extensive tree root system that will require special equipment or tools to find and remove.
Arborists are often called in to fix tree stump removals that have been attempted by the property owner and have failed for one reason or another. Trying to remove any sized tree stump by hand with a shovel and a mattock generally will be tough work, and you may well end up destroying part of your garden to do so. There is also the issue of disposal of what can turn out to be a large amount of wood and tree roots. An arborist will be able to find the most practical and fastest removal method for your tree stump, as well as clean up any mess made and dispose of the stump at the end of the job.
Should the tree stump be removed or grinded?
Both options are viable ways of having a tree stump taken care of, however the method you choose will depend greatly upon the size and age of the stump, as well as whether the site is easy to access. Tree stump removal can be better suited to small to medium stumps that have a known tree root system, whereas stump grinding can be useful for larger stumps.
Grinding can be a great option if you’re looking to turf the area, and need a nice smooth surface, without having to go to the trouble of uprooting all the parts of the existing tree. Most professional arborists and those who specialise in tree stump grinding have the equipment to be able to grind large stumps right down to ground level with ease. One of the other advantages to having the stump grinded is that the sawdust and other debris created from the process can be used as mulch around your garden.
Having a tree stump removed can improve the functionality and safety of your back yard or garden, as well as add greater curbside appeal to your property. Once it’s out of the ground you’ll no longer be constrained by its presence. You’ll have a lot more room to move around in and be able to landscape the area in whatever way you wish. The key to having a tree stump removed quickly and cost-effectively is to choose an arborist who has years of experience in the industry, and has the right tools and equipment to get the job done correctly.