Tree stumps are one of the most common hazards people might find on their property. Whether they have been left there by a previous owner or they are remnants of your last garden landscaping project, tree stumps can present a real danger to children and elderly relatives. Not only that, but a tree stump is going to spoil the view of your yard.
It is therefore worth knowing what to do about tree stumps on your property. Dealing with tree stumps is the kind of thing that most of us don’t think about until we find ourselves faced with it.
Get Professional Help
It is always tempting to deal with garden issues on your own wherever possible, but in the case of removing tree stumps, you should seek professional help. Removing a tree stump is more complex than you might think, and can take upwards of a day to complete. Setting aside the requisite know-how, you need to be in reasonable shape physically to take on the task. For the vast majority of people, calling in professional help is the best course of action.
Not only is tree stump removal a difficult process, but different stumps also require different approaches. In some cases, it is necessary to use specialist equipment, as in the case of stump grinding. This should always be done under the supervision of a trained professional. Professional tree surgeons and others who offer stump removal services will be insured against any property damage that occurs during the process.
In addition to the visible stump on your property, a tree will also have an underground network of roots. In some cases, this network will be large enough to present a logistical challenge in its own right. A professional will know how to ascertain the extent of these roots and deal with the stump accordingly.
Inexperienced homeowners who attempt to remove a tree stump without professional help will often be risking serious injury. Most tree stump removals involve the use of heavy machinery that requires proper training to use safely. You shouldn’t attempt to remove a stump without knowing what you are doing.
Why Stump Removal is Important
Leaving a tree stump in your garden can present a number of hazards, so you should aim to remove any stumps from your property as promptly as possible. Here are some of the issues you may face:
Pests and Mold
A decaying tree stump provides the perfect environment for pests and mold to thrive. If you want to keep unwanted visitors out of your yard and home, you need to clear your property of tree stumps before they begin to decay. There are several species of invasive nuisance insects that love to make tree stumps their home.
If a tree stump is not decaying, it will be stealing nutrients from the soil that other plants in your garden would otherwise have absorbed. The larger the stump, the more nutrients will be syphoned off. Therefore, the remnants of the larger trees are ones you need to worry about the most.
As mentioned, tree stumps present a potentially serious trip hazard for young children and the elderly. If you have children running around and playing in your yard regularly, make sure that you set up a secure barrier around any tree stumps. This will at least minimize or prevent any injuries while you make arrangements to have the stump removed.
Even if you don’t have children or elderly relatives in your home, if another adult visiting your property falls and injures themselves, you might be held financially liable. It is your responsibility to ensure that your property is free from any tripping hazards, or any other hazards.
Damaged Lawn Equipment
Having tree stumps scattered across your yard will make gardening much more difficult. You will have to work around the stump and keep equipment like mowers and strimmers well away. Depending on where the stump is located, this can be difficult.
It is very easy to damage most lawn equipment, especially those that involve fast moving parts that might collide against the hard wood. Remember that rotting wood will attract all manner of insects. You therefore need to exercise care around decaying tree stumps, or you might find yourself on the receiving end of a big assault.
What Removal Methods Do Professionals Use?
There are a variety of methods for tree stump removal open to professionals. The best option will depend entirely on the stump in question. A professional will be able to identify the most suitable method for removal, as well as being able to carry it out. Here are some of the methods that they might use:
This is exactly what it sounds like – digging a tree stump out using nothing but hand tools, mainly a shovel. This method is only suitable for the smallest tree stumps and those that have a relatively small underground root system. This is also the quickest and simplest way of removing a tree stump from your property and is the least disruptive to the surrounding area.
Backhoe and Skid Steer
This method is ideally suited for new construction areas as the process will involve breaking up a considerable amount of ground and creates a good deal of mess.
The skid steer is used to get rid of those stumps that are too large for hand digging, but don’t warrant the larger machine tools available. If you have previously received training in using a skid steer, you might be able to tackle some trees with it on your own.
For the largest tree stumps, you will need to call in professional help. Don’t attempt a tree stump removal unless you are confident using all the necessary tools and equipment.
You can tackle the smallest tree stumps on your own, such as those left behind by the thinnest trees and those with less extensive root systems. However, if you are in any doubt, then consult with a professional service that offers tree stump removal.