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Using hugel-cide on a tree stump?

 
Posts: 268
Location: Haiti
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I have a couple of stumps from these spiny trees that won't stop sending up shoots, and I'm wondering if I can use a form of Hugelkultur to rot them away? I'm thinking of cutting everything close to the stump, then covering it with maybe a combination of cardboard and/or burlap sacks? Then putting a ton of soil and whatnot over the top. I just don't want it to think it's being resurrected.

Or maybe consistently cutting all the sprouts will eventually make it give up? I could use fire too to sort of turn it into biochar of sorts, but it still might not kill these.

I suspect we'll have many more to take out over time as the new trees mature, and I'd like to get a system that works really well.
 
gardener
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Fire is a good way to kill it.  Even if you bury it, the roots can remain alive for years.  Decades.  In the case of old stumps in old growth forests, they've found old stumps that have been kept alive by the surrounding trees for HUNDREDS of years.

A burn barrel is a good way to create a lot of concentrated heat directly over the stump.  All you need is a 55 gal. drum with the top and bottom cut out.  Cut some vents in the bottom and simply feed it with scrap wood every couple of hours, keeping a slow burning fire for a couple of days.

Back on the farm, Grandpa used to pour gasoline on stumps every couple of days to dry them out.  After doing that for a month or so, the stump would be good and dry.  Then he'd put the burn barrel over the top of it and it would burn completely down below the soil line.
 
Priscilla Stilwell
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Location: Haiti
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Gasoline is not something we pour on stumps here in Haiti where we never know when the next shortage will be. Ha.

Yeah, I might resort to burning it.
 
gardener
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Turkey tail, oyster, lion's mane and other mushrooms (most) are great at decaying stumps with no issues of contamination.

I use a 1" drill bit to make the holes then I fill them with either broken up mushroom caps or I make a slurry and simply fill the cavities I made.

Usually the stumps I need gone are in the 8 to 14 inch range and I try to leave 1" of space between my holes.
If I am drilling from the top of the stump, I go as deep as my drill bit will allow, If I am coming at the sides I again try to go as deep as the bit will allow, the side holes I try to angle so I can pour in slurry without worry that it will all just leak out.

We have 4 stumps that I treated just last year and they are looking like they will be digested by the end of next year.
There is a side benefit to this method, you will end up with the mycelium in your soil, and mycelium in your soil is only a good thing.

Redhawk
 
Priscilla Stilwell
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Turkey tail, oyster, lion's mane and other mushrooms (most) are great at decaying stumps with no issues of contamination.

I use a 1" drill bit to make the holes then I fill them with either broken up mushroom caps or I make a slurry and simply fill the cavities I made.

Usually the stumps I need gone are in the 8 to 14 inch range and I try to leave 1" of space between my holes.
If I am drilling from the top of the stump, I go as deep as my drill bit will allow, If I am coming at the sides I again try to go as deep as the bit will allow, the side holes I try to angle so I can pour in slurry without worry that it will all just leak out.

We have 4 stumps that I treated just last year and they are looking like they will be digested by the end of next year.
There is a side benefit to this method, you will end up with the mycelium in your soil, and mycelium in your soil is only a good thing.

Redhawk



Thinking it's far too dry and windy in the spot I need the stump removed . . .
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Another good method is to use Lye, you still drill the holes but then fill them with a strong lye solution, this will soak into the wood and it will dissolve from the inside out.
This method takes about one year to complete decay if you use the same number of holes you would for mushroom logs.
Lye is not dependent upon moisture to work so it would work well for you.

Redhawk
 
Priscilla Stilwell
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Another good method is to use Lye, you still drill the holes but then fill them with a strong lye solution, this will soak into the wood and it will dissolve from the inside out.
This method takes about one year to complete decay if you use the same number of holes you would for mushroom logs.
Lye is not dependent upon moisture to work so it would work well for you.

Redhawk



That actually sounds very doable.
 
pollinator
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Priscilla,

There are some really great suggestions here.  Personally, I love your idea of the “hugel cide”, though this approach may take some time.  I really like the idea of using turkey tail and other mushrooms to break down a stump.  I would give very serious consideration to the suggestions made by Redhawk, as his advice is absolutely sage.

Eric
 
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If it's in a dry and hot spot then you can water it and then keep it covered with something like plastic. That'll keep the stump moist and start to rot the wood. You can axe away at it at the stump's centre from time to time, keep it moist and covered, and it'll keep rotting away. I'm doing it to my current tree stump which is in a very dry spot with full sun all year. My other tree stump is in a naturally shady spot and in less than two years all of it except the outside rim has turned into cardboard through wild fungi and me digging away at it with my fingers. Moist wood attracts termites, so if that concerns you then lye or burning would be the safest solution.
 
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