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stump removal  RSS feed

 
steward
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Once in a while, the time comes to remove a stump for one reason or another. 

I have been aware of a few methods:

1) in the fall, set a barrel with no top or bottom over the stump and build a fire over the stump. 

2)  Drill holes in the stump and fill with salt-lick.  The deer and other critters will nibble the stump away.

And now for a new one I just heard about:

3)  dig holes around the stump and fill the holes with pig feed.  The pigs will clear everything away from that stump.

 
pollinator
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Drill holes, place fungus-innoculated dowels in those holes, mulch, maybe adjust drainage patterns to channel in more water.  (Slow, I admit.)

I may try this soon, but if it's been tried I haven't heard of it: Drill holes, plant Daikon.  Like dynamiting in super-slo-mo.

One more wild, un-tested idea, jumping off from the barrel method: use a long bit to drill down from the top along the center line, and in from the side as low as possible.  Make sure these holes meet, although they don't have to meet perfectly: blow air in the top to check.  Maybe add a tin can with no top or bottom, over the top hole.  Light a tiny fire by the side hole, and feed it until the walls catch.

The pig method I had heard of involved hiding the occasional peanut; it sounded like a stingier variant than what you describe.
 
paul wheaton
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Getting rid of stumps via raddish:  worth taking pics! 

How about buckwheat?

 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I tried the raddish method this week, including a top-dressing of coffee grounds.  It's amazing how absorbent stumps are!  I might not have needed to water them to get the seeds to sprout.

If they do sprout, I'll try to remember to post pics weekend after next.  And, of course, if they work.

There is a native variety of buckwheat I am trying to grow right now, from a nursery plant.  If it produces seed, I might use it on stumps next year.  Although, I don't imagine it would work quite the same.
 
paul wheaton
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Joel Hollingsworth
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Been a busy week...I'll check again.

If not, I'll wait until the wet season really starts and plant again: the holes are still there, after all.
 
steward
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Not sure if it would work up there, but I find dumping urea on it helps it to break down rapidly. I won't get too graphic how I do it, but I suggest you don't do it too close to the house, or in plain sight. 

The issue with a stump is it is very concentrated carbon. Think your compost pile if you merely put sawdust.

Holes and such help too, but for oxygen.

Burying the stump helps as well.

Normally I just use the backhoe or bulldozer... 
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Daikon haven't sprouted yet. 

I did top-dress with coffee grounds.  I might do so again, if it seems necessary.

The stumps, in my case, are in little three-square-foot openings in the sidewalk down the street from me, so most of the options discussed here wouldn't be appropriate.  I'm just hoping to get something nice growing there again...it seems the trees have been gone for years, and nothing notable has replaced them.
 
paul wheaton
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crtreedude wrote:
Not sure if it would work up there, but I find dumping urea on it helps it to break down rapidly. I won't get too graphic how I do it, but I suggest you don't do it too close to the house, or in plain sight. 

The issue with a stump is it is very concentrated carbon. Think your compost pile if you merely put sawdust.

Holes and such help too, but for oxygen.




Excellent idea!  All stumps are public urinals! 

I know that there are several women here that are expert outside pee-ers:  is a stump okay?  Or, is there something easy to do to make a stump okay?



 
paul wheaton
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
Daikon haven't sprouted yet.   

I did top-dress with coffee grounds.  I might do so again, if it seems necessary.

The stumps, in my case, are in little three-square-foot openings in the sidewalk down the street from me, so most of the options discussed here wouldn't be appropriate.  I'm just hoping to get something nice growing there again...it seems the trees have been gone for years, and nothing notable has replaced them.



Coffee grounds are probably too hot.  Dirt would be better.
 
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We had a silver maple stump in our backyard. My husband & his friends used to pee on it. I don't remember exactly how long it took (It's not like we were in a hurry to be rid of it), but it's gone! Worked great for us. I didn't partake in the decomposition assist, too many nearby neighbors...difficult to be discreet! Men are so lucky in that dept.

Not sure what could be done to make it easier for a woman. Depends on the stump, I guess!
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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paul wheaton wrote:
Coffee grounds are probably too hot.  Dirt would be better.



Some coffee grounds near the seeds, but mostly sawdust (well, drill chips, but same idea...).  Hopefully that will be OK, but I'll try again if nothing happens in a couple more weeks (rain expected Tuesday, and probably more consistently the rest of the season.)
 
                                
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when I was young they used old tires to burn them out worked great ( cant do that now though ) I cleared 4 acres by digging a little under the stump I had a 3 foot across iron  pipe 20 inchs high started a fire in the ring jacked up one side about 2 inchs (air flow)and burned the mesquite stumps and roots out .took about 3 hrs a stump , I went to where they were buuilding houses and asked for the scraps used those to burn the stumps
 
                          
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paul wheaton wrote:
Once in a while, the time comes to remove a stump for one reason or another. 

1) in the fall, set a barrel with no top or bottom over the stump and build a fire over the stump. 

This method can be risky, if there is enough sap in roots there is posibility of fire smouldering along length of root and starting a fire elsewhere EG; bush fire/wild fire

Bird

 
paul wheaton
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Bird wrote:
This method can be risky, if there is enough sap in roots there is posibility of fire smouldering along length of root and starting a fire elsewhere EG; bush fire/wild fire



Which is why I started with "in the fall".  In the winter and spring, everything is just too wet.  The the fall, the stump is dry-ish and the surrounding soil is quite wet.
 
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hey paul drill holes in the stump and make a ,\pocket rocket stump
 
paul wheaton
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carbonout wrote:
hey paul drill holes in the stump and make a ,\pocket rocket stump



Wow!  That's not a bad idea!  I think the fire would go out before the stump was completely gone, but .... it could do a fair bit!


Another idea:  I wonder if the location of the stump would make for a good hugelkultur bed?
 
charles c. johnson
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oh thanks paul  now i know what to do  with a stump of my own
can't burn in my city
 
              
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Hi all!
Just a reminder, wildfires can travel by root systems and can restart days later. Don't light a stump, then leave unattended for a week or two.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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The daikon have sprouted! I guess they needed cold to germinate.

They aren't growing very fast yet, but I'll get some photos when/if they start to do much.
 
paul wheaton
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
The daikon have sprouted! I guess they needed cold to germinate.

They aren't growing very fast yet, but I'll get some photos when/if they start to do much.



And listen for great big cracking sounds as they rip the stump apart!

Yes!  Pics would be a big plus!

 
                    
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Any hard flat surface makes too much splatter for my preferred peeing particularities.  Leave the stumps for the boys. 

I love the diakon idea! 
 
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Here is a reprint of an article I originally wrote for BackHome Magazine.


The Art of Pulling Stumps
 
charles c. johnson
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Maybe you can inoculate it with mushrooms. YUM
 
                                  
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Chuck wrote:
Here is a reprint of an article I originally wrote for BackHome Magazine.


The Art of Pulling Stumps



  Yep, read the article and agree. I must of dug, chopped and pulled 100 stumps where we live this way. A little on the hard labor side, but it is great exercise, and you don't have to wait, or be careful about the fire.....Some other guy here tried to burn out a huge standing dead treeand it got fire and the fire went up at least 130 feet from the inside that was hollowed out, we were afraid to go to sleep at night....)
dennis
 
paul wheaton
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Nice article chuck!

I've removed a few dozen stumps with a freaky big track-hoe - those are mighty fast.  Of course, it helps to have multiple farm tasks all lined up at once for that route:  dig a pond or two, put in some terraces, build a swale, pull a few stumps .... 

Joel, how are those radishes?

I heard something interesting a few days ago:  if the stump is fresh, you can innoculate it with mushroom spores.  If the stump is more than a few weeks old, it is already loaded with mycelium - adding spores isn't gonna do diddly for you.

 
Chuck Freeman
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paul wheaton wrote:
Nice article chuck!

I've removed a few dozen stumps with a freaky big track-hoe - those are mighty fast.  Of course, it helps to have multiple farm tasks all lined up at once for that route:  dig a pond or two, put in some terraces, build a swale, pull a few stumps .... 



Thanks, we had several good writers for Frontier Freedom before the back end lunched. There is a lot of good stuff there.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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paul wheaton wrote:Joel, how are those radishes?



Stunted and, in most cases, trampled.

I hadn't realized just how much foot traffic those stumps get!

I put some fenugreek around the base of each stump late January, and it has sprouted and is doing OK: the stumps seem to be protecting the sprouts from feet.
 
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I've had good luck removing stumps with a pulaski and a come-a-long.  A little labor intensive, but low cost and effective if you are in a hurry.
 
                            
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Ack, we have a big maple stump in front of our house that I thought we'd try to burn this weekend.  I have a bit of very old veggie oil that I thought we could pour into some drilled holes, let 'er soak overnight, then ignite.  Now Dennis' post about the blaze has me pondering this....and MDL's post.

Here's the deal, if anyone wants to offer suggestions.  The stump is huge, 50 year old or better maple tree that died in the middle.  We took the tree down two years ago.  The stump is 19' from my dining room addition.  There is a 6" thick packed rock drive over mostly clay between the house and stump, then flower bed with wood chips.  Still a lot of green there because of some plants.  We also have a rock circle drive around this stump, with some limestone, dead grass/weeds in front of the stump.

I have tried unsuccesfully to plant sedum on it to help it decompose.
Here's the kicker - We have termites here.  I haven't seen evidence of them near the house, but we had the outside of the house treated (ick) as a preventative measure.  Any buried wood close to a building in this area is not a good thing so the hugelbed idea went out the window.

We have no big equipment, but have a pickup and come along, big chains, chain saw, etc.  Don't have a pig.  Which takes me back to burning..but it is a stump, not a hollowed out standing tree.  A lot of people burn stumps here, so the roots burn, too.  Since there's that big pocket of clay there, it would have held moisture (there's usually standing water there after a rain) so maybe I'm worrying about something unnecessarily?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.  Oh, we also have had a very dry winter!  Have the remains of a 5" snowfall on the ground now, but that wouldn't have added to much moisture to the soil, other than on top.
 
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I see this is an old post, but I thougth I would drag it up and hopefully get some more info added to it. I have 100 or so stumps to remove, most from 3"-12" with a few bigger ones. If I can line up the backhoe for the spring then this won't be much of an issue, but it might come down to me, handtools and maybe a helper or two getting em out. I am interested in the hand winching technique(i realize i would still need to dig out and chop roots first). Who has experience using one to pull stumps out, any tips? It seems like it could be a bit dangerous with all that tension. Any advice on the fastest way to get stumps out by hand? I'm not gonna burn though. Would enlisting the aid of my beater 87 toyota 4x4 pickup be useful? It only has a 4 cylinder engine and seems like I could end up damaging the engine/clutch/chassis/bumper or a combo of those.........or really is all this talk nonsense and i should just focus my energies on lining up the backhoe
 
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Vladimir Horowitz wrote:I see this is an old post, but I thougth I would drag it up and hopefully get some more info added to it. I have 100 or so stumps to remove, most from 3"-12" with a few bigger ones. If I can line up the backhoe for the spring then this won't be much of an issue, but it might come down to me, handtools and maybe a helper or two getting em out. I am interested in the hand winching technique(i realize i would still need to dig out and chop roots first). Who has experience using one to pull stumps out, any tips? It seems like it could be a bit dangerous with all that tension. Any advice on the fastest way to get stumps out by hand? I'm not gonna burn though. Would enlisting the aid of my beater 87 toyota 4x4 pickup be useful? It only has a 4 cylinder engine and seems like I could end up damaging the engine/clutch/chassis/bumper or a combo of those.........or really is all this talk nonsense and i should just focus my energies on lining up the backhoe



honestly, I was thinking of doing the same thing with this thread.. I plan to (and tried last year) buy some land in the northeast US and will be looking at land that is mostly/completely forested. That means there's lots of clearing that needs to be done, and a lot of smaller to medium sized stumps that need to go fairly quick. What are the best methods according to forum members at this point? Burning is mostly out of the question considering the peat and pine straw mats I'll be dealing with. Pulling them out still the fastest, even though most labor intensive way? I'll be dealing with raw land for the most part, and no animals to start with (might get some goats early on, but first priorities are forage and fodder for meat rabbits, then ducks year 2).

labor intensive when you're talking about 20 acres that needs cutting, shaping and planting...log homes (or maybe a wofati - not sure yet) that need building...just not fun

and waiting for 3 or 4 years while the fun-guys do their work, though tasty, seems excessive
 
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