What are people's favorite ways of removing or dealing with stumps?
I have wild cherry trees in my garden with pretty massive root structure, I'm not going to be able to yank the whole thing with a chain. One person suggested I drill a hole in the top, add used motor oil, and set it on fire. I haven't tried that yet. Any thoughts?
"We have it in our power to begin the world over again." - Thomas Paine
Do not use motor oil and fire!!!, that is not something you want to do anywhere, let alone in a garden plot. Burning is an option for stumps (albeit a bad one in my opinion) but only after they are out of the ground and dried.
The following lead my list:
1. Ladder jack (or tractor jack as some call them) with a strap to the trunk of tree 200 mm dia an smaller. You can pop them right out of the ground. On larger trees you can do it one side at a time.
2. tripod and chain hoist-block and tackel to rip from the ground (requires some special skill sets and tools)
3. tractor with back hoe (again special skill sets and tools)
4. Rent a stump grinder or hire someone with it to remove the stump.
5. Dig in up and remove in pieces.
6. Cut flush, drill with 25 mm (1") auger bit, and cover with dirt, plant as usual. This is a natural Hugalculture start.
Those are the best top choices that I have come across and used, (not in order of importance.)
Why do you need to remove them? If at all possible, just let them rot in the ground--natural hugelculture.
If they are a trip hazard, dig around them and cut just under the surface level.
If you are digging beds or something that the roots HAVE to go, then you need the tripod hoist or backhoe.
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"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
I usually dig around them and chop the lateral roots off with a mattock and then pull them. (pick axe, grub hoe, shovel and axe) Most if not all of the tap root(s) come out and the laterals can rot or be pulled/dug out individually. It's a lot of work. Half a day per. Since most of mine are white oak and I just ordered some shiitake spawn, I'll be growing mushrooms from the ones that I don't need pulled if they are shaded enough. Once mushrooms won't grow, they should burn pretty well without assistance from manmade fuel. Most people that burn them use kerosene.
(Please note that any petroleum products for burning is dangerous, environmentally damaging in most cases, and not necessary to start fires if you need to burn something...JCWC)
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