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Stump rotting experiment.  RSS feed

 
Dale Hodgins
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Stump rotting experiment.

I've actually done this before, but I haven't documented it.

My friend had a cherry tree, growing way too close to the house. The small cherries fed the birds, who thanked him by shiting all over the car. The trunk of this tree was within 3 inches of the aluminum roof gutter. I cut that tree yesterday. Started off using my cordless long reach pole saw. Branches were cut off 1 foot from the trunk, to create a ladder. Then I climbed up and switched to the EGO cordless electric chainsaw and brought it down in firewood lengths. Some pieces were cut to one firewood length and some were cut to the length of three firewood chunks. All wood was split within one hour of cutting. Much easier that way. It will be left in the sun for a few weeks, before being piled.

Now the stump.

The stump was cut close to the ground, and then I plunged the chainsaw into it several times. A depression was cut, by cutting into it on an angle. Wood is slow to rot, due to a lack of nitrogen and high acidity. Normally, I get my customers to put their pet poop into stumps. He doesn't have any pets, but he regularly pees outside. His lawyer's office is in his basement, and there is a door leading to a heavily forested side yard. This is his urinal. Male clients are offered use of the bathroom or the little forest. That's a lot of pee.

We put lots of lime, to start. The moment that no one was looking, I peed in it, and he peed in it a few minutes later. We are going to continue this until this stump is gone. A small piece of plywood, will be placed over the stump. The plywood can be held in such a way that it blocks the only line of sight, where anyone is likely to stumble upon him using the urinal. Some vegetable waste will be added. We hope this will speed up decay, but it's mostly to provide something to absorb the urine. When it's just a bowl, it's pretty easy to splash your shoes. The plywood will keep winter rain, from washing away the lime and urine. With heavy use, it may overflow. This will make some very nitrogen rich soil around the stump, and should help it rot even faster. I expect it to be largely rotted, in two years. It's not in the way of anything, so there's no reason to expend a large amount of energy trying to pop it out. Goumi berries are being planted in that area. They grow to a sensible size for a foundation planting.

New photos will be added, once decay is evident.
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Used it as a splitting block first. I often do this, when wood is cut in a spot where it can sit all summer. That way it only weighs half as much, when you have to lift it.
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A generous coating of dolomite lime.
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This Reservoir will be kept full much of the time.
 
Travis Johnson
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It is an interesting experiment.

I know just slicing a stump up as you have, but in doing that alone; does not work, at least from my own experiments. Now the peeing idea, that is a new one for me. I suppose a person could get the same effect, maybe even stronger effects, by just buying ammonia from the laundry detergent aisle at the store. It does involve buying a product, and not using a naturally occurring free bodily function,  but then so did buying the piece of plywood. You could dose the stump with more of it then natural pee, and perhaps promote quicker rotting as well.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Definitely didn't buy any plywood. Small bits of wood are free. Won't be buying anything from the store. That would defeat the entire experiment. As I said, this has been done before, just the first time I've documented it at the beginning.

I have often used pet poop, to rot stumps.

https://permies.com/t/47549/pet-poop-accelerate-decomposition-tree?nonMobile=false
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Great Idea for an experiment Dale!

I have used spent coffee grounds on some stumps, it seems that doing so signals the fungi spores to get going.
The two I did two years ago are almost rotted into the ground now and the two I did this year already have mushroom fruits showing.
I see no reason to not expect great results with all that nitrogen being added on a regular basis.

Redhawk
 
Dale Hodgins
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Thank you, Bryant. Coffee grounds are my number one fertilizer for other things, so it makes sense for some to go into the stump. Instead of always peeing on it directly, I'll bet that it gets a cup of pee dumped on it now and again. I'm going to suggest that we build a compost pile on top of it for the winter. Along with the plywood cap, it will never go below freezing in this environment. Should continue to decay a little bit, even in the coldest weather

If anybody here has a compost digester, I'd be interested to see how fast the effluent from that, will work on a stump.

I'm only concerned with speed of decay, when the stumps are in town, at friends and customers houses. On my land, I'm not concerned with decay speed. Stumps feed many creatures and are quickly obscured by other growth. Many trees here grow on nurse logs, or on old stumps.
 
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