When You Should Remove a Stump

And How it’s Done


Whether you’ve just removed a tree or have had a stump sitting in your yard for years, the decision to have it removed may be more involved than you think. Here are some scenarios to consider when trying to decide if removing a stump is the right solution.

When Removing a Stump is Needed

When you have a tree removed, stump removal is an extra step that some people choose not to take right away. Since different equipment is required to take a stump out, it’s an additional charge on top of an already expensive tree removal process. Some homeowners may think it’s easy enough to DIY. Others may figure if it’s out of the way they’ll just leave it alone. But here are some reasons why you should opt for the extra step and get the stump removed sooner rather than later.

  1. Safety. If the stump is in the middle of the yard or close to high-traffic areas, it becomes a hazard.
  2. Pest control. Tree stumps are prime real estate for decay and pests. Once wood-loving insects, like termites and carpenter ants, are attracted to the stumps they could also find their way to your healthy trees and eventually into your home.
  3. Root health. If the stump is still there, the roots are still there. Even when you cut the tree down, not only will the roots continue to grow, but they’ll focus all their energy on regrowing the tree you just got rid of. This could lead to shoots popping up all over your lawn from the existing roots. This isn’t a great look for your lawn or other garden beds.
  4. Aesthetics. A large brown stump breaks up the beauty of a lush green lawn. Trying to sell your home? An agent will probably suggest removing the stump to beautify the space.
  5. Convenience. How many times do you want to have to mow or garden around a stump?

DIY or Professional Stump Removal

Once you decide to remove a stump, the next question is: DIY or call a pro? Some methods of stump removal are doable for the average homeowner if you know what you’re doing. If you’re uncomfortable around heavy machinery or don’t want to wait around to get to it, call a pro.

Some of the more common methods of stump removal include:

  • Grinding. A stump grinder is the most effective way to remove a stump, especially if you know what you’re doing (like a pro).
  • Burning. After drilling and filling holes in the stump with potassium nitrate and waiting for it to penetrate, light the stump and let it smolder, making it easier to break down and remove.
  • Rotting. This is another process that won’t happen overnight but it helps break the stump down for easier removal.

While stump removal is an added expense, it will save you time and effort to have a professional come and remove the stump safely and effectively. Once it’s gone you can grow something else there and not have to worry about potential hazards.

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