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Don’t Let Sleeping Stumps Lie

Updated: May 15

Tree stumps can be a real sleeper threat in your garden. Not always unsightly, there are instances of tree stumps being used decoratively, for throne-like seating purposes etc. However, these short-term benefits are typically novelty and are almost always outweighed by the long-term damage a tree stump can cause. It may seem like the tree stump is just an inanimate object but it is rarely as dead as it seems and even if it has given up the ghost there are many critters that are very much alive and looking forward to feasting upon it. The type of critters you don’t want to attract into your garden or anywhere near your home. So, if you’ve ended up with a tree stump in your yard, either thanks to a tree falling down, or having been felled, here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t let your sleeping stump lie: 


Rotten to the core

Tree stumps tend to decompose rapidly. This is especially true if they are located in wet or humid environments. The rotting of this wood creates the perfect condition for pests and fungi to move in. Ants, beetles and termites, which are fine and crucial to a natural forest environment, are highly hazardous to your home and these bugs will find the scent of the decomposing wood far too tempting to resist. The biggest concern with this is that once they have worked their way through the stump, they will then begin looking for other sources of sustenance nearby, like your other plants, or worse, your home. 

Fresh regrowth

On the other end of the spectrum, tree stumps may not rot and decompose but actually begin to regrow and sprout new branches. This is obviously far from ideal if you have intentionally removed a tree. Furthermore, this kind of regrowth is typically sporadic and unsightly and wont result in a well formed tree. The early stages of tree growth are incredibly important to the health of a tree so this is not the kind of start you will be after. 

A hindrance to future projects

The roots of a tree stump spread far beyond just the stump itself and can create a major impediment to any future landscaping or construction that you may have in mind. Clearing the stump entirely helps to make sure that you have a blank canvas to work with, allowing you to optimise the use of the space.

Now that you’re convinced that removing the tree stump is the right way to go, the next phase is identifying what is the best method. Despite there being a few different options, these options vary significantly when it comes to time, effort and environmental impact. Stump grinding stands out as the best option but let's explore what the options are so that you can make an informed decision:


Tree stump poison is easy to access and when the chemical liquid is applied to the open cut of the stump it will begin to die almost immediately. Sounds great, in theory, but unfortunately these chemicals contain highly toxic compounds whose killer effects may not only be limited to the stump that you want to destroy. These toxic chemicals can leach into the surrounding soil and water supply, toxifying your environment. If that isn’t bad enough, they have also been linked to different forms of cancer in humans. These kinds of side effects almost immediately cancel out any convenience that poisoning might offer, especially considering they can be quite slow and potentially require multiple applications. 

Burn it up

Burning the stump can be highly effective but there are pragmatic limitations to this. Depending upon your location and the time of year, the inconvenience of smoke and the threat of the fire becoming out of control could mean that this isn’t even a viable option. Thankfully, there is a superior solution. 

Grind it down

Stump grinding is the superior solution to your unwanted tree stump or stumps. A qualified arborist can utilise a machine known as a stump grinder to make short work of your problematic tree stump. The powerful rotating blade of a stump grinder, whilst highly dangerous in unskilled hands, is highly effective in grinding your tree stump into tiny wood chips, leaving you with a space ready to be repurposed and free from the threat of resprouting or attracting pests. 

Now that you know that your stump has to go and that stump grinding is the way to go, get in touch today to speak to a qualified arborist.

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