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Why You Shouldn’t Leave That Stump Rotting in Your Yard and What to Do About It

Updated: Jun 25

So, you’ve found yourself with a tree stump on your property. There are lots of reasons why this might potentially occur. The simplest is that the tree may well have just fallen over or been damaged in a storm. Alternatively, it may have been a far more complex process of actually having the tree cut down. Due to the significant importance of trees, this can be a real process, both logistically and legally, as their conservation is, understandably, taken very seriously. Whilst you could simply leave the stump, there are a multitude of reasons why this is not a great idea.

Let’s explore some of the arguments for tree stump removal:

  • Aesthetics: Tree stumps have the potential to make your garden appear unkempt, reducing the visual quality of every other facet of your garden. You could potentially beautify it somehow but the next few arguments for why tree stump removal is necessary point to this as not being the best option.

  • Tree stumps attract unwanted guests: Tree stumps are like a beacon to wood-boring insects and sadly they rarely remain in the tree stump. Carpenter ants and termites, for example, threaten other healthy trees and plants, as well as the structural foundations of your home.

  • It’s highly likely to resprout: Just when you think you have sorted out a problematic tree, its stump is almost certainly likely to sprout again. Removing this problem once and for all is almost certainly the way to go to avoid costly ongoing maintenance.

For these reasons, and so many more, it is definitely worthwhile to invest in tree stump removal and not leave the stump to create further headaches in the future. However, there are lots of different ways to go about it. Here are some of the more common approaches applied to tree stump removal:

  • Chemicals: There are lots of products available that promise to chemically remove your unwanted tree stump. The seeming simplicity of these products often masks the complexity of their application. Not only do chemicals take at least several weeks to have any effect, many are highly specific and may not even work effectively the first time around. Coupling this with the potential to poison other healthy trees and plants in the vicinity if not applied carefully then you can start to see how chemical tree stump removal is not necessarily the easy solution it is often sold as.

  • Manual removal: This is only really viable if the tree is quite small. Even still, particular tools will be needed and it is highly strenuous, with the potential for regrowth still quite high if not completed thoroughly.

  • Removal by fire: Whilst this option requires the least amount of equipment it can still be highly dangerous, and if ineffective, it has the potential to scar the area surrounding the offensive stump. Laws around fire and burning off may also make this option unfeasible.

  • Removal via starving: Through a technique called girdling you can speed up the decomposition of a tree. This involves removing the protective layer of bark that exists around the tree stump and several centimetres of living tree cells underneath the bark. This is obviously far less invasive than chemicals or fires but the major downside of this approach is that it is a slow process, likely to take longer than it will for termites to begin to reside in the stump.

  • Removal via stump grinding: For these reasons, and so many more, it is definitely worthwhile to invest in tree stump removal and not leave the stump to create further headaches in the future. Stump grinding really stands out as the ideal option for tree stump removal. Thanks to the large machinery it requires it is highly efficient and particularly effective in its permanency. It poses no risk to other trees and plants in the vicinity and even leaves you with useful mulch for the rest of the garden. Whilst it is possible to hire stump grinders, the most effective are large scale machines that really demand the expertise of a trained professional and should not be operated without experience.

Now that you know that it’s best not to leave that unsightly stump rotting in your yard and that stump grinding is the best approach to its removal, call in the professionals to get it dealt with sooner rather than later.

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