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The majority of tree stumps, especially larger ones, will need removal by professional tree surgeons. Our Hitchin tree surgeons have all the correct equipment to completely remove a stump, which often requires the use of stump grinders. It is possible to use a chainsaw to grind down a tree stump but it won’t get rid of the stump completely. However, it can make the stump so low that you can just cover it with soil, bark chips, or sand to level it out with the surrounding ground.

stump grinder at work

Digging up the tree stump

This is the manual method of taking out tree stumps. This will take you a day or more until two weeks. The major tools needed here are an axe and a shovel. Digging up the stump with a spade can work on smaller stumps, but it will still take a bit of time and require a fair bit of effort. This method is not recommended for anyone with back problems, but can be carried out following these steps:
tree stump axe

Dig a circle around the roots. To begin with you’ll want to dig a large circle around the stump, exposing as many of the roots as you can. You need to dig deep in order to uncover the largest roots – at which point you’ll get an idea as to whether this method will work, or if you’ll need to try something else.
Cut up the roots. Once you’ve exposed the roots you’ll want to cut them up in order to completely pull them out of the ground. A strong pair of secateurs should do the job, but you may require something more powerful. An axe can be used but you’ll need to take extra care and you must ensure you have removed all of the roots as you go.
Remove the stump. Once you’ve removed all of the roots pulling the stump out of the ground should be relatively easily. If you find you’re using too much force, or it’s trickier to remove than you thought, there may still be root systems holding it in place. You can also use a shovel to dig up the remaining stump, which will reduce the amount of force you need to put in.

An Overview of Stump Removal Chemicals

If you need to remove a tree stump and aren’t in a big hurry to do so, chemical stump removal may be a viable option. This is largely a hands-off approach, so it appeals to those who don’t want to deal with the effort and equipment that are required to remove a stump manually. Because it is a more economical way to go, chemical stump removal is also suitable for people who need to remove several tree stumps.

chemical stump remover rotten tree stump

Using a chemical stump remover

Chemicals can be used to remove stumps, however, it is still recommended that you have them professionally removed by a tree surgeon, as chemicals can be hazardous and can damage the surrounding area.
Some of the chemicals you can use include:
Round-up Tree Stump Root Killer (available at amazon and most garden centres, Homebase, and B&Q)
Resolva Xtra Tough Tree Stump Killer (available at most garden centres and B&Q)
To remove the tree stump using chemicals follow the below steps:
1) Make holes in the top of the stump. Use a drill to add large holes all over the top of the stump, covering the edges, as well as the middle evenly.
2) Add the chemical. Pour the chemical you’re using in to the holes you’ve created, checking the products details to see how it should be used – some will require diluting first. Make sure all animals and children are kept away from the stump once the chemical has been applied.
3) Wait until the tree stump starts to rot. Within a few weeks, your tree stump should start rot away – keep a close eye on the stump throughout the whole process, adding more chemicals if necessary.
4) Remove the stump. Once the stump is soft enough, chop up the stump using an axe and dig up any remains, including all of the roots, with a spade.

As with any stump removal method, there are advantages and disadvantages to using chemicals. Determining whether this method is right for you will depend on a few things. In the interest of making an informed decision, you should do some research about the various types of chemicals and the most popular products.

As nice as it would be to use an eco-friendly chemical stump removal product, none of them fall into that category. The most environmentally friendly way to remove a stump is by using a stump grinder or pulling it out of the ground. Another option is to burn or rot the stump.
Your results may vary from stump to stump. It all depends on the type of tree stump that’s involved and its condition. Older stumps that are already somewhat rotted will decompose a lot more quickly than stumps from strong, young trees.

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For help or assistance contact our tree surgeons on 01462 262420


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