Remove stumps: An overview of the most important methods

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Who had not yet one or the other tree in the garden, from which he someday had to part with a heavy heart? Especially spruces are often a problem - they continue to grow in the air, but are not very stable, so you have to quickly worry about his rooftop in the storm. Once the old tree has been eliminated, however, you have solved part of the problem. What remains is the tree stump: it can be removed on large trees only with heavy equipment such as a stump grinder. If you choose a different, less violent way, a root needs at least eight to ten years, depending on the tree, until it rots so badly that you can easily remove the remains.

Excavate tree stump effortlessly

Trees with weak and flat root systems such as spruce, tree of life and cypress can still be excavated by hand up to a trunk diameter of about 30 centimeters. Of course this is primarily a question of physical fitness, but also of the right technique: Let the trunk stand at least 1.50 meters long and dig the root system all around with a sharp spade. Thinner roots pierce right when digging, thicker you cut best with a sharp ax. Important: Take out of each stronger root a good spade wide piece so that it does not interfere with further digging.

Stump cutters

A stump grinder removes the stump at ground level, while the tree roots remain in the ground

Once you have severed the larger roots, use the stem remnant as a lever and press it alternately in different directions. The remaining roots tear off and you can remove the stump from the hole. If the root system is too heavy, you should first remove the adhering soil with a spade or a sharp jet of water. Tip: If you want to remove a whole hedge, a winch or pulley is very helpful. The devices are simply attached to the other end of the next, still fixed trunk. In this way, you can exercise much more power and the roots tear off more easily. If you have completely dug up the tree root, it is also interesting again for the garden design - for example, as a decoration for a heather garden or a shade bed.

Burn out stumps

Not recommended, however, is the burning out of tree stumps. In this often recommended procedure you should drill some large and deep holes vertically or slightly obliquely from outside to inside the stump. Then, a mixture of nitric acid (sodium nitrate) and petroleum is stirred into a tough paste and filled into the wells. Then ignite the mixture and it creates a smoldering fire, which burns the stump inside. However, practical experience shows that this usually works only inadequately: charred remains are always left over, which also rot badly due to the charcoal coating. Also for reasons of environmental and climate protection, this method is to be rejected: It creates a lot of smoke and petroleum can contaminate the whole soil if used incorrectly. Even versions with diesel or fuel paste are highly dangerous and harmful to the environment.

Burn down tree stump

The burning of stumps is not recommended

Accelerate the natural decomposition

Weathering and rotting a stump naturally takes many years. However, there are ways to help a little. For example, you can accelerate rotting by sawing the stump down to the ground with a chainsaw in a checkerboard pattern or drilling a few deep holes with a large wood drill close-up. Then fill the grooves or holes with plenty of half-rotted compost, which you previously mixed with some compost accelerator or organic fertilizer. The compost contains countless fungal spores and other microorganisms that soon decompose the still fresh wood. Since the wood body provides only little nutrients, you should support the microscopic helpers every spring with a handful of organic whole fertilizer.

Saw the stump

The cut or drilled areas of the tree stump are filled up with compost

Alternatively, you can fill the holes with lime nitrogen, a mineral nitrogen fertilizer - it also provides the microorganisms with the vital nitrogen. It is the active ingredient of the widely available preparation "root ex". However, as a normal calcium cyanamide fertilizer, it is much cheaper and has the same effect. Under favorable conditions, the tree stump is so badly decomposed after one year that it can be smashed with the blunt side of an ax.

If none of the described methods are suitable for removing the stump, you should simply integrate it into the garden in a creative way. You can, for example, deck it with a beautiful climbing plant or use it as a stand for a bird feeders, a bird bath or a planted flower bowl.

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