How to get rid of a tree stump?

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Quincys Slave, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Quincys Slave

    Quincys Slave Active Member

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    I wasn't sure where to put this one. How can I speed up the rotting process for a Poplar stump that is about 5-6 feet wide? We has an 80ft tree cut down and since it was right between our house and fence in an unusable area we decided not to spend the $1000 extra to have the stump ground. I would like to avoid using harsh chemicals
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    You can speed up decomposition a bit by soaking in some nitrogenous fertiliser solution (wood has very low nitrogen content, which limits the growth rate of decay fungi a bit). If nitrogenous fertiliser counts as "harsh chemicals", try peeing on it from time to time instead. But it'll still be years in rotting away completely, maybe 3 or 4 instead of 10.
     
  3. Quincys Slave

    Quincys Slave Active Member

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    Thanks I'll try that, the fertilizer I mean, not the pee :D
     
  4. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    I remember dissolving ammonium sulfate - 1 bag - in a 5 gallon bucket of water, once. Then pouring it over a fresh pile of wood chips.

    Must have reached 200 degrees bt the next day.

    A stump should not get hot, but the nitro concept sounds like an option.
     
  5. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    As far as I know there is only one stump remover type product registered for sale in Canada. They way it works is you drill some holes in the stump, mix the product (a granule) with water and fill the holes up. Keep doing this a few times then the intention is to put kerosene in the holes and light a match causing the remaining stump to smoulder. :( Personally I dont recommend that treatment either.

    I encourage folk to take a few wacks at the stump with an old axe or pick, making the surface broken and irregular, then cover the stump with 3 to 6 inches of active compost from the middle area of a compost pile which theoretically to me would introduce many breakdown organisms and perhaps sped the decay.

    another option is a half oak barrel, place on top of stump and plant something in the barrel. My parents did this over a couple stumps about 20 years ago and the barrels are still intact, one contains my 8 year old monkey puzzle tree. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2011
  6. punkin patch

    punkin patch Member

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    I agree with hacking at it a bit with the axe, but then, the one time I had to do it, I piled some bbq charcoal on it and lit it. It burned for a good few hours each time I did that. I did it every time we had a bbq for about 6 bbqs and it's pretty much gone.

    Have to hack at it each time to break it up though. But I only wanted it low enough to barely grow grass over. Just a thought. Hopefully it wasn't too un-eco friendly
     
  7. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

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    I am with Paul's last suggestion just stick a planter on top and forget the blessed thing for a few years. You may place some compost material around the planter, where the stump shows and plant some kind of ground cover or seed some grass in it.
     
  8. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    Or grow something up from the bottom that will stick to it. Dare I say Ivy (may be not) but if you could control it it would certainly help with the stump demise.

    Liz
     
  9. al hoppe

    al hoppe Member

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    How about putting a bag or two of charcoal on the stumps and burn them out below the ground. I have had great luck with small fire & charcoalk, especially the 2nd year of drying.... al
     
  10. LilyISay

    LilyISay Active Member

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    I'm amused that everyone just left the pee option alone....Like it was a joke. It's not! In fact, saving urine in a bucket and pouring it over every once in a while will be even more effective. The stinkier the better (more ammonia-you ARE trying to 'burn' it.) My rhubarb gets fresh pee as a supplement and I've never seen it look better. It's about as IPM as you can get. My boyfriend had a good laugh when I asked him to widdle on the rhubarb-until he figured out I was totally serious.
    Just so that you know, fresh human urine is sterile (unless there is a urinary tract infection – this urine should not be used) and so free from bacteria.
    Urine contains Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium and some trace elements. Dilute it when using on tender or garden plants, straight is just fine for trees and shrubs.
    And if you're still not convinced- take a look at your most expensive face creams' ingredient list. I'll bet they contain urea. It's in more things than you think.
    L
     
  11. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    Years ago when my ex had his Saturday arvo drinking beer boys time they would be down in the shed too far from the house??? so a young chestnut was christened regularly. (I was unaware of this practice). They killed it stone dead. Took me a while to work out how a thriving 4 year old chestnut producing it's first fruit suddenly turned it's toes up as the new spring growth was starting. To say I was pxxxx off is to put it mildly.

    Liz
     
  12. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    urea IS in a LOT of products...

    i've been following this thread because i have stump that i want gone so i can replant the area...

    thought the nitrogen comment had worth. haven't had time to go out and find an appropriate fertilizer.

    NEVER thought about urine though! that one is easy enough to obtain, so, i'm gonna try it :)

    how much and how often for a stump just over two feet wide?? (only about 3 inches above ground)
     
  13. LilyISay

    LilyISay Active Member

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    Well Liz, there is such a thing as too much, I'll admit! If they'd just spread it around a bit and not only 'watered' the one tree I'm sure it would have been fine. You should see the dog yard at my place- brilliant lush green except the one spot they go the most often. And if I'd add sawdust more regularly to that spot it would be fine too.
    L
     
  14. Quincys Slave

    Quincys Slave Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input. I went with the fertilizer option, seems easy enough so we'll see how it goes. Being a Poplar, the d*mn stump is sprouting new growth like crazy! Who plants a tree so close to a house anyway?!
     
  15. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    When I have had things like eucalypt re sprout I just pul the new growth off, however this of course does not get rid of the stump it just eventualy rots. The poplar is a soft wood so should rot fairly quickly

    Liz
     

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