September 21, 2023 / By Bob Williams
Stumps are eyesores that aren’t only difficult to mow around, but also take up valuable space that could be better used for other garden and yard elements. They can also become tripping hazards and encourage weed growth that can further detract from the beauty of your property. If you’re looking to get rid of a stump quickly, there are several options available, from renting a stump grinder to physically digging it out. However, one of the most cost-effective and least labor intensive methods is using a stump remover to rot away the remains of the tree trunk itself.
The use of a stump remover can be a safe and effective method for removing old tree stumps, but it’s important to keep in mind that the chemical is toxic to plants that grow in close proximity. As such, you’ll want to make sure that children and pets stay away from the area while it’s in use. It’s also recommended to wear a face mask and gloves when handling the product to prevent exposure.
Among the most popular and effective stump removal chemicals is potassium nitrate. This is a powerful herbicide and fungicide that can be found in both liquid and granule form. When used as directed, it can quickly and safely rot out a tree stump and the roots attached to it, making it easier to dig or grind away. However, it’s also a powerful weed killer and should not be used on any other vegetation in your garden or yard, including nearby trees and grass.
Another option is to simply allow a tree stump and its roots to rot naturally. This method requires a bit of patience as it can take months or even years for the stump to completely disappear, but it is generally less expensive than other options and is very environmentally friendly. To hasten the process, it’s recommended to keep the stump moist by drilling holes into the base of the stump and filling them with water. It can also be helpful to cover the stump and surrounding soil with a plastic tarp, which will help to retain additional moisture.
Finally, a chemical called triclopyr is another effective option for destroying stumps and other stubborn weeds in the garden. This is an herbicide and fungicide that’s often used in combination with potassium nitrate to kill the stump and roots and prevent them from growing back. However, it’s also very toxic to most other plants and should be used sparingly or not at all if you have a carefully curated garden.
Alternatively, you can opt to hire a professional arborist to remove the stump for you. This is typically the most expensive option, but it can be the quickest and most thorough. However, it can be dangerous for beginners and inexperienced gardeners, as it requires the use of heavy machinery and power tools to break apart the stump and pull it out of the ground. In addition, it can be challenging to remove the stump entirely without damaging the surrounding roots.