Getting rid of a tree stump

Job description:

A tree on your property which is ill or has died needs cutting. Then you are left with the stump in the middle of the garden. So you have a few options, a home recipe, a mechanical, or chemical intervention, here are a few tips to get rid of a stump.

1. With kindness, over time, if the tree is not too vigorous and its roots are not too developed, the stump will eventually rot as long as you cut out any new shoots. But this may take years...

2. However, it is possible to accelerate its decomposition by drilling several holes on the surface. The combined action of water and frost will weaken the stump.

3. Some advocate placing garlic cloves into the holes. These can accelerate the decay! However that remains to be proved.

4. Elbow grease is essential if you want to get rid of the stump yourself. You will need a pickaxe, a saw or a saw pruner and an iron bar Firstly take the Earth around and below the stump. With a chainsaw cut the roots which are too thick.

5. If the stump is not too big, you will have no problem to extract it. Otherwise, use the iron bar to lever, by sliding it under the stump. This solution is feasible as long as the dimensions of the stump remain modest.

6. If you hire a mini excavator, it's better not to have the stump cut right to the ground. Obviously , you might not be able to get a mini digger in your garden, it could also damage your lawn and once the stump is removed, you are left with a big hole to fill.

7. Using a stump grinder, you can mechanically grind out the main stump, leaving fine sawdust. These machines can be hazardous and are only for confident gardeners. Some roots will inevitably be left in the ground but the majority should eventually rot down.

8. Products such as battery acid, ammonium sulphamate and soda chlorate are banned and are dangerous and highly polluting. The pollutant character is also present in most plant protection products sold commercially. Be careful and read the labels. Autumn to winter is the best time to apply stump killers. Avoid treatment in spring and early summer when the sap is rising.

The information provided in this guide is to be used strictly for guidance only. We recommend you always read the manufacturer's instructions.