03 Nov How to remove tree stumps
How to remove tree stumps
When one of the trees in your garden falls or is felled, the stump needs to be removed to prevent suckers from the roots shooting up and turning into another plant.
Tree stumps which are completely dead won’t form suckers but they can pose the risk of forming fungal root rots, such as honey fungus, which may infect other nearby trees.
When to remove a tree stump
You can remove a tree stump at any time of year, but it’s best done as soon after felling as possible to prevent the risk of suckers replanting the tree.
Chemical stump killers need to be applied to freshly-cut wood, so are best used straight after the tree has fallen or been felled.
Physical removal is the best solution as it removes the risk of suckers and root rots.
This uses specialist machines (stump grinders) to mechanically grind out the main root plate, leaving fine sawdust.
Although you can hire stump grinders, they are potentially dangerous so are best left for professionals to use. Some roots will be left in the ground but most should eventually rot away.
Before you enquire, think about how you will cover up the ground stump afterwards – as this will determine how deep you need the stump ground down to.
Shallow grinding to 25cm or 10 inches below the surface of the soil is usually enough to allow turf to be laid over the area.
If you’re planning to replant or landscape the area, then you may need to request more depth. Afterwards, it’s best to remove most of the sawdust and fill the hole created by the grinding with topsoil.
If a lot of sawdust gets mixed with the soil around the stump, it’s usually worth adding nitrogenous fertiliser before planting to avoid possible problems with nutrient lockup. Look at mixing in chicken manure pellets or sulphate of ammonia.
Stump grinding generates a lot of fine sawdust. Unless the wood is diseased, this can be used as mulch in other areas of your garden.
Sawdust from broadleaf trees – such as the oak, beech and lime – as well as that from conifers like the pine, yew and larch make excellent mulch – decomposing slowly, moderating soil conditions by absorbing moisture and slowly releasing it back, suppressing weeds and protecting the soil from erosion by the wind and the rain.
The alternative to physically removing the stump is to use chemicals to kill it using chemical stump and root killers which typically use either glyphosate or triclopyr as the active ingredient.
The best time of year to apply stump killers is from now – Autumn into Winter – as you should avoid doing it in Spring or early Summer when the sap is rising.
At TTS Tree Surgery, we use the Ecoplug, which uses glyphosate. Each plug contains granular glyphosate which is released inside the tree stump, ensuring all the active ingredient is carefully targeted where it’s needed.
A vertical hole is drilled in the stump and the plug is inserted into it. The glyphosate is then released through the stump to the roots – preventing new growth or suckers and leaving the stump to gradually rot away naturally. A number of ecoplugs are often used.
The Ecoplug method is effective in killing the root system of the tree, keeping the use of herbicide to a minimum, removing the risk of collateral damage to other plants and trees associated with traditional liquid application methods and can be used in any weather.
Get in touch
Get in touch to arrange a free visit and quotation for professional advice on looking after your trees and what we can do using the latest techniques and our professional-grade equipment. Stump removal is one of our specialities.
TTS Tree Surgery is committed to caring for trees by safely removing them, planting and maintaining them.
We are fully-qualified tree surgeons and use the latest techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to achieve results. We have years of experience in the industry and are committed to providing a reliable and professional service. We carry out all arboricultural work for both domestic and commercial clients.
Based in Perth, we cover Perth & Kinross, Dundee and Angus.
Contact us to us for a free quotation.