The Dangers of DIY Stump Removal
DIY stump removal may sound like an easy task that you, the homeowner, can master on your own, but the job is way more complex than you may assume. Common ways that homeowners attempt to remove tree stumps on their property are:
- Wrapping a chain around the stump and attaching it to the back of a car.
- Drilling holes into the stump and adding chemicals.
- Burning the stump.
- Digging the stump out.
Using your vehicle:
A common DIY stump removal method is wrapping a chain around the stump and attaching the other end to a 4-wheel-drive truck. By alternating between slowly pulling forward and then reversing, the idea is that the stump will come loose. However, there are many red flags associated with this method.
- Depending on the stump, this could pull apart your car.
- If the stump does come out, where it will land is unpredictable. It could fly out and hit your windshield, or other valuables/people on your property.
- The chain could snap and hit something or someone nearby.
Not only is this method mostly ineffective, it is also extremely dangerous.
The purpose of this DIY stump removal technique is to purposely kill, or rot the tree stump, so removal is easier. This method would involve drilling multiple holes into the stump and adding chemicals like potassium nitrate, fuel oil, or kerosene. Once the stump has become soft or has rotted, chopping the stump up becomes easier.
The problem with this method is that these chemicals are extremely dangerous, and if not used correctly they could cause potential harm to you or your property. Additionally, although the stump becomes soft, chopping the stump up after this, is still not an easy or safe task.
Burning the stump:
The stump removal burning method also involves drilling holes and chemicals, but with the addition of fire. This method can be cause for alarm if not conducted extremely carefully. This could lead to a larger fire, which can damage your property and/or cause burns to yourself. If the stump burning is successful, ideally you would fill the hole after with soil. However, if the entire stump is not removed properly, refilling the hole could be problematic as well.
Digging it out:
Digging a stump out is extremely hard work, and often ineffective. Roots spread far underground, and because of this, it makes it nearly impossible to simply dig an entire stump out manually with a shovel.
Although when conducting a search, you can find many “how to DIY stump removal” articles with detailed step-by-step techniques, these techniques are labor intensive and present many red flags and safety concerns. The most effective, and safe way to remove your tree stump is stump grinding. This is a tree service that should be performed by a trained professional, like the staff at Red Cedar. Additionally, Red Cedar contacts 811, Dig Safely NY, each stump removal job. This is so that utility companies can be notified to mark any potential interference with phone or gas lines, helping to prevent other mishaps, a step DIYers often neglect.
If you are wondering why your stump even needs to be removed, and/or what exactly stump grinding is, read our blog Tree Removal: Do I Need A Stump Grinder?.
If your property needs stump grinder services and/or tree removal services, skip the dangerous DIY techniques and call the professionals at Red Cedar today for your free consultation!