If you live on a heavily wooded lot, you may be dismayed to survey your property after a storm and see multiple trees that have been uprooted -- or worse, snapped off at the base. Hiring a professional to remove these trees can be expensive, and if other parts of your town were hit hard, it may take some time to even have your home put on a contractor's schedule for stump removal. What are your best DIY removal options, and when should you leave it in the hands of a professional? Read on to learn more about this process.
How can you remove a stump yourself?
There are several relatively inexpensive ways to remove a stump, none of which should be too labor-intensive.
The first is to rent a stump grinder and use this to shave off the stump flush with the ground, ensuring that those who walk by it don't stumble over it. This is generally the best option if you have multiple stumps of different sizes and shapes to remove (or one extra-large stump); removing only a single small stump may not justify the cost of a rental stump grinder unless you have some more household projects for which it could come in handy.
If you do want to remove only a single stump, one option may be to treat it and the surrounding ground with potassium nitrate tablets or powder. This powder soaks into the soil and eventually kills off the stump by rotting it from within. Once the stump has been sufficiently softened, you'll either be able to pull it up or allow it to naturally dissolve and turn into soil. While potassium nitrate can turn tough tree stumps into mush, it shouldn't harm your grass or any surrounding flowers.
When does it make more sense to hire a professional to remove the remaining stumps?
Although renting and operating a stump grinder or applying potassium nitrate to your stumps can be a relatively easy and physically stress-free process, there are a few situations in which a call to a tree removal company may be in order. One example is if your trees are located on a steep hillside. Using a stump grinder at an extreme angle (especially while trying to balance and hold it steady) can be a spectacularly bad DIY idea, so it's usually best to call a professional if the stumps you need to remove are on a hillside or facing other physical impediments to quick removal.
For more information or assistance, contact companies like Nelson Tree Company.