You are here: Home / Articles by Category / Tree and Shrubs / Options available for tree stump removal

Oklahoma Gardening

Options available for tree stump removal

Driving down various streets in Stillwater you’ll see where homeowners have had to cut down some trees. This isn’t happening just in Stillwater, it’s statewide. Many of these trees have been lost over the last few years due to Oklahoma’s drought conditions.

Options available for tree stump removal

Driving down various streets in Stillwater you’ll see where homeowners have had to cut down some trees. This isn’t happening just in Stillwater, it’s statewide. Many of these trees have been lost over the last few years due to Oklahoma’s drought conditions.

Not only do the homeowners lose shade in their yard, they also are left with what may be considered an unsightly stump in the landscape.

Fortunately, there are several options on how to deal with the leftover stump, with each option varying in cost and method and how completely the stump is removed.

Grinding a stump to the ground is the most thorough way in which to remove a stump. Although it’s typically cheaper to rent the equipment and do it yourself, consider the amount of time and effort you’ll have to spend. Rental equipment will cost you about $100, but will take the typical homeowners about three hours to complete the job. Tree care professionals can usually grind a stump in about an hour for around $150 or so. Obviously the actually cost will depend on the size of the tree, type of tree, soil type and other site factors. Rental equipment is typically designed for smaller tree stumps.

There are some chemical methods available at your local garden center for stump removal. Most of these products, which usually come in powder form, contain potassium nitrate and are designed to speed up the decay of tree stumps. They are applied by drilling homes in the stump with a hand held drill and filling the holes with the chemical stump remover. It’s important to keep in mind these chemicals are toxic. Wear protective clothing and eyewear when applying them. In addition, treated stumps should be covered to protect any children or pets that may play in the area.

Although the chemical treatments can speed up the decay process, they typically do not break down the entire stump.  So unless you go with the stump grinding option, homeowners will be left with a stump in the landscape.

Of course, it isn’t necessary to remove the stump at all. Tree stumps don’t harm the landscape at all. In fact, they may provide habitat for a variety of beneficial insects as well as wildlife. And I have seen gardeners incorporate tree stumps into the landscape in many creative ways. You could plant sedums or other pocket plants around it, or even make a bird feeder or bird bath. You can also plant large grasses or shrubs around the trunk to hide it in plain sight.

When leaving a tree stump to decay naturally, it’s a good idea to apply a chemical herbicide to kill the tree. This will prevent the tree from resprouting at the base.