Burning stumps

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Blackbear, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. Blackbear

    Blackbear Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone done this before? If it as easy as drilling wholes in the stump and pouring in kerosene? I was told this method by a friend not sure if it is safe or not but I have 2 large stumps that need to go, sure would not like to pay $300 to have them grinded.Anyone have any experience here?

    Thanks Andy:
     
  2. braggscowboy

    braggscowboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Rent a backhoe cheaper than that? Been taking out some from time to time. One out Sunday afternoon. Hickory about 18" dia. Cut about 5 years ago, still green underground, was very hard to get out, but it is out.
     

  3. oneokie

    oneokie Well-Known Member

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    Has been my experience that burning, or trying to burn out a green stump is a waste of time and money. Especially if the ground is damp or wet. If you char the wood, the soil microbes will not touch it. Using potassium nitrate or plain old nitrogen fertilizer would work faster than burning. Drill holes in the stump and place the nitrogen in them. Drill some holes in the soil around the stump and apply more nitrogen.
     
  4. Old Vet

    Old Vet Well-Known Member

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    Burning a stump is easy if you drill it and pour Kerosine or diesel into it then put a barrel around and add more fuel to it then light it.
     
  5. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm This Space For Rent Supporter

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    It depends on the stump, and how big a hurry you are in to get rid of it.

    Burning is fine if the stump has been dead a LONG time, and you don't mind building several large fires around it.

    If it's green, don't waste the effort
     
  6. ghmerrill

    ghmerrill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dig around and down a bit, burn, baby burn, then let it go out, cover the hole with dirt, and forget about the stump. Burning kills it, so you don't have to worry about it re sprouting, digging let's it burn down so you can get a layer of dirt to cover it.
     
  7. wogglebug

    wogglebug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is something I've heard, but haven't done myself. Supposed to work if you've got time and deer. Or maybe cattle or goats.

    Dig out around the stump to about one foot below ground level. Follow any roots that are that shallow until they are exposed as well.

    Drill lots of holes in the stump and roots, all slanted downwards, and the deeper the better. Pack the holes with salt. Heap salt on the top of the stump. Make a saturated brine solution, and dribble it into the holes. Let it soak in and keep topping the holes up as the liquid soaks into the stump. Heap salt around the stump as well. Then let it dry and let the animals at it. They eat the wood to get the salt.

    If you've got time and no animals, do the above with ammonium nitrate or saltpetre. Once it's dry use the kerosene or diesel, and if you can shroud it with a metal drum with ventilation holes. The stump will burn much much better.

    If you've got pigs drill holes in the ground around the stump with an auger and put grain in the holes. The pigs will root down to get the grain, look for more, and dig out around the stump. A stump out of the ground is a lot easier to burn than one in it.
     
  8. Drizler

    Drizler Well-Known Member

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    ---- straight. Go take the deepest biggest bit you can drive with your drill. Perforate that stump as full of holes and as deep as you can then pour them full of diesel / fuel oil / kerosene. I have heard corks but I just covered mine with a piece of steel. Do that for a month or so filling as necessary and just let the stump soak it up. Get a 55 gallon drum and cut both ends out. I didnt cut vent holes in mine because the large roots protruding from the sides kept enough clearance for the air to enter. Otherwise a few bricks will keep it up enough to get the stack effect going. I put a bag of charcoal on it and fired it up. After a bit of tending and a few hours it as mostly gone. Certainly slower than a backhoe but cheap. Of course it likely won't burn it down completely but will get most of it and the rest of it will go away in time.
     
  9. OkieDavid

    OkieDavid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Stumps burn pretty easily if you dig down and cut the roots (deep is better). The roots act as "straws" and wick moisture out of the soil during the burning. Rising heat causes a vacum that is replaced via the roots. My preferred "one match/no stump" method is;

    1. Dig down and cut as many roots as you have energy to. Pile the excavated soil in a circle around the stump.
    2. Place a metal 55gal barrel with both ends removed over the stump and open up a few air slots in the soil ring for air flow. Note: obviously I only use a barrel on stumps small enough to fit inside.
    3. Pour in about half of a five pound bag of charcoal and light it up.
     
  10. barnyardgal

    barnyardgal Well-Known Member

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    I was interested in this thread also---i have a big stump i have been burning on for about 7 years & it is still here!!!--- UGH----I keep piling brush on it every year & then burning it & a LITTLE of it burns but that is all....might try to salt method~~
     
  11. jwal10

    jwal10 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use the barrel and a propane torch. Cut several holes in barrel for air and the torch, fill barel with burnables and light the torch, rotate holes every 10 minutes. keep adding burnables....James
     
  12. francismilker

    francismilker Udderly Happy! Supporter

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    I've burned, or should I say "attempted to burn" stumps over and over all my life. If and only if the stump is dead and dried out I've had success with it. I've decided for me the simplest method is to poison the stump with ToradonRTU after cutting the tree, waiting a year or two, and then putting a large bag of charcoal on top of it with the 55 gallon drum on top to act as a chimney. It will actually burn down below ground level.
     
  13. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Just make sure the stump doesn't have a lateral root that touches a building with a wood foundation or has wood walls that are close to the ground.
     
  14. Grits57

    Grits57 Well-Known Member

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    We burned out some stumps that were cut flush to the ground by covering with charcoal and allowing to burn. It burned out the lateral roots as well. Just had to check periodically and stir. If the stump expecially stubborn, just keep adding charcoal. I was amazed at how well this worked.
     
  15. MO_cows

    MO_cows I calls em like I sees em

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    We have elm and cedar stumps in our yard and DH has tried several times over several years to burn them out. The elm was even hollow in the middle, and has had several fires started inside the hole, but it always goes out before the whole thing burns. He even set off some high powered firework inside it, trying to blow it up, but it didn't work. The cedar stump is cut very low to the ground, he can mow over it. He drilled holes and poured diesel fuel in them, then lit that cedar stump, it smoldered a long time but it's still there.
     
  16. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Guess all my stumps must be pretty dry cause I just pile the hot coals and ashes from the wood stove on a stump each morning and by the next day the stump is all gone, even the lateral roots. No flames, no need to stand by with a hose. Does leave a depression in the ground, but no biggie, just fill with leaves and stuff and it composts down over time.
     
  17. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We burned a couple (old and dry) stumps by building a little fire on top and letting them burn. The roots burned underground for several days. We burned in the summer when the weather had been real dry for a few weeks.
     
  18. Graham

    Graham Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple of oak stumps that I thought about grubbing out, but I have decided to get some use out of them. One of them I'm going to saturate in salt and molasses to use as a deer attractor and the other I'm drilling with holes to inoculate with mushroom spores. Either one of them could produce some food for me.
     
  19. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't try it if it is close to the house or other buildings. If the root system might run under something you don't want burned, you shouldn't try it.
     
  20. ChristopherReed

    ChristopherReed Well-Known Member

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    get a dog cage 10'X10', You have to weigh/hold it down real well. I just parked the tractor bucket on a 4x4 laying across the top to hold the whole thing down. Then I put a hungry pig in there. just throw them some corn down around the stump, for a few days, the stump will be uprooted, and the land fertilized. On to the next stump... When done, you have a fat pig, and a stump free yard.