Stump Removal

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by tramp, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. tramp

    tramp Active Member

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    I'm wondering if you folks have some ideas on removing stumps? I want to haul out as much of the root system as possible, so grinding the stump is out of the question. I don't own a tractor, and i want to avoid renting equipment. Would digging around the base of the stump and using a come-along work? I don't mind hard work (only exercise i get ;) )
    We have a good chance of finally aquiring some land within the next few weeks. I'll be clearing areas for cabin, shop, garden, etc..... can't wait :happy:
    Any advice and/or constructive criricism is appreceated. Thanks!!!!

    Paul
     
  2. tramp

    tramp Active Member

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    Trying to spell this early in the morning may be embarrassing :sleep:
     

  3. Drizler

    Drizler Well-Known Member

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    Theres 2 ways one is fast one is slow. If you want to get on with the job you better get someone to dig them out with a backhoe if they are bigger than say 8" Smaller ones you can dig up the side roots and cut with an axe then pull out with a pickup ( carefully using chain not cable if you value your life) . Pull some, chop some and get it moving around. Its slow and tedious.
    If you have wood that will burn you might be able to entice a local with the offer of keeping the firewood or softwood for lumber. That often works. You are going to have to strip the topsoil for the garage so it doesn't settle so see about doing it all at once. If you are using a dozer make sure to cut the trees at least 4' high so they can get the leverage needed to pop it out. Figure D4 can do up to 1' across before it gets ugly, I have one I know.
    All in all if it needs clearing you might be best served to have someone come in and dozer clear the whole area in one swoop so you can get going. Clearing land with a chainsaw is way counterproductive, I have done it and its a waste. If you do the chainsaw thing yourself just be sure to quit or take a break when you start to get tired. You will notice the business end starts getting sloppy as time goes on if you brush your leg or worse, ouch. Chainsaws get heavy even light ones and you are working out of position nearly all the time. Check them local farmers, they like extra tax free cash and they mostly have the equipment on hand.
    For out of the way huge stumps you can do this. Cut off flush as possible. Drill 1" or so deep as possible holes all through it downwards. Fill with fuel oil , diesel ect. and cap with corks or wood plugs. Adding some Ammonium nitrate fertilizer makes it burn better. Every nown again pull the plugs and refill. Let them sit like that for a season or so then place an old steel drum over with both ends cut out. Pile charcoal on and light it off. Burns real good just watch for root fires popping up nearby. It will burn for a long time. You can find other references to this process online. The last idea is to cut it off drill it or not, pour some dirt on top and plant flowers on it. That looks nice and does the trick.
     
  4. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    My husband has cleared all our land, which was all woods and brush by hand. He did cut the trees down with the chainsaw, but didn't use it for the stumps.

    He cut the side roots with the axe, and he used large branches to pry the rest loose. He had to clear our area for our horses paddock, and there are still some stumps out there, but they are really dried up now and he will just go out there and work on one every now and then.

    Using a pick up would have been nice, but most of the time the paddock was too muddy for that. And this year is the first year it was dry the whole summer. The horses work on the stumps themselves, and they will get one really loose, and then he'll go in and pull it out. We burn them in the cookstove.
     
  5. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Where I live the typical tree is a hardwood 18" or more across & a deep root system.

    Only 2 ways to remove those. Rot it out over several years by preventing any regrowth. You can burn it, spray it, have goats eat the regrowth, whatever. But it won't happen overnight.

    Or hire a real excivator to pluck them out.

    Ain't no way a pickup, tractor (and I own 135hp models), or come-a-long will ever touch them.

    Now, if you can deswcribe how many stumps, what kind of tree, and how big they are, then maybe the answer changes. My version of a 'tree' where I live, a come-a-long wouldn't even _lift_ the stump, so you must be looking at something very different than what is normal for me.

    --->Paul
     
  6. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    "For out of the way huge stumps you can do this. Cut off flush as possible. Drill 1" or so deep as possible holes all through it downwards. Fill with fuel oil , diesel ect. and cap with corks or wood plugs. Adding some Ammonium nitrate fertilizer makes it burn better"

    Isn't diesel and ammonium nitrate what took down the Murrah Building in OKC?

    I've seen a guy use that combo to blow stumps out of the ground before.
     
  7. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So, if you used big equipment to dig a hole for the basement, how did you get the stumps out of his yard without totally tearing it up? did you drill a hole and attach to the equipment and drag them out or dig them out?

    edit: I've got tons of small annoying stumps that trip you. they are only about 1/2" or less in diameter. My genius of an ex husband cut these small trees down but left the little stumps sticking up about an inch. I've dug and dug and dug and the roots just never end. I've whacked and chopped and butchered a few. So, I bought a can of orange spray paint and just painted them. I'd love to get those up!
     
  8. Jc05

    Jc05 Well-Known Member

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    If you live where there are plenty of deer, Wal-Mart carries some kind of mineral/sweatner in a gallon jug in the hunting department. It says to poor it on an old stump and the deer will use this for a mineral lick and will dig and paw at the stump. A buddy of mine used this for hunting and he said the deer dug his stump completely to the ground getting at the minerals.
     
  9. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    wow that will work for all my stumps outside of the fenced yard. Good idea.
     
  10. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    I have a tracked backhoe, on rubber tracks. This machine can be driven accross a lawn with very little damage so long and it doesn't turn the tracks. It can pull a 8" pine stump with very little effort, just hook onto the stump with the bucket and lift it out of the ground. It really is THAT easy.

    The right machine for the job makes work a pleasure. That is why I maintain that pulling stumps by hand is a waste of time and energy.

    Pete
     
  11. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ahhh I get it now. Thanks. Now if I can just find someone to do that for me. There are lots of guys out here with equipment that work for the oil rigs. I'll bet for $50 or so I could get them out here for a while to pull stumps for me.
     
  12. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Tramp,

    A whole lot of the answer depends on the stumps. A black walnut a few inches in diameter can be pulled out easily with a truck and a chain. An oak of the same size isn't going to move.

    For hand work, I find the mattock invaluable. With it I can pretty well match a tractor for stump pulling.

    Contrary to many claims, a tractor and such isn't going to simply pull a whole stump out. And it especially will not lift it with the hitch or bucket. Too much surface area tied up in the roots for that to work. There will always be digging and rocking and cutting.

    My technique, if you want to call it that, it to work around the stump with the mattock. I try to face the stump and swing over it. I work around the stump creating a bowl cut. Eventually I have a lot of the roots cut and can start rocking the stump to work the larger roots. Soon enough, the main stump comes up. I can then decide if I want to rip out the larger roots or not.
     
  13. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Yes indeed. They also used ANFO for the first WTC attack as far as I know. Ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel is explosive BUT it needs a high explosive to detonate it-with a few exceptions - *see Texas City disaster.

    Way back when, before it became so tyrannical, the government trusted its citizens with high explosives and you could buy the stuff quite cheaply and it was a very useful around the farm. My grandfather used it extensively. That was how they cleared stumps. They put a couple of sticks under the stump and kablam stump is no longer buried in your way. Beats spending weeks digging and tugging. Managed to use it for decades with no injuries. Up until recently you could buy dynamite and other blasting agents with little more than your signature.
     
  14. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    Depending on how many stumps and how much time you have...

    Fence the area with the trees. Drill or punch holes about an inch in diameter and 12-16" deep from the base of the stump outward to where you want to remove the roots. Fill the holes with corn. Turn pigs loose (probably one pig for every 3-4 stumps). They will excavate the dirt around the stumps to the depth and width that you 'planted' the corn, eat any plants and some underbrush, and fertilize the area really well. You will still have plenty of work to do for excercize (they only dig around the roots, not cut them for you) and some really tasty pork to give you energy to do it.

    You will want to supplement the porkers' diet with some commercial feed probably unless the area where they would be is very lush with edible plants/grubs/worms.

    Can't believe there's a dozen or so posts in this thread and no one has mentioned a 'porkavator'. LOL

    PS: If there are any black walnut or wild cherry trees you may want to get rid of them before turning any livestock loose around them...
     
  15. BillHoo

    BillHoo Well-Known Member

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    Drill holes into the stumps and fill with plugs impregnated with edible mushroom spores (****akes like oak). Water well and provide shade. the mushrooms will convert all that stumpy wood material into edible mushrooms!
     
  16. BillHoo

    BillHoo Well-Known Member

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    Drill holes into the stumps and fill with plugs impregnated with edible mushroom spores (Shiitakes like oak). Water well and provide shade. the mushrooms will convert all that stumpy wood material into edible mushrooms!