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How To Get Rid Of A Tree Stump or Two


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Here are a couple of stumps of old coconut trees:

 

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The one in the foreground is many years old and has been eaten away by various bugs, but the one in the background is about a year old.

 

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My landlord has been burning one in another garden by lighting a fire at its base, but it hasn't burnt much after a couple of weeks.

Would a good axe do the job? Any recommendations - size, weight?

 

I don't want to hire a JCB digger to dig them up.

The main reason for getting rid of them is that the stumps make mowing the grass around them a real pain.

 

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We just cut down over thirty foxtails they are even worse than coconuts as they have many finger roots spreading out where as a coconut has more of a ball root system.

 

Cut off at ground level with a chainsaw if you don' t have one find someone locally,  if done close enough to the ground you can run the mower over it without harm to the blades.

 

Or cut off close to the ground and use a carpenters chisel hole saw in a power drill to put down a lot of one inch holes, fill the holes with salt, the root will die after six months or so.

 

Or cut off close to the ground, make the holes as above then pour cooking oil on it, let it soak in and then put burning charcoal on it and let it smoulder, should take a day or two.  If you can make a chimney from an old metal drainpipe around it this helps.

 

If you are in a hurry cut off flush to the ground, make the holes as above then use a circular saw or a chain saw to cut cross ways across the top of the stump like you are playing noughts and crosses,  this will make a lot of little cubes that you can lever out from the top with a crowbar, if you cant lever them out drive a large axe sideways and hammer it into the stump sideways breaking off the little cube pieces as you go.

 

If digging it out you really need a longer piece above ground to rock it out of the hole around it.

 

No easy solution very sorry its time consuming and a lot of work.

 

I'll upload some pictures when i find them.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Kwasaki said:

Ours were hand dug up.

That's one way and can be satisfying in an old school way. 

But if one doesn't have such inclination, a backhoe should be involved - digging, pulling, whatever. 

 

Burning takes forever, as coconut stumps are very sinewy and spongy, where they could smolder days on end - even into weeks.

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2 minutes ago, zzaa09 said:

That's one way and can be satisfying in an old school way. 

But if one doesn't have such inclination, a backhoe should be involved - digging, pulling, whatever. 

 

Burning takes forever, as coconut stumps are very sinewy and spongy, where they could smolder days on end - even into weeks.

He said he doesn't want to pay for a JCB or Cat.

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9 minutes ago, Rimmer said:

a coconut has more of a ball root system.

 

Ah, that's good to know! And thanks for all your tips.

 

A bigger problem for me is all the roots that have either come up from the ground or, more likely, the ground has settled causing the roots to show. They are an even bigger pain when it comes to mowing! I was thinking of raising the grass level by buying a truck load of soil to fill in the gaps between the roots!

 

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These trees were much taller - 50, 60, 70 feet - but made the garden very dark and gloomy. So I had them cut down to 4, 8, 12 feet tall - that was about a year ago. They have now grown back incredibly well, but so has the grass beneath them which never used to see the sun!

So mowing the grass has now become a priority.

 

 

 

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If you can get a truck back there and have a chain handy you can dig down part way, wrap the chain around the stump after filling the area you dug out with water and letting it soak, and then pull it out by using the truck.  Remember to hook the chain to the eye area under the bumper.

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Perhaps try drilling  holes as big and and deep as possible and filling them with potassium nitrate (aka ."stump rot" ). Slow but sure in stumps that are really dead or should kill them initially at least. Potassium nitrate is quite readily available in Thailand despite it's combination with another household food item can be quite dangerously explosive.

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6 minutes ago, Kwasaki said:

He said he doesn't want to pay for a JCB or Cat.

Well, I've got pleny of time on my hands... like, forever! So it's not that I don't want to pay, but I'd rather do it myself, if possible.

 

I'll try to sneak a picture of my landlord's attempt at burning a stump that's over the road. 

I think it's been about two weeks... smoldering every day...  😄

 

But his is not a coconut tree stump, it's like my stump - Alstonia Scholaris or "Indian Devil Tree". The white blossoms (in October, November) stink!

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35 minutes ago, Kwasaki said:

Ours were hand dug up.

Like Kawasaki said.  You could get two guys to dig it up.

 

Hard work!

 

Might take a few days.

 

You don't want to use an escavator.  That would make quick work of it though.

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3 minutes ago, Nojohndoe said:

potassium nitrate (aka ."stump rot" )

Thanks - never knew about that.

 

4 minutes ago, Nojohndoe said:

can be quite dangerously explosive

I knew about that!

(From my Chemistry days... tissue paper soaked in a solution and allowed to dry... 🙂 )

 

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25 minutes ago, ThailandRyan said:

If you can get a truck back there and have a chain handy you can dig down part way, wrap the chain around the stump after filling the area you dug out with water and letting it soak, and then pull it out by using the truck.  Remember to hook the chain to the eye area under the bumper.

Thanks for the tip! I can get my pickup in there, no problem. I'll add it to the list of options!

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Another way would be to use a large (not 4”) angle grinder cutting straight down using a tungsten tiped blade, this is similar to the stump grinding machines, though they are rather more powerful 

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Lots of entertaining videos on YouTube with creative solutions to removing stumps. 

Some ideas good, some not so good. LOL

 

Edited by LarrySR
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47 minutes ago, JetsetBkk said:

OK, I'm all set!  😄

 

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Don't expect an update for a few days weeks!

You do realise that you are probably going to destroy the axe head, don’t you? An occasional wack on the head will probably not do much, but beat it enough and the helve socket is going to distort, that’s why they sell steel wedges.

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7 hours ago, LarrySR said:

Set up a time lapse video camera. 

I was thinking more like taking a photo from the same spot every day for a few weeks months.

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7 hours ago, sometimewoodworker said:

You do realise that you are probably going to destroy the axe head, don’t you? An occasional wack on the head will probably not do much, but beat it enough and the helve socket is going to distort, that’s why they sell steel wedges.

Yes, I'm going to whack the axe as hard as I can with the 3kg hammer and never check to see what is happening to it. 🙂

Actually, I did read (after I bought the club hammer) that using a wooden mallet is recommended rather than the club hammer. I'll be gentle. Honest.

 

But today I spent 4 hours mowing the "lawn". Now knackered.

 

PS. Thanks for the tip about wedges - I'll see if my local h/w store has them. 

 

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8 hours ago, LarrySR said:

Lots of entertaining videos on YouTube with creative solutions to removing stumps. 

Some ideas good, some not so good. LOL

 

Excellent ideas! I like the first one, but I don't have a winch. The stump looks like a coconut tree - it has a ball type root system. But I doubt if my pickup has enough grip on the grass to pull it out.

 

The block and tackle/pulley one looks pretty good too, but too much stuff to get. I think I'll start with the club hammer and axe (plus or minus wedges).

 

Stay tuned for pictures! 😄

 

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8 hours ago, JetsetBkk said:

Excellent ideas! I like the first one, but I don't have a winch. The stump looks like a coconut tree - it has a ball type root system. But I doubt if my pickup has enough grip on the grass to pull it out.

I can guarantee that the amount of strain you would need to put on a block and tackle or winch will be greater than the equipment you have, unless you have HGV rescue gear. 
If you could hitch your pickup to the stump and get enough pull to get it out the result when it comes out will be a substantial lump of wood travelling at speed towards your pickup that will be stopped, if lucky, by sections of said pickup, requiring a body shop, paint spray shop and replacement of various pieces of automotive glass.

 

 

 

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Excellent video, thanks! 😄

 

My local hardware stores don't have any wedges, but I do have a fairly substantial cold chisel, so I'll try driving that into the stump after I've used the axe to make a slot. I haven't started yet, maybe tomorrow.

 

Cheers.

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