Stumpin’

Brooke here.

Some landscaping projects have begun, but mainly in the areas we need to destroy before we can rebuild.  The first goal of the year is to replace the fence, but the more we look at it, the slope of the front lawn is such that the smrt smart idea is to do the lawn and the fence in one fell swoop.  Still, we’re starting small by getting rid of the remnants of the fence at the front of the house.  You know, the one that is nothing but rotted wood and green chain link held together by ivy?

And a very large tree stump.  Someone cut a tree directly in the path of where they wanted to run a fence, and instead of removing the stump, they built the fence around it.  I might consider this “quaint” if the builder integrated the stump into the fence in some charming homespun artsy-craftsy way, but no, they slapped a fence post on either side of it and kept on going so (yet again) I’ll just consider it “lazy.”

Last week, we were planning to rent a stump grinder but the stump, like every other part of the fence, was covered in ivy.  I threw on a pair of gloves and dove into the mess to see what condition the stump was in, and to look for pieces of stray metal, before we went nuts with the heavy machinery.

It's covered in ivy! Do we need an acronym for this? ICII?
As the first layer of ivy was removed, the rotted upper layers of the stump peeled off with it.
There are not enough words to communicate to you how glad I am that I did this when the crawly-things which live in this stump were still hibernating.
Stump with ivy removed. There's some hardwood at the tree's heart that hasn't been touched by rot (the real estate company changed names and didn't want their old sign back, so we're using it to smother more ivy).
Once the ivy was gone, Brown came through and yanked the fence posts out of the ground. Straight-up pulled them out. The wood rot helped, as did the lack of concrete footings. Also, puppy butt.
Brown took a chainsaw to the hardwood center of the stump.
We ripped as much ivy as we could out of the surrounding area. Then I took the small mattock and dug out the rotted wood around the base of the stump to see if we could remove it by hand. We can't.

Now we need to rent a stump grinder.  Or hire big burly guys with machines designed to yank a stump out of the ground.  There might be another tree or two that have to come down first, though, as we’re going over the landscaping plans and there are some trees in stupidly inconvenient places, such as dead center in the natural path your body wants to take when moving from Point A to Point B in the yard.  I wonder how much it costs to remove a tree…

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4 thoughts on “Stumpin’

  1. Kestralyn

    This may sound dreadfully redneck, but you might want to see if you can run a chain around the stump and pull it out with a truck. It’s what my landscape guy did with one of the stumps in my yard we first though we’d have to grind out. Worth a try and if it doesn’t work, you haven’t lost anything but a little time.

  2. Dark_Tiger

    Last time I had to deal with something like that, I just broke out the axe and started swinging just under the ground surface. If you’re planning to throw a fence over it, you should be able to get away with that.

    There’s also chemical stump removers that speed up rot.

  3. Viktor

    Paying to remove a tree is damned expensive. You can do it yourself with a chainsaw if you know how for far cheaper over a single weekend. Just try to do it before the leaves come in.

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