Stump removal & yard rehab

biketopia

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When we bought our little 5 acre spot the previous owner had done some crazy landscaping and then unfortunately let it go as his health declined. We've been tidying it up and making it work for us over the past few years. A year and half ago a large mapple got to the point where it was dangerous over the house and had to be taken down. The stump has been there since as it was in the middle of planter formed up with rocks and we thought about carving a bench or something into what was left but the wife has now decided she wants it all taken up and turned back to grass for now.

All that to get to my real question. If you wanted to get rid of the large stump and want grass to grow (or maybe a different tree/landscape plan) what would be my best bet? Do I need to rent an excavator and dig it up, cut it low and grind it, burn it...? It's large, everybit of 48"+ across. I'm already moving the stones to the back of the property which will now undoubtedly become a snake garden, but I'll deal with that later. I'll get a picture this evening to show what I'm working with.
 

OntheRidge

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Hire someone with a stump grinder, remove all the grindings from the hole, fill with soil. You'll need to get all the stones/foreign objects out 1st.
 
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bbxlr8

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I have done every version of this game before Kubota & after. Just one stump, that big & critical location, I concur - would get it ground & be done.

FWIW I have hacked, cut with an old CS blade, burned, drilled and waited to rot etc.
It can be done but not fun!
 
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jaxs

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Hire someone with a stump grinder, remove all the grindings from the hole, fill with soil. You'll need to get all the stones/foreign objects out 1st.
Grind it? Yes. Remove grinds? No. Refill hole with mix of grinds+soil+ nitrogen fertilizer to enrich soil for future plants.
 

OntheRidge

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Grind it? Yes. Remove grinds? No. Refill hole with mix of grinds+soil+ nitrogen fertilizer to enrich soil for future plants.
If you want grass to grow there, removing grindings is a must. Decomposing grindings generate heat, and the ground will sink when they break down. Professional arborist 30+ years, I've done a few of these.
 
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jaxs

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If you want grass to grow there, removing grindings is a must. Decomposing grindings generate heat, and the ground will sink when they break down. Professional arborist 30+ years, I've done a few of these.
It might be less hospitable for grass until Fall 2024 but thereafter I don't think so. Ground will sink where stump was removed along with 300+ sq feet of surrounding ground as roots and wood decay.
Scratching in the dirt 60 years, past 10 with hügelkultur being 2x as productive with 70% less irrigation and 50% less fertilizer than first 50.
 

biketopia

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Thanks everyone for the insight. I'll cut it down low and have someone come grind it up and then move the chips down to the run in barn to help with the mud mitigation.
7220.jpg

1000008168.jpg
 
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TheOldHokie

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biketopia

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Warrenton VA
Cut lower and then grind. You will drop several Benjamins.

Dan

It's only money right, and you can't take it with you! Was figuring it'll be a somewhat costly endeavor, but renting a large enough machine to make it worth while is also several benjamins, and time. Running around with an almost 2 year old and all the other chores takes up more time than I seem to have in a week. I have large saws at work and then obviously the tractor to move the chunks to make the area to be ground a little less.
 

TheOldHokie

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It's only money right, and you can't take it with you! Was figuring it'll be a somewhat costly endeavor, but renting a large enough machine to make it worth while is also several benjamins, and time. Running around with an almost 2 year old and all the other chores takes up more time than I seem to have in a week. I have large saws at work and then obviously the tractor to move the chunks to make the area to be ground a little less.
Not a lot of money. If you cut it to half foot above grade figure 4 hours at most to grind it out. Probably closer to two. Since most guys dont want a two hour job amd will hit you for additional hours I would be looking for other stumps or roots that need to go.

Dan
 

GeoHorn

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Not as large stumps…. but two Live Oaks…. 24” diameter…… I cut almost level with the ground with a chainsaw…. about two inches high…. Soaked with diesel… Piled a large bag of charcoal on top….. sprayed some lighter-fluid on it….. and set it alight.

Sat back and enjoyed coffee…(it was morning)…. by late afternoon was still smoldering but the heart was gone…. two days later…. used a leaf-flower to blow away the cold ashes…….Add another full bag of charcoal to the hollowed-out remains…. set it alight….. another 24-36 hours it finally quit smoldering. Filled the (now 18” deep hole) with top-soil.

This was two months ago…. Now grass is growing in that spot.

Cost was not in “benjamins”…. it was four 16-lb bags of charcoal…. and beverages.

Good luck.
 

biketopia

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B2650, RK 60" BB, 42" tiller, 72" LP FM, Forks, Grapple, FEL
Feb 15, 2024
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Not as large stumps…. but two Live Oaks…. 24” diameter…… I cut almost level with the ground with a chainsaw…. about two inches high…. Soaked with diesel… Piled a large bag of charcoal on top….. sprayed some lighter-fluid on it….. and set it alight.

Sat back and enjoyed coffee…(it was morning)…. by late afternoon was still smoldering but the heart was gone…. two days later…. used a leaf-flower to blow away the cold ashes…….Add another full bag of charcoal to the hollowed-out remains…. set it alight….. another 24-36 hours it finally quit smoldering. Filled the (now 18” deep hole) with top-soil.

This was two months ago…. Now grass is growing in that spot.

Cost was not in “benjamins”…. it was four 16-lb bags of charcoal…. and beverages.

Good luck.
Have considered this method too. We've been having a lot of winds lately though. And last week had like 40 something brush fires in mine and the surrounding counties in one day.
 

D2Cat

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A month ago I had a stump ground. It was about 24-26" and sticking up 18" or so. I cleaned every thing around the stump and it had easy access. The guy with the grinder sawed off most of the top and ground it about a ft deep. I told him I'd clean up. Took about 1 hr total, cost $100. Much simpler then burning, and quicker.
 

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biketopia

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B2650, RK 60" BB, 42" tiller, 72" LP FM, Forks, Grapple, FEL
Feb 15, 2024
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Warrenton VA
A month ago I had a stump ground. It was about 24-26" and sticking up 18" or so. I cleaned every thing around the stump and it had easy access. The guy with the grinder sawed off most of the top and ground it about a ft deep. I told him I'd clean up. Took about 1 hr total, cost $100. Much simpler then burning, and quicker.

That's a monsterous stump grinder! I have the numbers for a few guys in our area I'm going to get the top cut down and reach out for some quotes.
 

bbxlr8

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You were not kidding! I would also cut as low as possible.

Picture and location confirm the grind choice. IF you had it dug, that would be a MONSTER crater, disruption, take large equipment & time, THEN disposal and leveling (read big $$). As others have said, the area will sink over time, but tossing on more fill is no big deal

Geohorn, I love the charcoal suggestion BTW. I am a BBQ fan & meat smoker but never thought of that and always did it the hard way! I am slow but getting there in working smarter ;)

I have posted on this many times, but I am 14 years in on a property that was neglected 100+ year old-growth forest on a ridge. My first project with the new Kubota was digging and moving a 36+" oak stump from Sandy right next to my detached garage. FWIW I had I SO many stumps that I eventually finally bought the WG24 grinder - super satisfying and the result of OTT influence, but definitely not the economical solution!
 
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lynnmor

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This maple stump cost me $300 to grind it out. The grade was steep in the opposite direction and roots ran in all directions that were ground out. The Wheel Horse 36" bucket was just wide enough to handle the firewood. As you can see I cut it as low as possible.

IMG_0414.JPG
 

GreensvilleJay

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yeesh, 300 for that stump ! 3 doors down, similar cost $100.
charcoal's something new...... I've drilled 1", 2' deep holes, fill with diesel, come back next day, 1/2 diesel/1/2gas, light it up.it smoulders until gone....
 

Lil Foot

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yeesh, 300 for that stump ! 3 doors down, similar cost $100.
charcoal's something new...... I've drilled 1", 2' deep holes, fill with diesel, come back next day, 1/2 diesel/1/2gas, light it up.it smoulders until gone....
This technique works even better with a chimney- 5 gal can with both ends cut off for small stumps, 55 gal drum for larger, 3ft diameter water tank for even bigger.
I have heard of folks doing it with a stacked concrete block/brick chimney, but i have no personal experience with this method.
I suspect a corrugated steel culvert would work well also.
 
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rc51stierhoff

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Not as large stumps…. but two Live Oaks…. 24” diameter…… I cut almost level with the ground with a chainsaw…. about two inches high…. Soaked with diesel… Piled a large bag of charcoal on top….. sprayed some lighter-fluid on it….. and set it alight.

Sat back and enjoyed coffee…(it was morning)…. by late afternoon was still smoldering but the heart was gone…. two days later…. used a leaf-flower to blow away the cold ashes…….Add another full bag of charcoal to the hollowed-out remains…. set it alight….. another 24-36 hours it finally quit smoldering. Filled the (now 18” deep hole) with top-soil.

This was two months ago…. Now grass is growing in that spot.

Cost was not in “benjamins”…. it was four 16-lb bags of charcoal…. and beverages.

Good luck.
I do very similar…difference for me is is I score a grid on the cut surface of the stump (helps to hold the diesel until it can soak in) with the saw and I put a burn barrel (55 gallon drum with lid off and bottom removed) over the stump just to keep everything contained….start it up, and if I have any other sticks / brush I feed it in on top…and I just it burn out and go to the next.
 
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Lil Foot

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I like to auger in a bunch of 1" holes, particularly down or into the roots.
 
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