01 November 2013

Stump Removal Experiment - Part II

An update to a previous post:  Stump Removal (Part-I)

  These stinkin' GA pines are tough!  They don't grow shoots and stay alive forever like other trees, but they stay wet for a LOOOOOONG time!  I tried the Epsom Salt method I read about online, but only gave it a half-hearted shot due to (insert excuse here).
  What has worked: FIRE!  Now that GA's burning ban is over, I've been able to burn off some of the pile of wood left from felling a large portion of the front yard.  Burning freshly-cut stumps is a fool's errand (you'll burn the rest of the tree before the stump burns), but when the stump has had a few months to dry -especially in the sun- it'll burn much easier while at the center of the fire.
  With a good hearty fire going, why waste the embers?  I got the axe and chipped a small 'bowl' in the middle of other drying stumps.  Using the chippings I made with the axe, the embers from the large fire, and some dry pine needles I made a nice hot pile of coals on the top of the stump.  It isn't an ideal stump removal system, but with multiple stumps and plenty of logs to burn, a little bit each time helps dry them out and burn them down.  The stumps that have been burned once or twice are very easy to burn from that point on.
  It isn't a great process for those with time constraints or limitations on burning, but economically, it's almost as cheap as waiting for the termites to finish the stumps off.  Speaking of termites - there's something extremely satisfying about putting embers and highly-flammable pine needles on them to let them burn!
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