Removing uprooted tree stumps

bigtree130(7b GA)November 30, 2003

HELP! This spring we had severe tornado like winds. Several huge pine trees were blown over and uprooted in my woods. I have cut up the trees with a chain saw, but the rootballs/trunk are still sticking out of the ground. Can a stump grinder do a horizontal stump? This is very unslighly. One of the root balls of higher than I am tall (5'2" BTW). Any suggestions on what to do with these rootball/stumps, and then there's the large holes in the ground--what to do with that? Thanks for your help.....

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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

I don't know about the root-grinder; maybe call to some commercial equipment rental places to find out, or get estimates from tree-care companies. If you can, use a hose to wash the excess dirt off the roots and back into the hole. I have a high-powered sprayer which does a great job, and it is amazing how much soil will come off. Top off the hole with the ground-up stump-remains and then plant some bulbs!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2003 at 1:06PM
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If you don't have fire restrictions, I'd have a bonfire.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2003 at 9:16AM
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bigtree130(7b GA)

I'm actually using the pressure washer to force the clay off of the roots, and then I may burn them, or take them to the landfill. But before I can burn, I have to remove the dirt. Here's a photo of what I'm up against.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fallen Trees

    Bookmark   December 9, 2003 at 12:45PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Good pix! Having lived in a hurricane zone, I've seen similar results.

Too many trees too close to make a bonfire safe. Suggest look for a commercial company with heavy-duty chipper. Why pollute the air when there is all that potential mulch available?! If a chipper is too expensive, pile up the roots (cut into more-or-less manageable pieces) and heap dirt over them at least 12" deep. It'll take a few years, but they will decompose and you'll have wonderful compost.

You can plant bulbs in the dirt - they will love the decomposing roots, and make the mound look like a deliberate gardening plan: a small hill of crocus, early/mid/late daffodils, hyacinth, early/mid/late tulips, allium, asiatic/aurean/oriental/formosan lilies (with some clematis as a ground cover) and fall asters would give you color from early spring to late fall with very little effort.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2003 at 7:04AM
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huffy1(z6A MO)

A backhoe or front end loader would easily remove those stumps IF you can get in there.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2003 at 5:15PM
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bigtree130(7b GA)

I could probably get some heavy equipment in there, but I want to preserve as much of my "forest" as possible. The neighbors had their's done with some big equipment and totally destroyed the area.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2003 at 7:31PM
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The most practical way to deal with large stumps like that is with a stump grinder. There are some that are self propelled on rubber tracks. They are small and powerful machines. At the hands of a conciencious operator you could expect little additional damage to your woods.

Be VERY careful when you cut the trunk off the root plates. There have been injuries and death when that large gob of soil moves. Expect it to move.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2003 at 9:49PM
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huffy1(z6A MO)

If you are washing the soil off, you can use a chainsaw to reduce the size of the roots and thereby making them easier to handle for disposal. It will wear the edge off the chain so if possible use an old chain that can be tossed when through. We cut stumps out of the ground using this method and it works fine. I too don't like to use heavy equipment due to the damage they normally cause.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2003 at 9:59AM
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Plant a vine on them and let nature take its course.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2004 at 7:21PM
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bigtree130(7b GA)

An update on my root problem....I finally came up with a wonderful (and fairly fast)way to get the dirt off of the root balls. I am using an ax and chopping at the dirt on the root balls. The dirt falls into the hole created when the tree fell. The ax cuts any small roots that may be in the way. When I get the bigger root fingers totally exposed I cut the roots with a chain saw. I use my son's truck mounted winch to turn the roots over when I've finished one side. When I get all of the dirt off of the root I use my garden tractor to pull the roots to a pile to be burned, or maybe just rot while being a home for some wildlife critters. It's hard work for an old fat woman!!! Oh, forgot to mention I've disturbed six baby snakes with my ax--guess they hatched in the root ball.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2004 at 8:40PM
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