If your home has a dying tree in the yard, there are ways to save it. Pruning dead branches helps to keep a disease from spreading and promotes healthy growth elsewhere. You can also manage the soil better using fertilizer or aeration.

However, sometimes a dying tree is a lost cause. When that happens, you need to figure out how to deal with the leftover stump. In a worse case, you’ll be stuck with stump rot.

Here are some common mistakes homeowners make when dealing with stump rot and what to do instead.

 

Ignoring Safety Measures

 

The first mistake you may make when removing tree stumps is ignoring safety measures. Even though the tree has already been felled, that doesn’t mean the process of removing the stump is completely without risk.

Heavy machinery is necessary if you want to get the stump out of the ground. Failure to use proper safety gear or lack of knowledge of how to use this equipment can result in significant injuries.

If you’re ever using a new piece of equipment for the first time, always make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. You may also want to bring a professional along to show you how to operate it.

 

Improper Use of Chemicals

 

There are many ways to kill a tree stump before you remove it. However, there are also wrong ways to do so.

The worst chemicals you should use to kill a stump is pouring something like bleach, diesel fuel, or motor oil into the roots. Not only is this very wasteful, but it’s also very toxic for your soil. You can easily kill a large portion of your yard as well as spend more money than is necessary.

A much safer and more environmentally friendly way to deal with a tree stump is by using a chemical treatment containing potassium nitrate. You may also be able to use Epsom salt or even boiling water.

 

Rushing the Process

 

As with any project, you don’t want to rush the process. Impatience can lead to all kinds of complications, some of which may lead to personal injury.

If you’re using chemicals, you need to give them time to fully break down the stump. If using a grinder, then you need to make sure that you remove as much of the stump as possible.

Any stump left behind could regrow or become a haven for pests. You also don’t want to leave roots in the ground.

 

Not Consulting Professionals

 

The problem with stump removal is that it seems like a relatively simple DIY project to most homeowners. As long as you have the right tools, all you have to do is break up the stump and take it out of the ground.

However, it’s easy to cause damage to your soil and incorrectly remove the stump without professional help. You might leave root systems in the ground, which will make future landscaping more difficult.

Instead of putting yourself and your yard at risk, at least talk to a professional about how to get started. The store where you rent tree removal tools can show you how to use them. If you run into any problems, then your best bet would be to call a tree removal service near you.

 

Neglecting the Cleanup Process

 

Improper cleanup after removing a rotten stump can mean poisoning your soil and even infecting your other trees with whatever killed this one. Some of the common threats are yellow tree fungus and anthracnose. Both can cause internal rot in certain types of trees.

In addition, any excess chemicals you leave behind can poison the soil and any nearby vegetation. Make sure to properly clean out any wood chips or debris, and fill in the hole so it doesn’t become a tripping hazard.

 

Overlooking Stump Grinding Depth

 

When you use stump grinding equipment, it’s important to grind deep enough that you completely eliminate the roots. Anything that’s left behind can sprout new growth and lead to another tree in the future. You would then need to dig down again to get rid of the root system you should’ve already eliminated.

Instead, make sure that the machine you’re using reaches a depth of at least 4 inches below the soil line. The grinder’s manual should also help you figure out how deep to go.

 

Ignoring Tree Species Variations

 

Different types of trees have their own types of root systems and growth patterns. How stump rotting presents itself could also change based on the species.

It’s important to research the species of your tree to understand its characteristics and how best to deal with it. Some trees have roots that go much deeper than others, which means you may need to grind down upwards of 18 inches.

You may want to reach out to a professional for assistance, especially if you have one of the more problematic species you’re trying to remove.

 

Bad Tool Maintenance

 

A common mistake made by homeowners is not taking care of their tools as they should. Even if you rent equipment from a reputable seller, you’ll still want to make sure it’s in good condition.

Check that the blades are sharp and the machinery is functioning properly. You’ll know the blades need sharpening if the tips are rounded. They’re also the number-one wear item on stump grinders.

If your grinder isn’t well maintained, then your job will be much more difficult than it should be.

 

Deal With Stump Rot the Right Way

 

Normally, homeowners will leave leftover stumps alone because it’s too much trouble to get rid of them. However, stump rot not only looks bad but can attract various pests like termites and fungi. Instead, you’ll want to get rid of them with the right tools and the best help you can afford.

Grace Tree Service is the expert to call when you need assistance with tree and stump removal. Our fleet of vehicles includes bucket trucks, stump removers, and cranes. Reach out today with any questions and to get a free estimate.