Stumps on Cleared Acreage

Q: I just had 6 acres clear cut and was paid several thousand for the timber. I plan on using some of that to cover the expense of cleaning up the brush. I plan to make this a field. Here's the problem. Do I leave the stumps to rot or do I pay quite a bit more to have them dug up? Rent a stump grinder? What next?


A: Kevin,

Are you going to plant this field with crops? What you will be using it for and how fast you need it should be the determining factor on your next step. Mechanical removal of your stumps, by digging or grinding, will be the fastest, but also the most costly route. You could rent a grinder or contract a tree service. If you contract a tree service, the depth of grinding and extent of clean up you specify will factor into the cost. If the field will be left as turf you'll need the stumps ground down to about 8 inches below the soil surface-up to 24 inches below the surface for planting crops. If the stumps are not too big in diameter and a sufficient amount has been left above the ground for leverage, you might consider having someone come in with a backhoe to dig them out. If you have some time, another option is decomposition. The time it will take depends on the soil conditions and the size of the stump, however, if you cover the stumps with dirt and keep the soil moist, you can cut this time by half. Most commercial products designed for accelerating this process do not speed the process significantly enough to warrant spending the money. If you're going to be planting a crop that gives you some return on the cost, mechanic removal is probably the fastest most cost-effective option. Be sure you consider several bids before deciding on a contractor.



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January 7, 20060 found this helpful

You should pay to have the stumps dug up with an excavator, put on a pile and burnt. That would be the cheapest way to do it. It would be cheaper than renting a stump grinder and a lot less work.

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January 7, 20060 found this helpful

Another alternative, that I've seen done, is to just burn the stumps to ground level; you can decide what to do w/the roots later. The time needed will depend on the stump's size and density. While it's burning, were it me, i'd roast hot dogs and marshmallows over it :o) ... that's what we did when I was a kid :o)

As a result of becoming disabled, how my land looked had to be reconsidered; it was allowed to return to its natural state. That saved a lot of work, and expense, to maintain open fields. Later it became clear that rezoning most of the land to 'timber' also lowered my property taxes. So, here's one that has learned that open fields are not always the best property choice. Once the timber is cut down, like you have done, retaining its timber status will continue to reap rewards, thereby retaining a high level of disposable income. That is thrifty fun, indeed :o)

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January 13, 20060 found this helpful

Go to your gardening center or nursery, and you can get a substance that accelarates the decomposing of the stump (i am stumped as to what the name is though!)

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January 25, 20060 found this helpful

"Stump remover" is also potassium nitrate. You drill holes in the stump then pour in this white powder. Add water so it filters into all parts of the stump. 6-12 months later you soak with kerosene and burn.

I tried this and it did not work well. We waited 6 months but the stump just did not burn.

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