Tree stumps do not necessarily need to be removed from the yard, but if they prove hazardous or bothersome, they should be taken out. Professional tree services can be expensive, but some simple techniques gardeners can do themselves may work to eliminate unsightly stumps.
Chemicals specifically used to kill tree stumps are available at gardening centres, but common weed killers already on the shelf at home may do the trick. If trying this technique, The Royal Horticultural Society recommends applying the weed killer in autumn to late winter directly on the outer ring of live tissue just under the bark.
Good Old Fashioned Digging
Digging is labour and time intensive, but it will likely do the job, according to Colorado State University Extension. Use a sharp spade or pick and keep at it.
Allow For Natural Decay
While it may take five to 10 years, allowing a tree stump to naturally decay is an easy, free option and suitable if the stump is not posing a hazard or causing serious annoyance. Cut off new sucker growth to deprive the stump of stored food and wait. In the meantime, it will provide shelter for birds and mammals.
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