I'm Stumped: How Can I Get This Palm Tree Stump Out of My Yard?
Did you know that Florida is home to a whopping 2,500 species of palms?
Not only are palms iconic to Florida's sunny skies and tropical climate, but scientists also deem them to form a vital part of Florida's ecosystem.
Unfortunately, no matter how beautiful or important palms are, there are times when one has to go.
And once this happens you'll be minus one palm, and plus one stump.
In many cases, you can't just leave the palm tree stump where it is. Stumps can be dangerous, get in the way of potential landscaping and paving, or even be in opposition to your homeowners' agreement. However, depending on the size of the palm in question, getting rid of the left-behind stump can seem like a daunting task.
Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of even the most deeply rooted palm tree stumps. Whatever your reason for removal, when a stump is left behind, we're the people to talk to about it.
Want to find out some of the top palm tree stump removal tips? If yes, read on.
Digging Out the Stump
The first route to consider when undertaking palm tree stump removal is digging out the stump. The size of the stump and root ball will determine whether or not this is a good idea.
Smaller palms with shallow root systems can sometimes be gotten out of the ground with relative ease using only a shovel and possibly a pick. However, for anything bigger, you'll need to use an electric shovel.
However, even with one of these guys, large palm stumps may prove just about impossible to extricate.
If you are wondering how to dig out a palm tree stump, you'll need to start by slicing around the base to try and cut off any surface roots. Once you get further down, you might be able to lever the stump out of the ground with the shovel or with a crowbar.
Rotting the Stump With Chemicals
One common palm tree stump removal method is rotting the palm tree stump using chemicals. Not to be confused with palm tree stump killer, palm tree stump rotting aids generally contain some form of nitrogen.
Because wood requires nitrogen during its composition process, providing it with more of this nutrient can speed things up. To help the process along further, you can also drill holes into the palm tree stump. Once that is done, apply the rotting aid and wait.
If you have some nitrogen-based fertilizer on hand, you can also use this in place of commercial rotting aids.
If you do have a palm stump that needs to be killed off with a palm stump killer, such as a yucca palm—you can also find products on the market that do both of these jobs in one go.
That said, there are a few disadvantages to these routes. First off, if you choose a rotting aid that is also a stump killer, then it will most likely be toxic, and thereby harmful to you, your garden, and the environment in general.
Simple rotting aids that contain mostly potassium nitrate are less toxic. In fact, they are not harmful to your garden or groundwater. However, they are toxic to humans and you will need to wear protective gear during application and ensure that pets and children cannot get to the stump afterward.
The other drawback of palm tree stump removal via rotting methods is they aren't instant. If you need your stump gone within a few days or weeks, this isn't going to happen via rotting methods.
Instead, you will need to wait for a number of months before the stump has rotted. At this point, you can then remove the decomposed debris, dispose of this in your compost or in a garden bed, and level out the area.
Rotting the Stump Naturally
Do you like the idea of rotting your stump away, but want to go the natural route? If so, you can still organically speed things up by covering the palm stump with a natural source of nitrogen. The nitrogen will then naturally speed along the wood decay process in your stump.
Some nitrogen-rich materials include chicken manure, other manures, coffee grounds, bone meal, and grass clippings.
To apply these natural sources of nitrogen to your palm stump, simply cover the stump in a layer of one or more of these materials. After several months check to see how the decomposition is going. If the stump is nicely rotted down, then you can remove the rotted wood and level out the area.
Take note that this route won't be as fast as using stump rotting chemicals. However, what's easier than covering a stump in a layer of grass clippings if you aren't in a rush?
Of course, if you are in a rush, this method is not going to solve your problem, so keep reading.
Burning the Stump
Another possible method that people have used in the past to remove stubborn stumps is burning them. While we don't really recommend this method, we'll quickly outline it so that you can understand the process.
To start burning a palm tree stump, you'll need to begin with a good supply of gasoline. The gasoline is then poured over the stump so that it soaks as deeply as possible into the wood.
After that, it's a matter of setting it alight.
However, the process doesn't end there. To prevent accidents, you'll need to keep a constant eye on your burning stump. It might smolder away for hours before the base is burnt into the ground. During this time you need to make 100% sure that the burning stump does not start a fire or get out of control.
Depending on the conditions, burning a stump can be dangerous. What's more, it also creates a lot of smoke and ash, and could even violate your homeowners' agreement.
What's more, burning yard waste is bad in general. It creates unnecessary carbon emissions where garden waste could instead be left to compost.
Covering the Stump Up
Palm tree stump removal can be quite a procedure, as you can see. However, in many cases, there's no way around it. If you need to lay paving in the area, for instance, any stumps will have to go.
However, if the stump isn't going to interfere with paving or landscaping it might not be necessary to remove it completely. Instead, you could consider covering it up.
One way to do this is with soil and landscaping ideas. If the stump is located in a garden bed, you can choose to order a load of topsoil and make a planted mound over the stump.
Another way you can cover up an old stump is by building a rockery over it.
If you aren't in a big rush to cover up the palm tree stump—but want it disguised at some point, you can also plant a selection of small shrubs and bushes around it. As these grow up they will shield the stump from view.
Using a Stump Grinder
If you want a palm tree stump gone, and gone quick, one of the most effective methods is to use a stump grinder.
Stump grinders, as their name suggests, are designed to grind down stumps to soil level. Besides getting rid of the sticking out stump, they also stop certain types of trees from resprouting.
Depending on where you live, you will likely be able to hire a stump grinder from a tool hire outlet. To get it to your property you'll need a truck, and a person on the other side to help you lift it off the back.
Once the stump grinder is set up and ready to go, you then have to run it backward and forwards over the stump.
Take note: if your palm tree stump was not cut close to the ground, then you will need to recut it lower down. Stump grinders can only be run over stumps of a certain height. Anything taller will need to be trimmed.
In most cases, the easiest way to trim an existing palm stump is by using a chainsaw and cutting as close as possible to the base.
Hiring Heavy Machinery
In some cases, methods like stump grinding and rotting might not be good enough. Depending on what you are going to do with the area, you might be needing to remove the palm tree stump out of the ground completely.
If this is the case, and you have a big stump, heavy machinery might be the only alternative. As mentioned above, you can try digging out the stump, but this will only work for very small ones. Anything bigger than a young palm will need to be dug out with something a lot more heavy-duty than a spade.
Backhoes and diggers are usually the machines for the job. With that much weight and power, you'll be guaranteed that your stump comes out.
Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to this method. While you will get your stump out, heavy machinery is quite costly to hire, especially if it is just for a single stump. In some cases, you might have to pay for the fuel and time of the driver to transport the machine to your property. These costs, along with the hourly rate of having the machine on-site, can add up.
Additionally, heavy machinery can also make a mess of your yard. Depending on the layout of your garden, the machine you hire might have to drive through beds and lawn areas. Here they can churn up the soil, destroy plants, and ruin your lawn. What's more, they can also break pavers, compact the soil, and dirty your driveway.
Lastly, if you hire machinery to pull out your palm tree stump, the operator is not responsible for disposing of the stump. Which means you will still have to think of a way to dispose of it.
Calling in the Professionals
Depending on the size, removing a stump can be quite a hassle. If you want to remove a stump as quickly and easily as possible, the best solution is to call in a professional tree removal service.
Good tree removal services are kitted with everything they need to take down trees and remove any leftover stumps, from palm or otherwise. What's more, they will also take responsibility for disposing of the stump and any other waste.
Because they have the right equipment and are geared for the job, a tree removal service can make fast and efficient work out of removing a stump.
If you go with a professional company they also won't make a mess of your property. Additionally, well-run tree removal companies are also insured. This means that if any accidents happen, or damage to your property occurs while the tree stump is being taken out, you won't be the one responsible.
Lastly, when you hire a tree service for palm tree stump removal, you won't have to lift a finger. If you are wondering how to prepare for a tree removal service to remove stumps, basically, all you have to do is make sure there's space for the vehicles to park.
It doesn't get easier than that when it comes to removing stumps.
Do You Need That Palm Tree Stump Out? We Can Help
Removing a palm tree stump can be a lot harder than one would think. While palms don't typically have very invasive root systems, their root balls are hard to extricate from the ground. If you think about it, palms have to anchor themselves to withstand some of the heaviest winds, so it makes sense that their roots are hard to get out.
Fortunately, if you don't have the time or the energy to try and get a palm stump out by yourself, you don't have to. Here at Green Tops, we specialize in all aspects of tree removal, including fast and effective palm tree stump removal.
Wanna get that stump out pronto, with zero hassle? Contact us today!