Learn How to Remove a Pine Tree Stump and Roots

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May 3, 2019
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Learn How to Remove a Pine Tree Stump and Roots

Pine trees are beautiful trees, but they aren’t the same as other trees in a wide variety of ways. For starters, their roots grow outward from their base underneath the soil and grow in a multitude of directions, instead of just down and deep into the ground. This means that when you’re wondering how to remove a pine tree stump and roots, we have good news: the process is simpler than with most other types of trees.

Tools

Before you begin removing a pine tree stump and roots, though, you must make sure you have the proper equipment handy in order to do the job right. In order to carry out the task, you will need a combination of the following: shovel, a root saw, a hand shovel, a pitchfork, a chainsaw, a backhoe, and a stump grinder.

Why Not Use Herbicide?

Keep in mind that when considering how to remove a pine tree stump and roots, while using herbicidal chemicals can be tempting because it seems simple on the surface, it’s not a good idea. In reality, herbicides don’t actually make it any easier to remove the pine tree’s stump and roots.

At the same time, it could cause an environmental hazard, not only for the rest of the yard, but also for anywhere rainwater may take the chemicals, courtesy of local irrigation systems. You are actually much better off using a stump grinder or other equipment to carry out this task because the machinery is easy to operate, highly effective, and relatively inexpensive to rent from most home improvement stores.

Safety

 

It would also be wise to proceed with extreme caution when working on pine tree stump and root removal. As previously stated, this is a job that will entail the use of a vast array of dangerous tools, such as saws, pitchforks, and other heavy machinery, that can cause numerous serious injuries or even death.

First, you are going to need eye goggles to avoid pieces of tree getting into your eyes and ear protection to avoid permanent hearing loss from the incredibly loud sounds of the tools being used. Long sleeves, pants, and sturdy shoes or boots are also essential. And don’t forget a pair of good-quality work gloves.

Even more importantly, if you aren’t comfortable using pieces of equipment such as stump grinders and backhoes, you should not attempt to operate them. There is no shame in calling a licensed operator who is trained to carry out these tasks if you are even the slightest bit unsure about doing it yourself. It’s always better to be extra careful and defer to somebody better equipped and more experienced to handle the problem, such as the technicians at Vernon Imel Tree Service, rather than risk potentially hurting yourself.

Process

As for the actual process of removing a pine tree stump and roots, there are several ways to actually complete the job:

1. Grind It

This is especially useful if the pine tree stump is too big to merely remove by hand. You can remove the debris and rocks from the soil surrounding the stump with a shovel and then use a chainsaw to cut the stump as close to the ground as possible.

Once you have done that, you can use a stump grinder by positioning it with its blades directly above the stump and cut the stump down up to four inches or so. Keep repeating this process with the stump grinder until the stump is more or less nothing but mulch and then remove the pine tree’s shallow root extensions with a hand shovel and a root saw.

2. Soil Removal

You can use a shovel to rid the base of a pine tree of the soil around the stump. You’ll eventually want to switch to a hand shovel, but only after you’ve cleared the bulk of the soil and removed it from around and between the main roots so that they become easy to access and clearly visible.

As the roots stick outward from the stump, a root saw should be used to cut each root. After you make completely sure the stump has been separated from its roots, use a shovel or pitchfork to pull the pine tree stump out of the ground.

Once the stump has been pulled out, use a shovel to expose the roots, then pull the roots out of the ground, and cut them into reasonably sized pieces using a root saw.

3. Pull the stump out of the ground

You may have several pine trees come down in an area that you need to clear. In this case, you’ll definitely need heavy machinery if you would like to get this done in a sensible amount of time.
Backhoes and small front-end loaders are very handy tools here, since they have sharp steel teeth that stick out and payload buckets as well. The steel teeth are useful because they can be driven right into the stump of each pine tree, or even just below the stump, and then hydraulically raised to free the stump from the soil.

The power of the machine is such that it will completely rip the pine tree’s shallow root system and its stump out of the ground, leaving nothing but a big, wide-open hole in its place. From there, you can use a chainsaw to cut up the roots and the stump of the pine tree, or even bury them somewhere so they can decompose into the soil and be out of the picture entirely.

Whichever option you choose will free the roots and stump, while ensuring those parts won’t affect neighboring trees or the rest of the surrounding area in the yard.