tree diseases and the symptoms to watch for

tree diseases and the symptoms to watch for

How Are Stumps Chemically Removed?

Wesley Perry

If you have an unsightly stump on your property that you want to get rid of, then you have several different removal methods that you should consider. One of the easiest and most painless methods involves chemical removal. Keep reading to learn what chemical stump removal is and how you can destroy your stump chemically.

What Is Chemical Stump Removal?

Chemical stump removers are powder products that contain potassium nitrate. Potassium nitrate is a salt that is found in fertilizers, gun powder, meat preservatives, and fireworks. The two main compounds in the salt are potassium and nitrogen, and the nitrogen is what helps to break down stumps. In particular the salt does not burn or degrade the stump, but it encourages the natural decomposition process.

Bacteria and fungi must grow and thrive on the stump. These microorganisms break down the cellulose in the wood and allow the stump to break apart. The microorganisms require nitrogen as they multiply. Specifically, the nutrient is needed for metabolic purposes. In other words, the more nitrogen that is present, the more microorganisms can develop, thrive, and multiply. 

There are several different sources of nitrogen that can be used to quicken the stump decomposition process. However, nitrogen itself is unstable and can cause a fire or explosion, especially when it is placed in direct contact with wood or another highly flammable material.

Potassium nitrate is flammable, but it is more stable than pure nitrogen and other nitrogen-based products. While this is true, you can use fertilizers to chemically remove your stump. If you decide to use fertilizer, then you should opt for one with a high nitrogen content. You also may need to apply the fertilizer several times as rain washes the fertilizer away. You also should keep open flames and hot objects away from the stump. 

How Do You Use the Stump Remover?

If you decide to use potassium nitrate to assist in the stump decomposition process, then you should know that the salt will work better if there is a larger surface area for the salt to make contact with. Increasing the surface area means encouraging decomposition across a larger area of the stump. To increase the surface area, make large holes through the stump. You can make the holes with a one-inch diameter drill bit. You want a bit that is 10 to 12 inches long. A twist bit in this length and diameter is a good choice.

Once you buy your bit, place it on your drill and create 10 or more holes vertically through the stump. You want the entire 10 to 12 inches of the bit to move through the wood as you work. After the holes are made, use your hose to fill all the holes with water and also drench the top of the stump. Cover the stump with a tarp and wait a day or two for the water to seep into the wood. Both moisture and oxygen are needed during the decomposition process so that microorganisms can do their job, so adding the water can certainly help the process a long a bit. 

After the water seeps in, fill each hole with potassium nitrate. You should cover the stump with your tarp once again. Fungi like dark spaces, so this can help fungal colonies develop. Remove the tarp from the stump every week or two and add water and potassium nitrate as needed. You should see signs of decomposition after a few weeks. Look for noticeable areas of rot and flaking wood. As wood rots away, you can and should add new holes to the stump to open up more areas to decomposition. 

If you want your stump removed as soon a possible or if you are uncomfortable about using chemicals, then speak with a stump removal company like Hudson & Sons Tree Service.


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tree diseases and the symptoms to watch for

Do you love the trees on your property? Are some of the trees looking as if they are not as healthy as they once were? Do the smaller trees get enough sun to grow tall? Sometimes, trees can develop diseases or become infested with insects that can cause them to die. If you catch these diseases and infestations early, you can oftentimes save the tree, or the surrounding trees. To learn what to look for on your trees, visit my website. There, you will find a long list of diseases and the symptoms to watch for to protect your trees from destruction.