Trees provide you with shade on a hot, sunny day and they add natural beauty to gardens and the landscape in general. Trees provide people with oxygen and they are essential to the life and health of the planet. Occasionally though, it is sometimes necessary to remove them.
There are many reasons why a tree may need to be felled but one thing that remains after the tree is cut down is the stump and roots. Is it ok to leave the stump in the ground and what happens to it if you do? Should it be removed, and if so, how do you go about doing this? You can read below why you and how you remove trees and whether it is necessary to remove the stump and how to do it if so.
Why would you need to remove a tree?
It is important to know how to look after and maintain your tree’s health but unfortunately, they can die and when that happens they need to be removed quickly. Dead trees are not pretty but more importantly, they can be dangerous. Branches can fall from dead trees causing injury or even death plus they can damage property such as cars or the home. Dead trees can carry disease which can spread to other plants and they also attract pests which can cause a nuisance.
A tree may become diseased before it dies or become damaged in a storm or accident and be unable to recover or be deemed to be a danger if unstable. Of course, sometimes you may just want to remove a tree because it is unwanted or in the way of a house extension or a new patio.
Is it bad to remove trees?
Trees provide shelter for wildlife and obviously, they make gardens look more appealing and are loved by most people. As you know, they provide oxygen but they also help to reduce flooding, carbon emissions, and air pollution too. Trees don’t just look beautiful they are a necessary part of the environment and the local habitat. But, sometimes they need to be removed. To offset a tree removal you can always consider planting saplings in other spots of the garden.
How do you remove a tree?
If you have a damaged tree or one that is encroaching onto your property then it may be time to remove it. It is feasible to cut down a tree by yourself but maybe it is best left to the experts. To remove a tree yourself you need to observe which way the tree is leaning so you can try to work out how the tree will fall. You will at this point want to work out your escape routes for when the tree falls.
The actual felling involves making an angled ‘undercut’ on the tree and then a ‘back cut’ on the opposite side and above the undercut. The tree will then fall and you should be heading straight for your escape route. After this is done successfully you will have to remove the branches and cut the tree into manageable pieces. You may choose to cut it up for firewood or dispose of the tree at a drop off point.
Felling trees takes care and planning and should not be done without some knowledge and expertise with a chainsaw. Professional tree surgeons can remove yours for you safely with no risk to your home or yourself.
Is it legal to remove a tree in your garden?
If you are in doubt about removing a tree on your land then you can contact your local council who will have a tree officer or someone who can advise. By large though it should be perfectly legal to remove your tree from your garden. The exceptions are when the tree has a Tree Preservation Order or TPO on it and when the tree is on a boundary.
If the tree is on a boundary line then it is jointly owned. If you decide to fell this tree without permission from the neighbour then you become liable and will have trespassed. Conversely, if a neighbour has a tree overhanging your land you are legally ok to cut back any branches you want without permission.
Should you remove the tree stump?
Now you have cut down your dead or unwanted tree and you are left with the stump. Tree stumps are pretty unsightly and most people wouldn’t want them dotting their gardens. It may also be that you have plans to create the perfect summer garden and the stump is simply in the way.
There are other reasons to want the stump removed and that is because it will start to slowly rot away. Once a stump decays it will become attractive to a host of creepy crawlies such as termites. The stump and its roots can also prevent you from planting replacement trees and generally get in the way of normal activities like kicking a ball around or mowing.
How can you remove a stump?
There are two ways you could rid yourself of that unsightly tree stump. One is completely removing it and the other is grinding. You would need a tree stump removal professional to advise you and to carry out these procedures and they both have pros and cons.
Which is the better option between removal and grinding?
How you decide may come down to the size of the stump and also what plans you have for your garden afterward. Removing a stump is far more intrusive than grinding as it means bringing up the whole stump and digging out all the roots. There are two other options, burning and chemical removal.
If you choose to burn your stump out you could end up with a mess and very unsatisfactory results. The stump may contain a lot of moisture which will not burn and you may need chemical accelerants and even then fail to remove the stump fully. The next option is to use a stump killer. However, this can also destroy the roots and shrubs of neighbouring trees and shrubs.
The manual way of tree stump removal will take a lot of time and effort. It requires special tools and winches and is labour intensive. You will be left with a gaping hole in the lawn but on the plus side, you can start completely from scratch.
Grinding on the other hand is far less laborious and maybe the best choice.
What is tree stump grinding?
A tree surgeon will use a special grinding tool to reduce your stump to wood chips. It is far quicker than stump removal and much more manageable. Stump grinders can remove all of the trunks and will leave a hole behind but one that is much more manageable than if the stump was removed.
The wood chips that are left behind can be used as mulch for plants in your garden and the roots will naturally, slowly, and safely decompose by themselves. It is possible to plant a new tree in the hole but most experts do not recommend this as the remaining roots will make it difficult to grow properly.
After cutting down your tree and removing it, you will be left with an eyesore of a stump. As you can see it is necessary to remove it but that doesn’t have to mean digging it all out. Stump grinding provides an alternative to the highly invasive removal procedure.