We are still clearing the future orchard. Even though we had significant help from the bull dozer there is still a field of stumps. Stumps are expensive to have removed with heavy equipment because each stump needs to be dug out of the ground with a backhoe. Since we already paid for the bull dozing we decided it was in our best financial interest to remove the stumps ourselves.
Stump town is beautiful but stumps don’t really lend themselves to a lawn mower. There are about 20 or so old growth stumps in this approximately 2 acre field. We would like to plant fruit trees in this field and underplant them with grass. I have already seeded this field with grass seed and some of it is sprouting. In order to mow the grass the stumps have to go.
Since the stumps are old growth many of them are 3 feet in diameter! Obviously we can not dig them up due to their size, so our best bet is to get them cut off at ground level and dump a scoop of dirt on top, plant grass and call it good. Cutting them at ground level would require a really big chainsaw, bigger than our current chainsaw. So we got creative.
My first thought was to burn the stumps to ground level. This is much more difficult than it sounds. My first attempts were met with mixed results. I tried the teepee method where I piled up branches around the stump and lit the whole mess on fire. This basically just produced a charred stump. Not a particularly effective method.
Here is the husband pouring water on the stump. The fire actually caught a root on fire that was under the ground.
The next sump I tried to burn I decided to drill holes in first and fill them with used motor oil as a fire accelerant.
I used a drill and a wood boring bit to create the holes. BTW this stump is HUGE! I piled on some match light charcoal briquettes that were on sale to really get things going. My goal for this stump is to burn a hole down the center of it and use my tractor to bash in the sides so it kind of collapses in on itself. If I was able to keep the fire hot enough for long enough I believe this would be a good method. Unfortunately, a steady rain popped up and eventually put the fire out.
More stump removal to come in Stump Town part 3