Clearing stumps?

   #1  

Einthewoods

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What methods do ya'll use for removing stumps with your tractors if you don't have a backhoe?
 
   #2  

Code54

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A lot depends on the size of the stumps and the size of your tractor. Stump bucket or tree puller are both common methods.
 
   #3  

RNeumann

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If it’s lots of stumps and or large stumps renting or hiring a mini ex is probably the best bet. If they are small and the soil is soft the SSQA items mentioned above will work. Those items are about $1000 though.......now you see why paying for a rental $300/day or hiring a mini ex at say $100/hr starts to make sense for some.
 
   #4  

4570Man

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A stump bucket or puller are both options. I’m guessing a puller isn’t up to the task or you’d have already used a chain. How big of a project are you up against? A tractor is a relatively poor choice for stump removal.
 
   #5  

BrokenTrack

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The bigger the stump, and the smaller the equipment, the further a person has to start away from the stump in order to get it out. As others have said, a person really needs something small to get in between the root mass to start getting to the stump, so a wide front end loader bucket is hard to work in there. It can do the job, but is also hard on the machine.

Another thing to think about is your enemy the stump itself. A stump is not in the ground like a lot of people think though. A person has to look at it like water on a piece of glass, it is that "suction" that has to be broken in order for the stump to come out. Far more than roots holding it to the earth: it is a root ball after all. Once a person gets under that root ball and starts to pick up, that suction breaks and out comes the stump. Trying to push it out, or drag it out takes a lot of power and traction; it is a combination of lifting the stump up and out that works best. I can only go by my experience here in Maine, but Ash and White Pine are the hardest stumps to remove, while hemlock, spruce and oak are really easy.

As a land clearing contractor by accident, I disagree with renting a mini-excavator though. The cost per day for the production is just not worth it in my opinion; rent a big excavator because it takes sheer weight to get stumps out efficiently. I would never go under a 34,000 pound machine, but honestly, a 80,000 pound class excavator is even better. The cost savings is because of time. While it might take 10 minutes to remove a stump with a 10,000 pound mini excavator at $300 per day, an 80,000 pound excavator will take 30 seconds to do the same thing and cost you $1000 a day. Yes it is 3 times as much in rental cost, but production will be 20 times more! And with an average of 300 stumps per acre (here in Maine anyway), that quickly adds up.

My preferred method, the fastest method, is using a bulldozer to remove stumps, but a lot of rental companies do not allow stump pushing with a dozer as it is hard on the undercarriage, so check first. But it allows the stump to be removed, pushed to the edge of the clearing, and the soil regraded which the excavator cannot do. An excavator/bulldozer combination is best, BUT also means double rental cost, and double transportation cost. Like excavators, bigger is better in land clearing; John Deere 850 or D-8 class here.

I always figure on about 2-3 acres of stump clearing per day for an 8 hour day. A person cannot take the pounding much more than that!
 
   #6  

oosik

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I've got a big tractor - Kubota M6040 - and big - up to 38" on the butt - stumps. Its never been my plan to physically remove the stumps. They are located all over my 80 acres from logging operations some 15 years ago. Those from firewood processing - some 25 to 30 years ago - have all rotted away.

The stumps bother nobody or nothing. However, I have bored multiple holes in many to encourage rapid rotting. Unfortunately, after some ten years the bored ones and those left alone seem to have disintegrated at about the same rate. Oh, well - it was worth the try.

Actually - the coyotes attempts to reach pocket gophers by digging around and under these dead stumps has done more to encourage their decomposition than my hole boring efforts. But alas, I don't control that action.
 
   #7  

oldballs

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How come no one has mentioned the Stump Grinder? I suppose that a major excavation of side roots and all is more through, but removing the main stump and immediate side roots down to about 6-8 inches would suffice for many of us. I guess that the "needs" vary among us.

Good Morning All,
Mike
 
   #8  

2ndhalf

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Used oil and scrap wood .... burn them out. Works but you have to be patient and like to play with fire; which I do.
 
   #9  

2ndhalf

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How come no one has mentioned the Stump Grinder? I suppose that a major excavation of side roots and all is more through, but removing the main stump and immediate side roots down to about 6-8 inches would suffice for many of us. I guess that the "needs" vary among us.

Good Morning All,
Mike

I guess we all assumed that was too obvious and that he was trying to do it with what he had at his house. But you're right no better way to get rid of a stump except for maybe a backhoe.
 
  
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#10  
OP
Einthewoods

Einthewoods

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Thanks all for the replies.

The question stems from that I have about a dozen ironwood stumps to remove where I want to add on to my pole barn for a rabbit building. The biggest stump is about 8 inches in diameter.

I think come spring I will give them a push or pull with the tractor. If I see that they aren't going to budge than maybe I will try to find a deal on a stump bucket as I suspect even if it doesn't work I could have some other uses for one. All else fails, I will go rent a mini-ex.

Thanks again for the replies

E
 
 
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