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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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
 

oldballs

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The quickest and cheapest way to rid yourself of just a dozen <8 inch stumps might be a chain saw, some older chains, a mattock and a round point shovel. You might be surprised at how fast, easy and cheap that would be. I've done it on much larger stumps....:2cents: 034.JPG032.JPG038.JPG040.JPG

Cheers,
Mike
 

buckbros

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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.
He was asking about what he had on-hand but I will add to the thought about the stump grinder. I rented one years ago & it worked great. I then bought one that attaches to my old L Model Gravely that works great. It does give you a pretty good workout & I wouldn't want to use it all day long
 

Slowpoke Slim

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The quickest and cheapest way to rid yourself of just a dozen <8 inch stumps might be a chain saw, some older chains, a mattock and a round point shovel. You might be surprised at how fast, easy and cheap that would be. I've done it on much larger stumps....:2cents:View attachment 536719View attachment 536720View attachment 536721View attachment 536722

Cheers,
Mike

That's like suggesting someone use a wheelbarrow to move dirt!

*shudders*

Not the advice of a friend there (at least on TBN anyway).

:laughing:
 

LD48750

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I was going to suggest a sub-soiler for smaller stumps but, I don't think your tractor is big enough to pull 8" stumps with it.
 

11B2620

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I bought a small backhoe. If you know how to work it, I am taking out at least 1 tree stump a day. I have removed 60 stumps in just over a year. Cleared almost 1 full acre. These are 130ft tall red oak mostly. Its only a b2620 with the bh65 backhoe.
 

Larry Caldwell

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Drill 3 or 4 1" holes down from the top and fill them with nitrate fertilizer. When they dry out this summer, pile some slash on top and burn them. The stump and the roots will burn very cleanly. I have had trees with shallow roots burn 10' from the stump with this technique.
 

mike69440

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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

Because stump grinding is for city folks, small jobs, way to slow and expesive compared to using heavy equipment, leaves sink holes, and NH soul simply eats stump grinders
 

mike69440

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I bought a small backhoe. If you know how to work it, I am taking out at least 1 tree stump a day. I have removed 60 stumps in just over a year. Cleared almost 1 full acre. These are 130ft tall red oak mostly. Its only a b2620 with the bh65 backhoe.

Sure is nice to have time on your hands.
 

2ndhalf

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The quickest and cheapest way to rid yourself of just a dozen <8 inch stumps might be a chain saw, some older chains, a mattock and a round point shovel. You might be surprised at how fast, easy and cheap that would be. I've done it on much larger stumps....:2cents:View attachment 536719View attachment 536720View attachment 536721View attachment 536722

Cheers,
Mike

yep this works well. in fact you can use your tractor loader bucket to get a lot of the dirt from around the stump and then just use the shovel to cleanup what it left. It really isn't that hard.
 

Code54

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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

With that few, and fairly small, a mini-ex will take care of it rather quickly and easily. Also plan out other projects were a mini would be handy and you can get a TON done in a 1 day rental. Around here it costs between $200-250 for a mini for the day and for the wear and tear you save on your tractor it well maybe worth it.
 

mike69440

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5100 is soft soil with stumps not all buggered together should have enough beans to take 8" trees out with stump bucket. Stump bucket is handy to own for small stuff and brush

Otherwise get the Mini Ex. I've had a 5" Tree stop my 18,000 lb excavator and I've popped 12" to 14" trees right out. Depends.
 

Code54

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Otherwise get the Mini Ex. I've had a 5" Tree stop my 18,000 lb excavator and I've popped 12" to 14" trees right out. Depends.

No truer statement could be made. Really weird how some big ones come right out and other little ones are a real challenge!
 

Larry Caldwell

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I try not to leave stumps. I push the tree over with my tractor. If I have room, I run the trunk around a couple of 360s to pop the whole thing out of the ground, otherwise I get as much loose as I can before I start cutting up the tree. Then the stumps get piled up and burned.
 

BrokenTrack

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Because stump grinding is for city folks, small jobs, way to slow and expesive compared to using heavy equipment, leaves sink holes, and NH soul simply eats stump grinders

Exactly, could not have said it better myself.

...

Too bad the orginal poster could not wait a bit of time, Ironwood rots incredibly fast.
 

Green Acres Homestead

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My old neighbour use to drill the stump and put salt in the holes. In 12 months they are fairly rotten and easier to take out whatever method you use. Having said this I bought a backhoe attachment for my Kubota L4740. Another thing you have to consider after removing the stump is how you are going to dispose of it. Here is a video I made up about the matter.
 

buckbros

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Because stump grinding is for city folks, small jobs, way to slow and expesive compared to using heavy equipment, leaves sink holes, and NH soul simply eats stump grinders
I have a couple of acres in the mountains, not in the city, that I use my old Gravely with the stump grinder attachment when I remove a tree. It would be nice to have a piece of equipment to do the job but unfortunately my budget does not allow me to do that.
 

Code54

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I have a couple of acres in the mountains, not in the city, that I use my old Gravely with the stump grinder attachment when I remove a tree. It would be nice to have a piece of equipment to do the job but unfortunately my budget does not allow me to do that.

We are way out in the country and we have the eqpt to dig out the stumps but I find a stump grinder very useful at times. We have stumps close to water lines, underground electric, one is in a flower garden. Sometimes digging them and ripping a big hole is more damaging then just grinding them off and cleaning up some chips.
 

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About 25 years ago I saw a Canadian study that compared various kinds of equipment and the best by far was the excavator--much more efficient and cost effective than the dozer. Also didn't mess up the site like the dozer.

Now about your stumps, if 8" is the biggest, just dig around them, use an ax on the roots you can get to until you can pull them out with your tractor. Buying equipment for stumps that small seems like a waste of money to me. I've removed stumps a little bigger than that; was a lot of work, but it did work.

Hire a stump grinder & you can get the job done efficiently--but they don't go out far from the stump, so you'll have smaller roots left around a few feet out from the stump. You get good mulch, though.

OTOH, if you are going to build a serious rabbit hutch, you'll need an excavator there to prepare the site anyway, so let the operator remove the stumps.
 

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We use a set of forks, sometimes put another set of tynes on to make 4, drive the forks in under the stump at the roots, pick up and dump as you drive forward and it will usually just pop the stump right out.
 

blackrams

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An excavator is an excellent tool for this. Dozers almost as effective. But, unless there's a reason to actually remove the stump, I'll cut it off as low to the ground as possible, drill holes with an auger bit and start putting used motor oil on it repeatedly just filling the holes for a year of so and then build a fire with other burnable product and set it ablaze. Rarely do I have to repeat the process with a second fire. It will leave a void that needs filling but, I usually just filled with manure from the farm animals. Of course, one must be aware of current environmental conditions before setting any fire.

If the stump is located where a foundation must go, it must be physically removed and it never hurts to compact the soil once that has been accomplished.
Rams
 
 
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