A Guide To Chemical Stump Removals

Grinding a stump can be a lot of work and can require that you rent relatively expensive equipment. If you do not want to spend the time and money on mechanically removing the stump in your yard, another option is to use chemicals to slowly destroy the stump to remove the eyesore from your property.

How Potassium Nitrate Works

Chemicals work by accelerating the process in which stumps decompose. They use potassium nitrate, which allows for the formation of bacterial growth that allows for the stump to decay more quickly. This allows the stump to be removed more easily.

Applying Potassium Nitrate

The chemical is applied by drilling holes into the stump. The chemical compound is mixed with water. The drill bit needs to have a large diameter so that it can fit a large quantity of the chemical.

Removing The Stump After It Has Decomposed

The chemical is not meant to destroy the stump on its own. Rather, the chemical transforms the stump into a form that is then easier to remove using an ax. The stump can be broken up and the individual pieces can be removed by hand.

Using The Chemicals Safely

Since the chemical can lead to the growth of bacteria, it is important to keep children and pets away from the stump while the chemicals are doing their job. The decay can still take a couple of weeks to bring the stump to a state where it is easy to remove.

Alternatives To Potassium Nitrate

Besides potassium nitrate, there are also alkalis and sulfiting agents. These break down the lining in the wood, which thins the walls and makes the stump easier to remove. However, the process can still take a long time, especially if the stump is still alive. You can speed up the process, however, by chipping away at the dead portions of the stump and applying more of the chemical to the living portions. Also, you need to make sure that all new growth that is sprouting from the stump is removed beforehand.

The Best Alternative To Chemical Stump Removal

While chemicals are easier to use, they are not the fastest method. If you want a stump removed sooner, it is more efficient to use a stump grinder. If you would not like to use the grinder yourself, it is best to hire a stump removal company like Buskirk Tree Service that can do the job for you.  


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