Talking About Crawlspace Repairs

The Tree Stump Situation: Four Reasons For Removal

by Clinton Stone

When you hire a professional tree care service to remove a tree, the workers will often cut down the tree in sections, beginning at the top, and working their way down to the bottom. However, it is usually not possible to cut the stump flush with the ground, so the workers will typically leave a 6- to 18-inch-high stump where the tree once stood.

Tree stump removal is generally regarded as a separate task, and the tree service will likely require additional fees for the stump's removal. Because homeowners feel like the primary danger – the hazardous tree – has been removed, many elect to leave the stump in place, rather than pay extra to have it removed.

However, this is a poor decision; tree stumps can become hazardous in a number of ways, and it is wise to have them removed at the same time as the tree. Consider the following risks of keeping tree stumps in your yard.

Tree Stumps Create Trip Hazards

Tree stumps can cause people to trip and fall, particularly when stumps occur in areas where children spend time playing. In addition to the remaining trunk, the attached roots can create trip hazards throughout the entire area. If left in place for a length of time, the roots connected to the stump will start to decay, which will create voids in the soil below. These voids will allow the surface to sink down while the roots stay up, creating additional trip hazards.

Tree Stumps Harbor Pests

Insects, rodents, snakes, frogs, spiders and lizards may all take up residence in tree stumps and their decaying root systems. Some of these species can inflict painful or dangerous bites or stings, so it is wise to remove the stump before pests can colonize it.   

Tree Stumps Often Harbor Pathogens

The very thing that led to the tree's demise may remain present inside the wood of the stump. If allowed to persist, fungi, bacteria and hazardous insects may spread to other nearby trees, forcing you to remove additional trees. In cases involving particularly virulent threats, it is often appropriate to have the entire stump burned to prevent the spread of harmful organisms.

Tree Stumps Are Eyesores

You spend a lot of time and money trying to keep your yard attractive and appealing – tree stumps sabotage these efforts and prevent your yard from looking its best. However, when you have stumps removed by a professional tree service, your yard will continue to look good.