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Weed 'em and reap
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really wish I had my digital camera out here with me right now, because this is a sight of rare beauty. I had an oak tree about 24" DBH, and I cut it down about a year ago, intending to burn the stump out later that same week. So I dug out a bit around the roots. I then never got around to it, and, it being a forest fire hazard, was unable to do it in the fall and winter. Then I never got to it this spring.

But today, conditions were perfect. It rained last night, the ground is moist, the air is humid, and my wife piled fresh dead weeds into the pit yesterday. The weeds allowed air underneath the fire as it started, preventing it from smoking. I added all sorts of wood to the pile over the next two hours. It is now 6' in diameter, and the flames are so efficient that there is little but that hazy, wavy vapor. Like when a NASCAR racer catches fire. It's silent, invisible, and HOT. And it's staying in the pit. In two more hours, it will be burned away. WOO-HOO! :D:
 

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Coincidence helped you in this situation. Had you tied to burn it last year, with the stump still green, you probably would not have had good luck. They need a year or so to dry out. When I burn out hedge apple trees, (bod-ark), they will actually burn the roots up under the ground leaving a large hole with tunnels. It goes into a sort of charcoal mode and just keeps burning.
 

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Weed 'em and reap
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Coincidence helped you in this situation. Had you tied to burn it last year, with the stump still green, you probably would not have had good luck. They need a year or so to dry out. When I burn out hedge apple trees, (bod-ark), they will actually burn the roots up under the ground leaving a large hole with tunnels. It goes into a sort of charcoal mode and just keeps burning.
No amount of moisture stops a fire like this one from burning a stump. It's not so much that I'm burning the stump, but that I'm burning a bally great pile of wood on top of a stump. The stump is just collateral damage. :D:
 

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Patient Zero of WWZ
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they will actually burn the roots up under the ground leaving a large hole with tunnels. It goes into a sort of charcoal mode and just keeps burning.
Careful with that. Those roots can travel a surprising distance under ground your smoldering fire can pop up else where and start a wild fire.

Safest way to get rid of a stump is cut it as close as you can to the ground. Dig around it to allow uncover as much as you can.

Cover it with fresh green organic matter like fresh cow manure or green grass clippings. Pour a cup or two of live culture yogurt on that, then cover with lots of dry leaves and a tarp.

Check under the tarp occasionally to make sure it stays wet.

Best to start with a green stump.

May take a year or two but mother nature will eat it for you.
 

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Burn baby burn! Did you get out some hot dogs for the event? Waiting for a stump to decay below grade is a long long wait...

I prefer to take the whole tree at once. I dig a couple of sides out with my backhoe and shove them over, stump and all.

And,yes, I know, people get hurt...blah blah blah... People also get hurt carrying 50lb bags of beans into their homes...
 

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Crusty, Crunchy and Cute
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Old tired and retired so I have more time than money. I had one large stump from a Maple tree and several smaller oak tree stumps. I waited a few years while occasionally drilling a hole in the stumps and tossing some junk in them to help them rot.

I finally got a little brush fire going over each stump and let them smolder. The oaks were gone in a week, the big Maple was gone in a couple of days but the roots underground smouldered for nearly a month. It was hilarious because it was an old tree and it must have had one heck of a root system. When it finally stopped smoking I had little grooves all over the yard where the dirt collapsed in on the burnt out roots. There was a picture of my house from the 1890's, that Maple tree was in it and it was a big tree then.
 

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Commonsensehomestead
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571 Posts
I have a really easy way to get rid of a stump. I had a large elm that I cut down a few years ago when I lived in town. I could not just openly burn the stump out. I was young and broke and could not afford to have it ground. After I would use the charcoal grill I would dump the coals on top of the stump. It worked amazingly. The first time it pretty much burned out a hollow in it 5 or 6 inches below ground level. Then the next couple of times I put it on the edges and it did the trick.
 

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stumps

Coincidence helped you in this situation. Had you tied to burn it last year, with the stump still green, you probably would not have had good luck. They need a year or so to dry out. When I burn out hedge apple trees, (bod-ark), they will actually burn the roots up under the ground leaving a large hole with tunnels. It goes into a sort of charcoal mode and just keeps burning.
have had very good luck letting Oak stumps season a year or two then burning. I like getting those roots burnt back under the ground, saves a lot of misery if I should ever want to till that area.
 

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If you have access to salt peter, you can drill holes in the stump and pour in a slurry. It will soak all the way into the roots and 6 months to a year later, when you light it off, it will burn all the way down and even burn the roots under ground.
Kerosene works as well if you don't have salt peter.
 

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Crusty, Crunchy and Cute
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What if the smoldering roots come in contact with the pipe running from the house to the septic tank, underground gas line, phone line, etc.?
This was in Mineral Point Wisconsin, the tree and roots were on the south side of house. Gas and sewer were on north east side of the house, phone and electric were overhead. The following year after the stump burning I had electric run underground to the house and it was on the south west side. No more trees planted in that yard, only flowers.

Now I live in the country and that is where I did all my oak stump burning. They were in what used to be a pasture but is now my front yard. All the stumps were at least 75' from the house to the west. My utility lines and septic are all on the east side of the house and the only thing planted there is prairie grass. Two things I am paranoid about is fire and floods. If it wasn't safe I wouldn't have done it. Where the oak stumps were I have planted Firs and Spruces for a windbreak. No tree is closer to the house than 75' except for 2 butternut trees at 50'. I have had to go up on roofs and use a chainsaw to cut away trees that have landed on the roof's and damaged them so while I am not paranoid I do my best to avoid that from happening to me.

Most of my stumps just get a little hollow carved in them. Then I fill them with potting soil and plant tough perennial flowers. I let them do the work.
 

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cut both ends out of a barrel. drill holes in the side of the stump, about 4" deep. set barrel ontop of stump. throw in some dried leaves and small branches. get fire going. add some larger pieces of wood. once you get a roaring fire going the barrel will draw from the bottom and make more heat that stays on the stump. you can cut down the time it takes to burn a stump by half. you still need to let the stump season for a year for this to work. but i had to burn alot of stumps on my place the first few years and the stumps that i used the barrel on were gone in one day. the the others you usually had to come back a 2nd or 3rd time.
 

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Fire Fighter
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I use a 10 ft pipe hooked to a leaf blower and lay a section of tin over the stump. It burns like a blast oven, white hot and goes away real fast. Just don't watch it cause the infer-red rays with trash your eyes and skin for a while. Mark
 

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LEGAL citizen
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Well, someone tell me the darn trick to burning out an old cedar stump. I've built a bonfire around this one and all it did was char the outside. I would die of a heart attack if I went after it with an axe and the store bought chemicals that rot the stump did nothing. It's almost like all the sap dried up like epoxy... it's crazy.
 

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Well, someone tell me the darn trick to burning out an old cedar stump. I've built a bonfire around this one and all it did was char the outside. I would die of a heart attack if I went after it with an axe and the store bought chemicals that rot the stump did nothing. It's almost like all the sap dried up like epoxy... it's crazy.
Well, here could be the "darn trick": this product.
http://www.melrosechem.com/english/data_eng/mo1275.pdf

I have no idea if it does any good. Tell me: would you go out, buy it, and report back?
 
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