Covering a tree stump?

I'm a novice gardener and have just started working on my garden and have found a big tree stump in a large flower bed area that I was intending to dig over and cover with decorative stones (as I would like a low maintainence garden!). The stump is about a foot higher than the soil level and I can't afford to have a professional remove it. I'm also reluctant to dig it out as I understand this is a very hard (and sometimes long) job. So, what are the other options? Can I chop it down a bit more (to soil level) and then cover the whole area (and it) with stones or will this cause problems later on? Is it also necessary to try to remove all the roots from the ground before covering - will they also cause problems later on?
I have two other trees on the other side in a flower bed area that are cut down to about 4 ft (so I'm hoping to also be able to cut them down to ground level and cover them as well). Any advice welcome.
--
Poppy27


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Cutting the main roots and removing the stump is less work than chopping or cutting a foot off the top of the stump. Especially if the stump is years old. Roots will be at least partly rotted. For this job I like a pickaxe or a Pulaski. Get one and get it sharpened.
An alternative is to lay simply stone around the stump and put something decorative on top of it. Pot with a hanging plant? Birdbath? Stone garden lantern?
    Una
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Sort of dangerous as the natural split does not dry to visibility. Mauls are meant for cut wood. And Ax may afford more control but the best would be to chain saw low. Premium decision would be forget about it or hill up with soil if you must.
--
Bill Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA


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Poppy27 wrote:

Without knowing the diameter or your stumps and what kind of wood all anyone can offer is wild speculation. It would also help to know where you are and how accessible your stumps... where I live so long as the stumps are easily accessible I can have someone grind say a 24" hardwood to below grade for like $100... and like $75 or less for any additional. In most cases it doesn't pay to dig out a stump yourself... of course if you have a few husky pals with big tools and can afford burgers and bruskies. . .
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The best suggestion so far is to use it as base for a decorative element, like a handsome pot with a suitable plant.
I posted recently about the same problem with a pair of approx 8" diameter stumps right in front of the house. I also have $$ constraints and no buddy-burger-brewski resources.
My gardener is going to try to get it out by digging around. He instructed me to water for a few minutes every day. Let's see what he says come Friday.
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