I have a poplar tree with a metal rod in it (for support when it was a
small tree). I cut it down, the stump is 7 feet tall. How can I cut
the rest of it down, with the metal in it. The diameter would probably
be 3 feet. Thank you. (Can't burn it; live in a city. ) Please
contact me if you have some creative ideas.
You don't, not with a chainsaw.
Break out a pointed shovel and pickaxe. Start digging around the
circumference of the tree about a foot away from the trunk. Some use of
hands during the digging process will be required. Cut the roots out with a
sharp axe after exposed. You may use a chainsaw here if you don't dig up
the soil with it. Drape the trunk circumference out about 6' with plastic
to keep it from getting moisture. Leave the trunk/stump exposed to the
weather. The following winter season, put a few 3/4" eye bolts in the stump
about a foot below the top. Use a chain for a guide where to put the bolts.
Bolt a sufficiently sized chain to the eye bolts. Tie off to a 2 ton or
larger 4 wheel drive pickup loaded down with material for traction. Ease it
out in increments, don't rush it. If using a vehicle is not feasible, use a
come-along tied off to large tree. Beware of whiplash. Onlookers beware as
Other than making a planter (dangerous chain saw work) you could drill some
holes and place N fertilizer in the holes. Add some water. The N
fertilizer will stimulate the decay fungi and speed up the breakdown
process. We do have stump grinders now. I guess you just would have to be
careful not to hit the rod with the stump grinder.
The N fertilizer has a bad side and that is that it can pollute ground
The planter idea is great. We call it ecoart.
Here is what I did with an old oak log. Thank goodness it was already hollow
so it was easy to do. They are also called "nurselogs" when you use a
decaying tree as a planter.
Somewhere I have a picture of another upright popular tree that lightning
hit and had to be cut. It was hollow inside too and that was years ago,
still using with ferns and dusty miller every summer. If I can locate the
picture I will send it also. It has a large main trunk with a split limb
side. I stuck plants where there was an opening. It retains water very well
and have received many compliments on it. Whatever you decide to do with
yours just use your imagination and make it fun. Good luck!
Can you send me some pictures? I will give you credit when I use the
pictures. make the file names to include your name.
Also Dr. Shigo coined the term ecoart nurse log. The thing was ecology and
Your picture is great!
here are some of my ecoart pictures.
look up "ecoart".
Poplar is one of the largest deciduous tree in N. America but still, a
poplar with a 3' diameter trunk is mighty impressive... how did you
manage to cut it seven feet in the air... that would be a far more
difficult feat. I'm assuming you made an educated guess that the
supporting rod wouldn't be much taller, I doubt you have x-ray
vision. I figure with your extrordinary mechanical aptitude thinking
of a hacksaw would be a piece of cake... I mean like how would you cut
a metal rod were it not inside a tree?
Just pick a height and hack away enough wood to reach the rod
(naturally choose the shortest route to the rod, I can't imagine it's
dead center). Make two hacksaw cuts and remove the short length of
rod... chainsaw through the rest of the wood. Now you'll have a stump
perhaps a foot above ground. Poplar decays rather quickly. If it's a
piece of rebar it will have signicant ridges. After about two years
the wood should have decayed enough to yank out the rod... all you
need is a loop of chain (a loop of tire chain will work fine) a long
crow bar and a length of iron pipe to use as a lever. I know this
will work because I've done it, jacked out 12' of rebar that was used
as a ground for an electric fence, an old Norway spruce had partially
grown around it... the earth held it much more firmly than the old
tree. I still wonder how that farmer pounded a 1/2" diameter rod at
least ten feet into the ground.
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