Tree stump removal

I have recently had a *large* Conifer that was too close for comfort removed from the front of my house; trouble is, the stump remains.
What are my options for removing it?
The first, obvious, option that springs to mind is to attempt to dig it up, but given that it's around 12-14 inches in diameter, I fear that would be VERY difficult.
Any suggestions?
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I recently had three trees removed. The biggest (9 metres high) needed a stump grinder. Organised by the tree surgeon who did the cutting but from a separate company, this was a huge machine towed behind a Landrover. It had a swinging head to cut deep below ground. It was a serious piece of kit but even so took an hour and the bill for 100 plus VAT (grinding only) seemed fair.
The other two trees were smaller ones in the back garden where it wouldn't have been possible to get a grinder in. Two people spent a day digging them out. Cost including felling 280 plus VAT.
As you realise these things are seriously difficult to remove. Sounds like a grinder is what you need. May be possible to hire and DIY.
--
RRH

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Brian wrote:

Its easy with a mini digger, harder with a pickaxe, spade and shovel..
I had one such - leylandii - and I simply built a series of bonfires on it, removing the ash over and over. Whne it vanished below ground level I covered it over.

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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

If you decide to go for the bonfire method, drill a few large holes in the stump and fill them with parafin. Allow to soak in before seting fire to stump.
Nick Brooks
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Nick Brooks wrote:

Even better if you can get it is pitassium nitrate. Make sure you leave your Q'ran and burhkah behind when purchasing.

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Spouse has been removing the stumps of a very mature holly (extremely hard wood) and a 60 year old pear (beginning to rot deep down). He used a garden fork, a small torwl because I couldn't find a big one and a hand axe. It's taken him all afternoon but now I can plant my rhubarb :-)
The hens had a wonderful time ...
The roots will be kept and seasoned. the holly will be used to make things, the pear for firing my earth oven.
Mary
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On Fri, 2 Apr 2004 17:29:04 +0100, "Mary Fisher"

I have a large-ish plank of holly, which I bought about 25 years ago to make harpsichord bits from (tongues, jacks etc). I also have a plank of pear somewhere. Don't burn it! You could sell it for lots of munney! (I made the keyboard out of limewood.)
MM
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wrote:

things,
Hey ! I was only talking about the stump and roots. The trunks and larger branches are seasoning nicely. They'll be used to make things rather than sold, that way (if we cared about it) they'll bring more money.
If we don't use them our cabinet maker daughter will.
We value timber. But there's some which is no good even for turning and yet will burn to make wonderful bread and other dishes. We waste nowt. We never buy it if we can have home-grown! I think the only timber we've bought in the last few years has been box.
Mary

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You're right! It is one of the physically most demanding jobs I've had to do. But it is doable if you stick at it. I had a conifer in my back garden which was cracking the drive, so it had to come down. I cut all the branches off first, then lopped bits off from the top until I, too, was left with a largish stump with about two feet sticking up out of the ground.
An added problem was that the tree had grown on quite a slant early in its life, so that the stump didn't stick straight up. Tools I bought to remove the stump: 1 crowbar, 1 axe, 1 sledgehammer (but also used to remove cracked drive), 1 huge drill bit (see later), all in all about a hundred quid's worth I reckon.
Basically, you have to dig down and around the stump, cutting all roots as you come across them (some will be as thick as your arm). Keep going! My hole went down about 2 feet in the end. Keep on whacking the stump with the sledgehammer, while prising it from all sides with the crowbar.
It took me three days. I'll put some pics up later so that you can see.
MM
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< snip>
I took grubbed out the remains of an old hedge last year, most of which was easy enough (relatively speaking) There were one or two tougher bits, in particular an old Willow stump that had been felled a few years before, but was of course still happily regrowing. Probably about 15 inches in diameter.
It was hard work, but ok I don't think it would be in my 'very diffcult' box, but YMMV of course. To get it out but a few hours saw the back of it. Mostly I used the mattock (an essential tool for this sort of job, start a little way out from the stump and gradually work your way round and down cutting the roots as you come across them. Once you have got down far enough you can try to move the stump to and fro slightly and gradually work your way underneath a bit. A small hand axe and a small saw are also useful.
At some point you will get it loose enough to start to be able to lever it with a crowbar or stout piece of timber (I used a length of 4x2), just keep at it then until you can get at the ones right underneath.
My problem was getting the stump out of the hole single handley.
For a single stump, I'd probably do the same again, I'd consider some machinery if I had a few. The burning technique also works well (as mentioned by someone else) but I needed to clear things for a fence.
--
Chris French, Leeds

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On Fri, 2 Apr 2004 10:37:47 +0100, chris French

No way would I risk burning a stump so close to the house and, possibly, the gas main!
MM
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Then again, if the gas main is really close, all you need is a nail and a lighter :)
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And a 6' crowbar.
It's also useful - if it's a 4" to 18" dia tree - to cut it off about 8ft above ground, so that you have something to wriggle it around by - with a car or a chain hoist for preference.
Up to about 9" dia trees, it is often possible to avoid the graft by... a method I could explain by email if anyone has a death-wish. I was going to post it but realised I'd be flamed.
[BTW, when the roots brought up a nice shiny black pipe... it was the phone cable to a dozen houses. Undamaged! Absolutely no indication it was there, in an ordinary suburban front garden.]
--
roger
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Go on, you know you want to. Given that we've had the "swing from tree to tree" method of pruning 20 feet trees, can it be that more dangerous?
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Yes, though I wouldn't go and buy one just for one stump.

Yes, that works well and is what I've done when intending to take a stump out.
--
Chris French, Leeds

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On Fri, 02 Apr 2004 03:36:51 GMT, Brian wrote:

I've removed two sections of well-established conifer hedge around my place, about 8ft tall. The first time the trees were cut down and I dug up the stumps - about 12 to 15" diameter - about a year later. It was bl**dy hard work using typical hand tools, like a good digging spade and fork, bushman saw and long handled pruners. It took me three days to get six stumps out, but age ain't on my side! :-)
The second section I'd cut down and disposed of three trees, each about 15 to 18" diameter stumps, and had some tree surgeons come in to take down the fourth and thickest tree and grind out the roots. They go down about 18", and take out pretty much all of the stump.
Cost was 120, and it was worth every penny! I asked them to fit the work in when they were working out my way, and I guess that helped keep the cost down a bit
I've got some more to come down when we're ready to landscape that part of the garden, and I won't hesitate to use tree fellers for that.
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I've found a hosepipe with a spray nozzle set to give a nice high pressure jet is a useful tool. Let's you really loosen up the soil around the roots, and mud is easier to pull roots from than soil. (depending of course on soil type)
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On Fri, 02 Apr 2004 13:52:38 GMT, Ian Stirling

Ah, I tried that for a while. But in my neck of the woods the soil is clay a few spits down and full of stones above. Also, this was last summer when I removed my tree and the weather was exhaustingly hot for weeks, thus the ground was like concrete. Maybe a bit longer with the hose might have made it a bit easier though...
MM
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wrote:

I wish we had clay - for the earth oven!
Mary

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Mary Fisher wrote:
Just drive over here with a digger darling. Suffolk is made of it.

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