Why Tree Stump Removal Is Important for Your Property
If you’ve just had tree removal done on your property, you’re probably left with at least one large stump. With trunks and branches out of the way, you may think the job is done, but stump removal should be your next step.
It’s just a stump, though. It can’t be that big of a deal, can it? Unfortunately, the longer a stump sits on your property, the bigger of a nuisance it becomes. Here are seven reasons you should take care of that old stump right away.
1. Stumps Can Be a Safety Hazard
It may not be a big deal to you, but if you have young children running around your backyard or property, a stump can be a safety hazard. If they play with the neighbors’ children, all it takes is one fall to open you up to a liability or personal injury lawsuit.
If the stump in your yard is near utilities like power lines, sewage pipes, or waterlines, it can make it hard for work crews to perform routine maintenance safely.
2. Roots Cause Property Damage
Though many stumps are already dead, some may still be alive. As they grow, their roots can:
- Break underground utilities
- Disrupt landscaping features
- Cause hazardous bumps and rifts
- Suck vital resources away from other plants and grass
- Crack foundations
- Cause damage to your neighbor’s property
Because it happens so gradually, most homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover repair costs from root damage. Even if you can prove that root damage happened suddenly, insurance policies don’t often cover external utility lines. That little stump’s roots can put a big hole in your budget.
3. They Make Yard Maintenance a Pain
If you like to keep your yard manicured, a tree stump will be one of your worst enemies. After mowing, you’ll likely have to revisit the area around a stump with a weed-whacker. On a hot day, that energy might be better spent elsewhere.
Old stumps aren’t just inconvenient when mowing — they damage equipment. Whether you use a push-mower or a high-end zero-turn riding mower, stumps bend, or nick blades. In extreme cases, old roots and stumps even damage crankshafts.
4. Pests Love Stumps
Stumps make the perfect pre-fab home for a wide range of pests that will spread from your yard to every corner of your property. In fact, two of Arizona’s most common pests, termites and bark beetles, love stumps.
Termite colonies infest stumps from underground. They make nests multiply, then consume the stump. When they’re done feasting, termites will move to anything nearby made of wood. This can include healthy shrubs, trees, and eventually homes and sheds.
If you’ve just had a tree removed from your property, bark beetles will be attracted by the fresh stump. Once inside, they lay eggs so the larva can feast on living tree tissue and move to other healthy trees, meaning you’ll have more dead trees to deal with.
More dead trees don’t just mean you’ll spend a lot more on tree removal — they’re the perfect fuel for wildfires. Over a 13-year period, bark beetles affected over five million hectares of trees in the western US, so removing freshly-cut stumps is essential to environmental health.
5. Old Stumps Harbor Diseases
Even if most of a tree is removed, the stump can still harbor devastating diseases. For instance, Armillaria root rot causes root decay, brown leaves, and weakened trunks in many kinds of trees and shrubs. It can live for years in stumps and spread to healthy greenery. Eventually, the tree will die and potentially fall unexpectedly.
A stump doesn’t have to be alive for it to harbor diseases. Many tree and root diseases are fungal, meaning they thrive in old and dead wood. They also tend to start underground so when symptoms of root rot appear, it’s already thriving.
6. New Trees Grow Around Stumps
If you have a large yard and only one stump, it may not seem like such a big deal. If it just means busting out the weed-whacker every once in a while to trim around it, what’s the big deal?
One of a tree’s natural self-preservation tactics is sprouting. Though the tree itself is dead and removed, its roots can still sprout new trees in as little as 30 days. While this is great for reforestation after wildfires, it’s terrible for your yard. Many homeowners turn to herbicides to stop new sprouts, but heavy, repeated herbicide use damages grass and nearby plants.
7. Ground Stumps Have Many Uses
If you have a garden in your backyard, that old stump in the corner of your property can be put to good use. Stump grinding turns it into mulch that:
- Insulates soil
- Helps soil retain moisture (very important in areas with low annual rainfall totals)
- Inhibits weed growth
- Decomposes into valuable nutrients
If you don’t need mulch, consider adding it to compost piles. After a few months, it decomposes with the rest of your compost and gives you more to spread around. Alternatively, you can use a ground stump to create quaint garden paths or fill the hole left by the old stump.
However, if any chemicals are used in the stump removal or grinding process, check with a professional before using them around your property.
Jose Knows Trees and Stump Removal, Too!
To remove dead tree stumps, many homeowners turn to DIY methods. However, that process can be more expensive, damaging, and time-consuming than you bargained for. Instead, let Jose Knows Trees of Mesa, Arizona, tackle all of your tree and stump issues. Family owned and operated since 2010, Jose Knows Trees proudly serves the Phoenix East Valley area, including:
- Queen Creek
- And beyond