Three Reasons Why Those Cute Tree-Stump Projects Shouldn't Involve In-Ground Stumps
If you are a homeowner who has just had a tree or two cut down, you know you have to figure out what to do with the stump. Removing it is an option, but it's tempting to try to do something cute with the stump, like turn it into a seat. While it is possible to repurpose the wood, you don't want to do that with a stump that is still in the ground -- you want to remove the stump and use the wood as you would raw lumber. Here are three reasons why trying to use the stump without removing it from the ground is a bad idea.
If you cut the tree down due to a disease, leaving the stump in the ground means the disease is still present in your yard. The stump can also spread the disease to other nearby plants. In this case, you don't even want to keep any of the wood from the tree at all on your property -- have the stump removed by a qualified arborist or tree care company, and have them dispose of the wood away from your property.
Just because the stump is still in the ground doesn't mean it's going to petrify and stay the way it is. While trees live a long time, if the tree you cut down was nearing the end of its lifespan, the stump can still continue to die and then rot if too much moisture attacks the tree. That creates a safety hazard if you're using the stump as a seat, table, or backyard play set toy. You are better off cutting out the useful wood, removing the rest of the stump, and then treating the useful wood with sealants after carving it into whatever shape you were hoping to have.
Raw wood is susceptible to insect infestations, and that stump is going to be no exception. Even if you treat the exposed portions with a sealant, the in-ground portions can still be attacked by bugs like termites. You end up with a messier situation on your hands than if you had just removed the stump in the first place.
If you're no longer interested in keeping the stumps, or if you want to keep some wood but have the rest removed, call a tree care company as soon as you can. The longer you leave the stump in the ground, the bigger the chances of disease spreading or pests finding the wood. Click here for more information about a stump remover.