Wednesday, July 12, 2023

The Second Elm Tree Stump

 We lost two Elm trees due to the cold weather in February 2021.  They were cut down in October 2021 and I dug out the first stump in October 2022.  Now we are starting on the second stump.

In the year plus since the tree was cut down, it was pretty well over grown with inland sea oats and texas sedge, as well as trying to re-grow itself by suckers growing out of the stump itself.

So the first problem is to expose the stump and clear out the overgrowth.

We continued this excavation around the stump exposing 8 or 9 major roots.

The dirt is hard and dry.  We will try to dig down between the roots, with an aim of digging under them and separating them from the soil both at the stump and at the exterior edge of the ditch, so that we can cut thru them and isolate the root.

Digging down between the roots, after a couple of days, we isolated many of the roots.  This allowed us to use a chainsaw to cut thru four of them and disconnect about 3/4 of the way around the stump.

With a gap between these major roots and the edge of the hole we are digging, we can dig out more dirt, going deeper, until we hit rock.  We then bring in our own blocks of limestone and our bottle jack.  Putting the bottle jack on the bedrock and under a root, we can jack up that side of the stump.  Once we have the stump up as far as the bottle jack will go, we can stack rocks under adjacent roots to support the stump, allowing the bottle jack to be removed.

We then put a 6x6 limestone block under where the bottle jack was used and can now lift the stump another 6 inches, allowing another 6 inches of stone to be put on the stacks holding up the adjacent roots.  Using this approach, we can lift one side of the stump significantly, allowing us to dig the dirt out of the center of the stump and to work on the roots that have not yet been cut.

Excavating under the roots that have not been cut, and then cutting them, frees the stump from the earth, and allows us to prop it up on one side.

We can then tilt the stump up out of the hole, onto a hand truck and trundle it out to the curb.

This leaves a big hole, with a layer of rock around the edges above the bedrock.

Using the pry bar and a rock as a fulcrum, we can pry the rock around the edges out.

leaving us with a big hole (about 6 feet in diameter and 28 inches deep), rock free, down to bedrock.

and a pile of dirt.

Putting the dirt back in the hole leaves us with two barren spots, both without stumps.

This whole process took about a month.