How to kill the stump of a brachychiton tree - Knowledgebase Question

Murrieta, Ca
Question by nance1120
March 24, 2009
My neighbors said my 13 yr old brachychiton trees will eventually knock the block wall over, so I cut them to the stump, how do I kill the rest of them?
Thank you in advance for your response;) What can I replace them with??

Answer from NGA
March 24, 2009


You can rent a stump grinder or hire someone to dig the stump out. Or, simply allow it to break down on its own. But nature's tree stump removal technique is terribly slow. To hurry nature along, you?ll be supplying 2 ingredients in unnatural quantities to speed up the rotting process: nitrogen and water. Tree stump removal will still be slow this way, but it's an improvement over nature.

But first, cut the stump down as close to the ground as you can. Drill holes a few inches deep into the stump in numerous places, using your widest drill bit. The wider and deeper the holes, the better.

Fill these holes first with water, then with a fertilizer high in nitrogen. For instance, you could use cow manure. If you're using a commercial fertilizer instead, make sure the first of the 3 numbers of the fertilizer's NPK is the highest (for instance, a straight nitrogen fertilizer such as 45-0-0).

Soak the ground all around the stump. Cover the stump with a plastic tarp. The tarp will act as a barrier to help retain moisture in and around the stump. Moisture is a powerful ally to have on your side for tree stump removal.

Apply an organic mulch over the plastic tarp, and water it thoroughly. An organic mulch, such as tree bark or hay, will hold additional moisture, keeping the area even wetter. Wet mulch is also heavy, which will help weigh the tarp down, so that it doesn't blow away. For additional weight, roll some heavy stones onto the tarp.
The final thing you need to do for this tree stump removal project is -- to be patient! You're speeding up the natural process of rotting by employing the steps above, but this tree stump removal technique is not for those who need the stump to disappear N-O-W.

As for replacements, there are lots of evergreen shrubs that have well behaved root systems and you won't have to deal with stump removal again.

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