How do you get rid of a stump fast?

Sorry to disappoint anyone who thought this was going to be a blog entry about blowing up stumps with dynamite, it’s not.  Nor is this article about using mechanical tools or chemicals to remove a stump. No tractors, no grinders, no Round-up and no dynamite.

There a few options to help speed up the natural decomposition time of a stump.  Here they are in order of fastest to slowest:

Burn it with charcoal.  Build a charcoal fire on the flat surface of the stump.  Roast some hotdogs or marshmallows.  Keep adding briquettes until the stump is gone, for a big one 2-3 days.

Burn it with a bonfire. When you have had a good dry spell, you can dig back some of the  soil around the stump, exposing more of the roots.  Build a bonfire over the stump and light it up.  It may take a while for it to fully burn up, but once it’s done you can chop off any charred remains and cover the rest of it up with soil.

Transplant a colony of fire ants.  Find a colony of fire ants.  With a shovel, carefully scoop up as many of the ants as you can and transport them to the stump.  If the distance is pretty far (you don’t want these things crawling up the shovel on you!) then drop the lot into a plastic bag first.  Once you place them on the stump they will get to work on it and the thing should be well broken down in a year or so, opposed to 10 years or so.

Cover it up to speed decay.  Depending on the diameter, you can cover the stump with a coffee can, bucket, clear plastic, or a burlap sack.  Pack some rich soil or cow manure around the stump first, then cover it up and let it sit.  This is a good option if the stump is close to a building, though it will take a year or so for it to decompose.

If you don’t actually really mind the stump, then here are a few ideas about what you can do with it, rather than destroy it:

Use it as a chair.

Use it as a table.

Turn it into a gnome house.

Put a potted plant on top of it.

Inoculate it with edible mushrooms and then eat them.

Turn it into a planter by hollowing out the center.


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