Excavating a tree stump to make room for fence base panel. Any bright ideas?

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  • Excavating a tree stump to make room for fence base panel. Any bright ideas?
  • Premier Icon wwaswas

    I’d spend the £50. I suspect it’s less likely to grow back after stump grinding as it’ll go deeper.

    I wouldn’t be farting around with a chainsaw on a stump – roots grow around stones and soil.

    Just buy a cheap axe and a mattock and roll your sleaves up.

    £50 is a fair price to bring in a stump grinder tho.


    Have you got a mattock?

    I managed to remove a stump before by cutting down into it in a chessboard fashion. Then used a mattock to come in sideways and cut the squares off. This got me down to a depth of about 8 – 10″ leaving a little of the stump behind but not enough to cause a problem.

    EDIT: seems i’m not the only one ^ 🙂

    It would be £50 well spent.


    Dunno how big the stump is, but spades, pickaxes, scaffold poles and swearing will do it. The amount of swearing required is proportional to the size of the stump.

    Basically, can you give a coupla mates a roast dinner and some beers and a future favour each for under 50 quid?


    Pay the £50 and it’ll save you a lot of hours when you could be doing something more enjoyable. Your time is too valuable to be messing about doing it any other way, that’s the way I usually reason it.


    That’s the best answer so far!

    Premier Icon nickjb

    I’ve taken 2 out from our garden. The 2nd was a lot easier.

    My patented technique:
    Dig a trench 1 foot wide around the stump with a mattock.
    When you find a root use a sabre saw to cut it near the stump and near the edge of the trench. You can plunge the sabre saw into the soil. You will get through a few blades but they are cheap
    Keep digging and chopping until most of the roots are gone then get under it with a big bar to break the roots underneath. Even skinny ones are tougher than you think. In the end I used a 20t bottle jack.


    No need to remove the stump, all I need to do is cut a shelf in it to accept the concrete fence base.


    A silver birch in the neighbour’s garden behind our fence had grown too big and was threatening our house. It had also expanded over the years and bowed and broken the concrete base slab beneath the fence.

    The neighbour had it cut down and now I’ve pulled out the broken slab and am trying to find a way of cutting away enough of the remaining stump so that the replacement slab will sit level and at the right height. This has meant excavating down about 12″ below ground level to expose the stump where it flares out to the roots. I’ve had some success in cutting down vertically into it with my 14″ chainsaw but don’t have room to get in horizontally at a low enough depth to cut off the bit I’ve separated from the main stump. On top of this there are stones everywhere mixed up with the stump and I’ve ruined one chain. Can always re-sharpen it but a 15 minute sharpening session is wiped out in a second when the chain hits another stone or some grit.

    A local tree surgeon has quoted me £50 to bring his stump-grinder, which will deal with the problem in about 3 minutes. But £50 is a lot of pints of Moorhouses Blonde Witch.

    My neighbour says I should just drop in the slab and then cut the fence panel down but I don’t want to bodge the job because I’ve got to look at that fence for many more years. After retreating to think about it I’ve decided that this weekend I need to excavate a lot more soil from around the stump to give room to get the chainsaw in and cut horizontally much lower down, but before that, borrow a jetwasher and give the stump a good clean to remove all the embedded soil and grit.

    Any other suggestions?


    +1 for the stump grinder

    Reduced four mature tree stumps in a matter of minutes to four piles of rough sawdust

    Worth every penny personally I CBA with time-consuming DIY jobs


    +1 for spending £50 on someonelse doing it with a stump grinder, or price up hiring one for half a day.


    Do cub scouts still do bob-a-job?

    I took a stump to below ground level 5 years ago by digging around it then hitting it a lot with a splitting maul and a little use if a chainsaw. No problems since I did that but it’s not near anything that matters.


    Er, get your neighbour to pay.

    Hi Lift Jack


    Pick axe and iron bar are the best in my experience for this work. Should not take long and the sense of satisfaction will be good.

    Its your neighbours tree impeding your property? get the stump grinder in and send them the invoice!


    drill holes pour in petrol- repeat for a l few months
    Throw in a match

    not a quick method though

    Get the SAS to come over and stick a load of explosives underneath it. Or is that frowned upon nowadays?

    That was a fun day.

    Edric 64

    Its your neighbours tree why would you pay ?You could go halves on the stump grinder ?


    easy work and better than the gym, like every thing there is a technique. 1 spade, trenching or normal,1 pick or mattock, 1 sharp axe, bigger the better, 1 long bar
    roots rarely go down deep, spread out wide instead.
    dig round stump, 2 foot away, find root, chop with axe, carry on till all chopped. drive bar under, lever on big stone, sit back with beer and a few less calories and more man points. 2 hours tops. oh and blisters.


    and forget jet wash and chain saw, far to muddy

    Pay the £50 for the grinder. Absolute bargain.

    I’ve taken out loads of tree stumps and it’s blummin hard work. Even harder work in this case as it seems you don’t even have a sizeable stump to get leverage on to pull it out.

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