Tree stump/root removal

30 Sep 2008
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United Kingdom
My girlfriends dad asked me to help him remove a Weeping Willow in his garden, it needs to be removed due to an extension that is being built.

I cut off all the branches with a chainsaw and am now left with a 10 meter tall trunk.

Any ideas on how to remove the trunk/root ball, I was intending to dig down around it and use a large ratchet strap from the willow to a larger oak tree in the garden to apply some leverage while going at the roots with an axe/saw. Unless anyone has any easier/better ideas?
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Having spent a day digging out the root ball on a mature pine tree a couple of years ago, hire a stump grinder; it's around 50 quid well spent.
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Will grinding the stump out be sufficent? it's a raft foundation that is going where this tree is, it was the first thing I suggested but he was adament it needed to be removed totally.

Deluks - Climbing equipment, I've used a chainsaw regularly for the last 10 years, i'm certainly not daft when it comes to it's use, thats not to say I don't fear it though.
Wasn't having a dig, honest :LOL:

It just struck me that someone who can climb and use a chainsaw would already know how to get the roots out.

Grinder will do it, although if you are hiring a digger for the foundation dig you might as well dig it out with that. The underside of the root will be a lot shallower than you'd think.
I grew up on a farm, so most of the chainsaw work I have done has just been felling trees and cutting up into managable pieces for fuel, never actually had to ever get rid of a stump bar a few small conifers.

I will have to talk to my girlfriends dad and see what is being hired, I agree if he is getting a digger then it will be easier for it to be hauled out with that, though I suspect it will probably be a mini digger as it's only a 12foot extension to a detached garage.
I've just had what's probably a really daft idea for digging out a large tree's roots..

hand dig a pit between one of the larger roots so that it's about 18 inches deep, then get a submersible pump ( the kind used for pumping out ditches ), and a jet washer..

use the jet washer to turn the dirt in to very sloppy mud and pump it out of the hole.. keep going.. :)

you'll get wet and messy, but it should save you most of the back breaking digging and the sor hands from the spade keep hitting the roots..
Pressure washer idea should work, but effectivness is probably down to type of soil.

Annndddd, as to climbing with a chainsaw. It's all well and good using saftey equipment... Until you cut through your rope(s) :/
Hah, you would have to be a bit daft to cut the rope or branch you are roped onto, if you are methodical it's not a hard task, that said it's not something I want to do too often, compared to abseiling or scaling a cliff face it's pretty scary.
I thought there were experts on this forum!

It is entirely possible to cut the branch off a tree you are sitting on and find the branch stays put and the tree falls down.

Yours sincerely

Wile Coyote


I was once told, but I don't believe everything I'm told, that if you are prepared to wait months you can drill long holes into a tree stump and pour derv, or some such, into the holes. Over time it seeps through and turns the roots to porridge or something.

True or false anyone?
False as far as I am concerned. I tried bleach in holes on a load of large Rhodeys - didn't work. Then tried creosote last autumn, (the lovely old smelly kind), the buggers are still growing side shoots!
As the garage is due to be constructed in about a month waiting for the roots to rot is out of the question, lol.

We dug round it and cut the roots with a maul while winching what was left of the trunk over. Not exactly my idea of a fun 3/4 hours but we got there.

I will probably try semtex next time :LOL:

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