When you have a tree you need to get rid of because it is growing too close to a building or the roots are breaking into your sewer pipes, you need to make sure to kill the roots and get rid of the stump. While it is possible to grind the stump down or dig up the roots and then pull the stump out, the easier method is to use herbicides. However, before doing this, there are a few things you need to understand.
Kill the Roots First
The first step is to kill the roots. This will stop them from growing and causing more damage. It will also stop new tree growth so you won't have to keep cutting off new shoots. To do this, slice the top of the stump off and coat the roots with an herbicide. Glyphosphate and triclopyr are two of your choices for this task. You should also drill holes in any exposed roots and pour some of the herbicide into them. Do not pour chemicals into any roots that are close to the roots of other trees or bushes you want to keep. Watch for new growth. If you notice any green sprouting, use another application of the herbicide.
Rot the Stump
Once you have killed the roots, the stump will begin to rot naturally. Unfortunately, this can take a few years to complete. To speed up the process, you can use the same herbicide you used to kill the roots. However, this time, drill holes into the top of the stump and pour in the herbicide. As the stump decays, pull away the pieces and pour in more herbicide. While this is not going to happen overnight, it won't take a few years either.
Once you apply the herbicide for either task, it is a good idea to cover the stump with a box or cage of some type to keep children and pets from coming in contact with the chemicals. Be sure to wear gloves, a long sleeve shirt and long pants when applying the herbicide and pulling away pieces of the stump. It is best if you can wait to use the chemicals when there is little or no wind, and it is not expected to rain for a few days. If you are not comfortable handling the chemicals, you can contact a company that is experienced in tree stump removal to do the job, such as C S Flournoy Inc.