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Advice Needed Re: Conifer Stumps

Hi All, I have had some conifer trees taken down in my garden back in October. Stumps are down to soil level as there is no access to get stump grinder in. Today, had 'gardeners' in the dig over the border & remove roots. They have charged me a lot but done very little so I need to work out a cheap way of getting rid of stumps & roots myself. Can anyone tell me if it is worth buying chemicals to do this or do conifer roots die quite quickly once trees are felled please?


  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142
    Assuming these were not huge trees then conifer roots are not normally too extensive. It’s obviously a bit late now but if you’d had them cut to 4 or 5ft you could have rocked them out with a bit of loosening around the base. You don’t have this luxury now so it’s a case of digging them out. An axe or mattock and digging bar will help.

    Stump killer etc wont really help much with the rotting-out process which will take years. 
  • Thanks Dave. Do the roots take a long time to rot away naturally? I have seen mixed views on this online.
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142
    edited February 2020
    I guess it will depend on the size etc. When I’ve had to dig them out (we had a long run of them all the way down the boundary of our last property) I was surprised how little the roots extended from the main stump although they often do spread quite wide but normally very shallow rooted. I had the ‘luxury’ of being able to use the remaining trunk as a lever and with a bit of chopping at one or two stubborn roots I was able to get the main stump section out. I left some of the roots to rot out and planted around them. 
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053
    I have done this and would say on average it takes 3 to 4 years to pull them away easily. I tend to plant around them until they wither away.
    SW Scotland
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