Stumped

Once upon a time, there was a tree growing right up next to the house.  Why would anyone plant a tree there is beyond me. Regardless, it was time for the tree to go. With the help of modern day tools and my young energetic son-in-law, the tree came down. (Sorry no before photos here.)

Stump2A year later, all that remained was this ugly stump. When the tree was alive and growing, it pushed  into the concrete driveway to the point of cracking the it. That is no big thing since all driveways crack eventually.

Stump1The stump could remain forever, however, it did not provide curb appeal in the side bed. From the street the stump was not so visible, but from the driveway it was an eye sore.  Our realtor suggested we clean out the side bed and just add mulch. At $2 per bag, that is a quick fix for curb appeal. The local Home Depot had their mulch on sale 5 bags for $10.  I had other places that needed mulch so I loaded the truck with 30 bags of mulch.

Back to the stump – after removing the dirt from around the stump, I gassed up my trusty Stihl MS170 14” chain saw, added bar oil, and fired up that beast.  This was not going to be an easy removal since there were actually two tree trunks that were joined at the root ball. Not fun!

Stump3About 2 1/2 hours later, this is what remained. See that black stuff in the photo, that is dirt. Guess what dirt does to a sharp chain saw cutting chain?  Think DULL. After dulling two chains. I was done for the day.  I was able to split the stump to reveal what was in the middle of it. Also the center was not dead yet.  It had more tree juice than a rare rib eye steak. Tree juice (sap) acts like glue when cutting with a dull chain saw. Since I am hot, tired, sweaty, and ripe, I decided to quit for the day. Besides, I’m retired now so nothing is urgent anymore.

Stump5I took the dull chains to the repair shop for sharpening, and they laughed.  I walked out with two brand new sharper than sharp chains for the remains of the stump. That Stihl is a work horse.  It huffed and puffed and almost got that stump out when the first chain said, “I’m done. Ain’t cutting anything else.” After changing to the second chain, the stump is no more. If you look close under the driveway, you will see tree roots. It is amazing what damage tree roots can do.

Stump6Here are the tools of the trade.  The trusty Stihl, complete with chain that slipped off at the end, steel wedge and maul for splitting logs, three pry bars, and one of two axes. I wonder if I will need any of these things when we move into the RV?

Stump7Well, the job is done. Stump is no more. Mulch is in place. Side bed looks much better. Actually looks very inviting and ready for planting. Next week, I tackle the other side of the driveway. Fortunately, there are no stumps, however there is a left over chunk of concrete from where a fence post once lived.  You really think I am going to pull that sucker out of the ground? Not gonna happen on my shift. Mulch covers stuff.

The only question that remains  – Do I tell the person who buys this house that there is a stump under the mulch? It is easy to find, just look for the first crack in the driveway 13’ 8” from the gate.  I’ll think about it.

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2 responses to “Stumped

  1. Ummm . . . you may just have told someone interested in the house about the stump . . . 🙂

  2. Wait until after the contract is signed and funding closes. Perhaps a dear new owner letter – just wanted to tell you about your new home. It sounds like I missed the fun.

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