Well, actually two questions.

If you checked out yesterday's post, you'll have read that the city came by and planted a new tree last week. They ground up the old stump and roots where the new tree is planted, but there are still quite a bit of thick roots remaining outside of the mulched area.

Yesterday, I used our holiday and lovely weather (nearly 100 degrees) to start digging up the area. I had hoped to be able to get the roots out of the way. All in all, it went pretty well, and as you can see from the photo, I made a good amount of headway along the perimeter. 

There are still a handful of large roots that we'll (see how I just invited Wendy into the digging?) need to tackle.

That leads me to my two questions:

1. Given that I really only have a shovel, axe, sawzall, and drill at my disposal, what are the best ways I can remove at least the top bit of the most stubborn stump roots? Especially the one immediately to the right of the water meter cover.

2. We're also in discussions about the border we'd like to put around this area. Some neighbors have no surround, others have a brick border, and some have pressure treated wood with bolts into the ground. Wendy wants to do a brick surround, but as you can see from the photo below, one of the corners of the bed is curved, which could make a masonry project challenging to say the least. And, given that our first masonry project (a brick archway over our back gate) came crashing down in a storm, masonry gives me a nervous tick.

What is your vote? What material should we use for the border? Also, please let me know if you have any good magical root grinding techniques or disintegration potions. We'd love your input.

Comments 7


5/31/2011 at 11:28 PM
Go with brick (or iron as I suggested yesterday). The surrounds here usually only block the sidewalk side of the bed, so maybe you won't have to do any curve stuff? Let me know if you need manual labor!
Thanks, Joe. We really like the idea of a decorative iron railing and will probably work that into the project. The brick is what we're leaning towards for the border. I could see doing it only on the sidewalk side, that makes sense. The problem is that the curb of the cut drops down really low at the street, so we'll need something to hold the dirt we put in back. If I can't get the roots to go away by staring at them or wishing them away, I may give you a call. But it will need to be on a day with it is close to 100 degrees. There's no sense in working outside until you can suffer heat stroke.
6/1/2011 at 7:56 AM
Several years ago my husband and I rented a "root buster/stump grinder" (don't know the technical term) from someplace like Home Depot. It made very quick work out of some really annoying stumps and roots. Given the tight space I'm not sure how it would work, but you might try giving someone a call. I think when we rented the "grinder", it was only like $50 for a period of a few hours. Just a thought.
Sara, thanks for the idea. I was thinking that we may need to rent something. I know there are the really big tools, but we're looking for something a bit smaller scale. I'll need to look into it at our local tool rental place. It's a shame though, so few roots are actually causing an issue, but the ones that are in the way, are just sort of annoying.
6/1/2011 at 12:52 PM
obviously, you should pour diesel on the stump and light it on fire, like we used to do back on the farm.
HAH! I would love to explain that one to the fire department and police when they come by. "Sirs, is there a problem with lighting a large fuel driven fire to get rid of few tree roots about one foot from a busy street?"

I should do it during rush hour.
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