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I have several tree stumps to get rid of. Most are small in diameter with the largest being about 8". It would take forever to dig them out; so I had an idea. I wanted to make a blade of some sort to cut around the stump severing the roots and then just pushing the stump over, or prying it up.

My idea was to replace one of the ripper teeth on my box blade with a thinner and longer one (perhaps 1/4" thick and 2' long) with an edge on front. The weight of the box blade should force the blade into the ground and the tractor would provide the forward force. The thin blade should reduce the drag while the edge severs the root.

Has anyone tried this? Any thoughts?

Tractor is a JD 4200
 

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For that size job I would just rent a walk-behind stump grinder. Wouldn't take long to get rid of a few small stumps.

Having ground out many stumps, I think it unlikely a knife setup would work, but then, I haven't seen the stumps :p
 

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If the knife hits a larger root or a rock at an angle, it will bend instead of shearing the root. You need something heavier for the knife than 1/4". Try 3/4" or even heavier.

I built a trenching bucket out of 1/8" plate that is 12" wide for my loader. With the support at the top, bottom and back of the box shape, the sides will slice through 2" roots with no bending, even at an angle.

Your idea will work well, with a heavier knife. If you start too close to the stump though, the roots are a lot bigger and you'll run out of traction before you can cut them. I did an 8" spruce stump that had 4" diameter roots a 1.5' away from the stump. You'll end up digging regardless on that one.

I've found that the roots are manageable (about 2 - 2.5" diameter) if you're 3 stump diameters away from the stump. For an 8" stump, that's about 28" from the center of the stump. That's a big root ball. If you try at 2 diameters and aren't successful, there's no harm done. But if you are successful at 3 diameters, you won't repeat at 2 diameters because the roots can now move. Stumps under 4" diameter are a piece of cake with this method.

A sharp knife will get you stuck part way through a big root. Shovel and axe time. You want to be able to break the root as much as slice through.
 

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use a stump grinder, do it the easy way.
For less than an 8" stump? At what point do you consider a grinder overkill? :ROF
 

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Cut em off at ground level and use the stuff from Home Depot that is meant to rot out the stump. Just drill the holes, fill them up and plug them over the winter. Next spring they fall apart.

Takes a little time but sure the easy way to do it.

Mike
 

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Cut em off at ground level and use the stuff from Home Depot that is meant to rot out the stump. Just drill the holes, fill them up and plug them over the winter. Next spring they fall apart.

Takes a little time but sure the easy way to do it.

Mike
Or, cut them about 4' up, use the ground knife to cut the roots, tie off close to the top and pull them out. Wash the soil from the rootball back into the hole and plant grass.

All done. At least with the smaller ones, the 8 incher might be a hard pull for a small GT and need more leverage.
 

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Or, cut them about 4' up, use the ground knife to cut the roots, tie off close to the top and pull them out. Wash the soil from the rootball back into the hole and plant grass.

All done. At least with the smaller ones, the 8 incher might be a hard pull for a small GT and need more leverage.
Or, just grind them out in an hour. Rake it smooth and plant the grass seed.

The chips mixed with the dirt and make a nice mulch.:fing32:
 

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Or, just grind them out in an hour. Rake it smooth and plant the grass seed.

The chips mixed with the dirt and make a nice mulch.:fing32:
Where's the fun in that? No seat time or bragging rights! :ROF

Besides, the tractor's there and the grinder costs money to rent and time to get it and return it.
 

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Where's the fun in that? No seat time or bragging rights! :ROF

Besides, the tractor's there and the grinder costs money to rent and time to get it and return it.
Ripping thru a stump with a grinder is actually a boatload of fun. Nothing like the satisfaction of power and watching that pesky old stump disappear.

Renting will be much cheaper and faster than trying to build something from scratch not knowing if it will actually work. If the tractor is equipped with a blade he can use that for smoothing out the dirt. :fing32:
 

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You can lower just the middle tooth of the box blade and rip out the roots. I had no problem cutting threw roots when I put in my invisible dog fense.

Also I used a box blade and the loader of my 755 to take out many stumps up to 3 inches or so. Four inches or bigger took a second or third pass. I used the backhoe to get the bigger ones.

I put three long days grinding with a stump grinder. Halfway through the first one, it got old. I did 67 stumps over a weekend. Now I just get them with the backhoe a little at a time.
 

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the thing looks horse drawn, to me. but maybe that's a 3 point set up, just flipped over. i think you'd need some real power & traction to use the thing, ...something like a 40-hp tractor.

i've used backhoes to remove big stumps, and even that'll rattle your teeth out. pullin' stumps of any real size is a serious operation.
 
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