Tree removal is a multi-step process. Most reputable tree-care professionals will begin by assessing the tree in question, and if appropriate, make a plan to remove it safely. From there, it is necessary to break out the chainsaws and get to work. But even once the tree is down, there is still work to be done: You must dispose of the resulting waste (logs, leaves and branches), and finish the job by grinding down or otherwise dealing with the tree stump.
But unfortunately, many cut-and-run tree companies fail to follow all of the steps. Assessing the tree is unnecessary because they already know they will recommend that you remove it, and they rarely find it necessary to properly plan for the safe removal of the tree. Usually, they just grab the closest chainsaw and start hacking.
A couple of hours later, there’s a literal ton of wood on your property and a bill in your hand. If you’re lucky, they’ll chip the wood before leaving, but there is very little chance that they’ll deal with the remaining tree stump – that’s your problem.
There is nothing wrong with charging for stump-removal services (we certainly do). However, it is imperative that tree-care professionals provide the opportunity for homeowners to have a stump removed (even if it is by a reputable third party) and explain the reasons for doing so.
There are a variety of reasons that stumps should be removed, but the following four are among the most important:
1. Tree stumps are trip hazards.
If you have children and they like to play in the yard, there is only a matter of time before one of them trips over the stump (or one of the attached roots) and hurts him or herself. Adults – especially those who are unfamiliar with your property, such as lawn care employees or meter readers – can also trip over tree stumps. In these cases, you may even find yourself liable for their medical bills.
2. Tree stumps often harbor pests.
A variety of creatures, ranging from ants and roaches to rodents and snakes, inhabit decaying tree stumps. Drawn by the shelter and resources these stumps provide, many animals use tree stumps as oases between separated habitat patches. This helps them to spread to other habitable places, such as your home.
Perhaps the most troubling pests that can inhabit tree stumps are termites. Although they may be initially attracted to the bounty of wood cells in the stump, they can easily spread out and start chewing on the wood timbers in your home.
3. Tree stumps can encourage the proliferation of fungi.
Fungi spread their spores far and wide (often via mushrooms). When these spores land on a delicious piece of wood, they set up shop and start munching away. This leads to decay and, sometimes, the death of once-healthy trees. Tree stumps provide a feast for these fungi, and they are often colonized by a variety of different species.
This can represent a serious and ongoing threat to your living trees, as these fungal spores will cover the entire area. If one of your healthy trees suffers a wound or a broken branch, these numerous spores can readily colonize the wound and cause your tree long-term problems.
4. Tree stumps reduce property values.
Even if you aren’t planning on selling your home anytime soon, it always makes sense to take care of problems that reduce your property value, and tree stumps certainly fit that description. Tree stumps actually serve to reduce your home’s value in several different ways.
For starters, tree stumps look horrible. This not only reduces the amount of money that buyers will be willing to pay for your property, it also diminishes your property’s curb appeal, which will decrease overall buyer interest. Additionally, because the new owner will have to have the tree stumps removed, they will likely want to offset some of these expenditures by reducing the amount they offer.
If you’ve been left with a tree stump on your property, reach out to your friends at Trav’s Tree Service. We’ll send one of our experienced tree-care and stump-grinding professionals to help eliminate the problem and keep your yard and trees looking their best.