The Stump Fairy Strikes Again
My neighbors had a chore before them. In the previous 48 hours, they had managed to prune down to stumpishness a vast--well, Explorer-sized Burning Bush Euonymus. This shrub, unremarkable during the rest of the year, turns a vivid red in fall. Consequently, it is very popular. Birds will eat the berries. Consequently, it has not stayed where planted and is coming to a National Forest near you. It is on the "top ten" invasives list for the Appalachians.
So of course I was applauding their efforts to remove said shrub. Father, son and daughters all had a go at it as they whittled it down to a more manageable size. Even the pile of remnants was bigger than my car. But the stump itself was stubborn. They tried to burn it, but frankly, it would have taken a really large burn pile to get that thing hot enough to cook. So when they went to church Sunday, I made my move--with my power tools.
Shovel. Reciprocating saw. Chain saw (little electric). Axe. Tow rope and car.
You heard me.
The shovel was used simply to locate the offending roots that had yet to be severed. Once the bulk of the soil was removed from around them, I could use the reciprocating saw (with a long pruning blade) to slice all the way around the perimeter of the stump to make sure nothing remained connected.
The advantage of a reciprocating saw for this kind of work is that the blade is not carried back into the working parts of the saw, which means that the dirt can't get anywhere near the motor. With a chain saw, it does and can. The chain saw was backup, and yes, I did stick that blade into the soil (essentially ruining the chain), but I wanted to make SURE I had those suckers cut. I don't think I even used the axe--they had already dug a mighty big hole trying to loosen that monster and nearly all the roots had been cut. Except for about 3 really big ones and the taproot.
Once the perimeter was breached, it was time to finish her off.
Tow strap, secured to convenient hook on frame of car. (This is such a great little car. Remind me to tell you about her one day.) Other end of strap wrapped around the stump and looped in slip-knot fashion. Re-enter car. Put in low gear. Advance slowly. Pop. Just that easy.
Father neighbor was reportedly delighted that The Task was removed from his afternoon schedule.
am delighted that one more invasive has left the neighborhood. Heh.