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Recipe for Tree Stump Removal

stacknswivel's picture

I found this in an old family recipe file.  Thought I'd post it for my environmentalist friends.

April 1939


Mrs. Brackett's recipe for killing out stumps


5 lbs White Arsenic


3 gals water


Boil until it turns green then put in one can of Lewis Lye.


Put on stump with dauber.


 

(post #91315, reply #1 of 22)

Ya that'l certainly get rid of the stump for you.


One good batch and the folks in the bunny suits come in with a backhoe and  take the stump out for you. Not wanting to hurt your feeling by not including you in the process, thoughtful of them, they will have you hold a piece of paper with many large numbers on it. Shortly thereafter your bank account will elope with the paper to a far better place. Never to be seen again.

(post #91315, reply #2 of 22)

I had a friend out in Colorado who worked for the Forest Service in his youth, building and maintaining trails.

He had one particularly large stump to get out and remembered seeing some sticks of dynamite back in the locker. He figured he could save a day's worth of hard labor so he brought a stick out withoput being sure of the right amount to use. He said he thought about using three but he resoned that if one didn't work well enough, he could always get two the next try...

As he tells the story, he gets a shy smile and says that a half might have been more than enough.

He spent three days filling in the hole he made but he never saw that stump again.

Nowadays, the BATF would be handing him a paper, and a nice cell to read it in.

.

Excellence is its own reward!

"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.

The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

--Marcus Aurelius

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #91315, reply #3 of 22)

I got a good laugh on that one

(post #91315, reply #4 of 22)

Love the '5 lbs of white arsenic' part.


Another old logger once told me about an 'easy way' to pull bigs stumps with 12 ton roller chain comealong Hook between 2 big stumps (or stump and much bigger tree) and giv'er a couple of cranks a day for a few weeks.


Must be one of them 'rural legends' - Tried this with a 10 ton come along, 30# pillow block and 3/4 choker cable - tried tightening for about a month on 2 adjacent stumps (900 YO and 500 YO fir stumps) nothing ever moved till about 10 yards of dirt dug away with dozer.  


Still could buy dynamite locally till '71 (WA state) , should have kept my 'grandfather' clause intact, but probably lotta record keeping to do now.  1/4 stick was always plenty even for 3 foot dia fir.

(post #91315, reply #5 of 22)

Yeah, I miss going to the store for some beans, flour, sugar, dynamite, a book of matches. Seriously you can blow up big boulders with a quarter stick. Just lay it on top, put a good size rock on top of that, and blaster off. If you dont have a rock on top, the dynamite goes boom, but pretty much just leaves a mark on the boulder.

(post #91315, reply #6 of 22)

Methodology in some parts, dating back to the 30s when explosives were fairly common but expensive, was to maximize the effects of a small amount by using a post hole digger to dig a hole diagonally under the stump and place the load under the stump. The hole was then packed with dirt. The effect is to direct the blast upward. A very good stump blower, according to story, was supposed to be able to calibrate the load and placement with such accuracy that they could land a medium sized stump in the back of a flatbed truck.

(post #91315, reply #11 of 22)

jeezzzuuusssss .....

what are you dudes doing dicking around with arsenic, stump grinders, come-a-longs , dynomite, and backhoes. Try nitroglycerin.

 

 

(post #91315, reply #12 of 22)

or take the pacifist method, which takes patience...

drill a hole in the stump

and pee in it

.

Excellence is its own reward!

"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.

The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

--Marcus Aurelius

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #91315, reply #13 of 22)

Sometimes you might want to keep the stump for useful things.  We have a gardening program on one of our local radio stations, and this morning a guy called in and wanted to mount a 20' flag pole on a stump.  He wanted to know if 3" wood screws would hold it.

(post #91315, reply #14 of 22)

Yeah, until the wind blows.

(post #91315, reply #15 of 22)

"drill a hole in the stump
and pee in it. "

Never tried that. I have tried drilling a bunch of holes in a stump and letting it sit for a couple of years. Makes 'em rot quicker.

Might be kinda problematic, taking a leak in a hole in a stump in front of our house on a busy street....



Need a good screw? [Ace Hardware]

(post #91315, reply #16 of 22)

I bought some type of crystals years ago that you poured into holes bored into stumps. That was followed by a little kerosene and allowed to soak for several days. I then poured in a little more kerosene and lit it. We have a "no open burn law" in that county, and except for the first few minuetes I was in compliance. Just to play it safe I kept a package of hot dogs and a stick handy...you were allowed open burning for recreational grilling :) That stump smoldered and smoke for over a month. Within a year I could trace the large roots underground from the surface depressions left when the soil settled in the burned out roots. Probably illegal has hell now. I hate to think what the EPA and envirocops would do.

Dave

(post #91315, reply #17 of 22)

 

"drill a hole in the stump and pee in it. "

Never tried that. I have tried drilling a bunch of holes in a stump and letting it sit for a couple of years. Makes 'em rot quicker.

Might be kinda problematic, taking a leak in a hole in a stump in front of our house on a busy street....

 


Not as problematic as trying to go number 2 in that same hole...

(post #91315, reply #18 of 22)

I've almost always lived where I could get by with it - no busy streets or close neighbors.

"Need a good screw? [Ace Hardware]"

That reminds me of the time I went with the preacher to the Ace hardware store.

[Get ready for a good one]

He was installing something at his house and needed some kind of cheap little old part.

We got up to the checkout counter wherre the girl asked for sixty three cents or whatever.

He only had sixty cents and didn't really want to break a twenty but he had some loose hardware in his change pocket.

She still had her hand out for three cents.

He picked one up and said jokingly, "Wanna screw?"

She smiled and said, "Well, not right now, cowboy!"

I was still laughing and he was still red faced when we got home.


.

Excellence is its own reward!

"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.

The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

--Marcus Aurelius

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #91315, reply #19 of 22)

should go fast for those with corrosive pee

 

 

(post #91315, reply #20 of 22)

It's the nitrogen feeding the bacteria to encourage them. I don't suppose vegetarians would be as effective.

.

Excellence is its own reward!

"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.

The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

--Marcus Aurelius

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #91315, reply #21 of 22)

Back in the 60s I helped my uncle blow a few. We used a hand auger, about 2 or 3 inches in diameter, to drill a deep hole. We'd take the paper off of about 3 sticks of dynamite and shove them into the bottom. Then we'd add a whole one with the cap in it and a lonnnnng fuse. These stumps were about 2 or 3 feet wide. Not only would it blow them out of the ground but into pieces that were easy to manage.


 

 

(post #91315, reply #7 of 22)

Arsenic not a good thing to have around

pets

kids

etc

(post #91315, reply #8 of 22)

wain ...."kids pets and etc " was probably a lot smarter in 1939 than today. Could you even imagine trying to buy 5lbs of white arsenic, probably have to special order it from Canada.  hehehe

(post #91315, reply #9 of 22)

So true

(post #91315, reply #10 of 22)

have you ever rented a stump grinder from the local rental place?


i took out about 6 stumps (1-2 ft diameter) with one of those in about 90 minutes!


money well spent!

(post #91315, reply #22 of 22)

In the past I use to drill 10 or 20 holes in the stump and fill the holes with dirt.  next pore a can of coke, beer and ammonia over and  put a planter frame of some kind around the stump.  the wife plants some flowers.  In a year or two the stump is rotted away.


 


I use the crystals now  - I remember right it is potassium nitrate