I’m stumped



The stump in the front yard conveyed with the house. And thus, like a bad piece of furniture or thick shag carpet, the stump became an unwanted, ugly piece of my new home. Unfortunately, I couldn’t list the stump on Craigslist… well, I COULD; FREE STUMP – YOU HAUL AWAY. But who the hells wants somebody’s hand-me-down stump?

According the neighbors, the tree was partially felled by either a child or children playing Great¬†Trapeze or a summer storm. Mrs. C, the¬†neighbor closest to said true, said, “I will not miss it.” Nor will I, madam.

My original plan involved the DIY option. This involved using a long drill bit, making a series of holes in the stump and filling these with a stump removal compound. Supposedly, this quickens the process of rotting but takes four to six weeks to complete. The other, and infinitely cooler sounding option, involved the same process of drilling but adding kerosene instead of stump rot. After a few weeks, the stump soaks up the fuel and then you light it on fire. FIRE! Apparently, the stump will smolder for a week or so and then turn into a big pile of charcoal. The boy-arsonist in me definitely wanted to try or at least see what would happen with this slow burn option, but I don’t think the Fairfax County fire department would approve.

I turned to AngiesList to find a tree service company capable of removing stumps. This is actually somewhat of a misnomer. The stump isn’t so much as removed, e.g. pulling it completely out of the ground, but rather ground down to the surface using a big, medieval spinning saw blade of death and destruction.