est. 2007

Whitewater Township, Ohio, United States
My wife Julie and I purchased our property in June 2007. Our home sits on seven acres of hillside overlooking the Whitewater River valley in western Hamilton County, Ohio roughly 20 miles west of Cincinnati. The property is well wooded and boasts a pond of about 1/5th acre. Our professional careers dictate we live in Hamilton County, which makes a country setting a bit difficult to find in a county of almost 1 million people. We share the property with our son Casey (3 1/2), and a herd of domesticated animals including 2 dogs, 3 cats, 3 parrots, and 4 Blue Swedish ducks, 10 Buff Orpington chickens, not to mention my oldest hobby aquarium fish.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Stump Removal

In September of this year we had a hellacious wind storm. I think I referenced it in an earlier post, but we had 70+ MPH winds. As a result we lost several trees. After cutting them up I was left with the stumps dotting my yard. I researched stump removal but wasn't entirely on board with using chemicals to slowly degrade the stump over a long period of time. I wasn't worried about contaminating the ground necessarily, but because most of the water from the property around these stumps drains into my pond. I understand the chemicals are largely made up of nitrogen, which when entering a pond can cause significant algae blooms. I also wasn't going to pay someone to grind out the stumps, and leaving them to rot on their own would mean years of adventurous grass cutting. That left burning.

I had burned a large cherry stump last year and was pleased with the results; however it took 6 burns, a large amount of my firewood, and 3 weeks of off days to complete. I needed a more efficient method of burning the stumps out. I did some online research. I chose to sacrifice one of my 55 gallon steel burn barrels. I cut the bottom out (the top was already removed), and was left with what basically amounted to a chimney. This is placed over the stump and a fire is built inside. I was amazed at how differently the barrel burned with the bottom removed. It acted as a furnace, and 90% of them stump was gone in 2 burns in 1 day. I have a surface root to get out next and then back fill, no more stump. I used no accelerant like diesel or kerosene, just wood. I was very impressed. I also used about 1/10th the wood as I did last year.

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