Stumps should be cut as close to the ground as possible.

Removing Manila Palm Stumps

by Amanda Flanigan

Manila palm (Veitchia spp.) stumps can provide the perfect environment for snakes, bees and other problematic creatures that pose a risk to your children. These tropical trees grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. When they are no longer desired, cutting them down is the typical course of action. What you are left with is an unattractive and problematic stump taking up precious space in your landscape. Removing manila palm stumps can be accomplished using various methods.

1. Grind that Stump Away

Stump grinders are a power tool that cuts the stump into tiny pieces of wood, which can be raked up, used as mulch or incorporated into the surrounding soil. Stump grinders use a cutting wheel to cut the stump and operate similar to a lawn mower. Stump grinders, however, do nothing to get rid of the palm tree roots, which will need to be dug out manually. Consider hiring a professional landscaping company if you don’t feel comfortable using power tools or chemicals.

2. Get Your Hands Dirty

Removing the tree stump by hand is both cost effective and quicker than waiting months for the stump to decay. Digging the stump out, however, is a difficult and time-consuming process that can put strain on your back, shoulders and knees. To make the process more doable, consider renting a power spade at a tool rental center. Whether you use a manual or power tool, moisten the soil around the stump and begin digging around the entire stump about 3 feet out from it. Once the root ball is free from the ground, you -- with the help of others -- must physically lift or pull the stump out of the hole.

3. Break Out the Chemicals

Using chemicals to get rid of the manila palm stump is less labor intensive than other removal methods, but generally takes months or even years for the stump to rot. The chemicals work by either speeding up the decaying process or eating away at the stump. Chemical stump removers must come in contact with the interior of the stump so drilling several holes into the stump will be required. Depending on the type of stump remover used, it could take as little as four weeks and as long as a year for the stump to degrade. Always refer to the instruction on the specific stump remover used for best results.

4. Precautions, Considerations and Warnings

Removing any stump is not an easy task and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Always weigh your options before taking on a labor-intensive task such as palm stump removal. When using power tools, keep children away from the area being worked on and always wear safety gear such as safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris. When using chemical stump remover, wear chemical-resistant rubber gloves, safety glasses, pants and a long-sleeve shirt. Furthermore, keep children, pets, pregnant women and nursing mothers away from the stump until the chemical has dried. If the chemical gets on skin or in eyes, flush with cool water for several minutes. If the chemical stump remover is ingested, contact the poison control center immediately. If possible, have the label of the ingested chemical with you when calling poison control.

About the Author

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.

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