After getting rid of a tree stump, the pile of stump grindings may be a bit annoying. With remnants of sawdust and woodchips scattered everywhere, your yard will look messy. Can you use the stump grindings? Do you have to discard them in the garbage? In this post, we are going to discuss the easiest way to clean up stump grindings. Read on!
Collecting the Wood Chips
There are two ways to collect wood chips. You can either get it done by the tree service company that ground the stump. In most cases, the quote includes the cost of cleaning up the stump grindings. Or you can take it as a DIY project. Do it yourself if you have the time and energy.
Get It Done by Professionals
Cleaning the wood chips is a chore that is laborious and time-consuming. So, if you are a busy person, you may want to get the job done by a tree service company that cuts down the tree and ground the stump. This task will bring you some extra costs, but it will save you valuable time.
When a tree removal service gives you a quote, ask if the quote includes cleaning up stump grindings. If the terms are clear from the beginning, you will not have to deal with unpleasant surprises.
Do It Yourself
If you have time, you can save some costs by collecting the wood chips. First, collect the stump grindings with a pitchfork or shovel and put them in a 5-gallon bucket or container. Or if you have a box blade, you can easily scrap them up. After that, you can either repurpose them or throw them away.
Tips for Repurposing the Stump Grindings
The easiest way to clean up stump grindings is to throw them away into the trash. However, by being a bit creative, you can repurpose them in productive ways. Here are some tips:
Use Them as Mulch
Turn them into mulch and use it to enrich your soil. It can benefit your soil in a lot of ways. It balances the temperature of the soil, retains moisture, sustains beneficial organisms, and suppresses weeds.
But how can you turn the wood chips into mulch? Well, just scatter them onto the soil and then use a pitchfork to spread them. As the grindings decompose, they will use up nitrogen present in the soil. So, in order to ensure the balance of nutrients, make sure you add some nitrogen fertilizer to the soil.
Compost the material
Wood chips decompose pretty quickly and become a part of a compost pile. So, you can easily turn them into compost, which can be used as fertilizer. You can also add garden waste and food scraps to the compost pile.
In just a few months, the decomposed stump grindings will get rich in nitrogen. Then, feel free to add them to your plants and garden beds. You can quicken the decomposition process by turning the pile once every few days.
Create Garden Walkways and Paths
If you are thinking of creating a natural-looking walkway or path in your garden, you can use wood chips for this purpose. Over time, they will decompose. So, you will have to put a layer of fresh grindings occasionally. It may not be the easiest way to clean up stump grindings and use them, but it is surely a handy tip for using them in a creative way.
Use Them as a Fire Starter
Stump grindings can be used as an effective Firestarter. So, if you have some stump grindings, you may not have to buy fire starters in the next couple of months. They can be very useful when you are camping in winter.
Spread Them on Snowy Sidewalks
If you are looking for the easiest way to clean up stump grindings and using them right away, you may like this idea. Snow makes road surfaces slippery in winter. You can combat this issue by spreading some stump grindings on snowy walkways. They can increase traction and make these walkways safer to walk on.
FAQs about Cleaning Up Stump Grindings
Is Burning Stump Grindings a Good Idea?
If you are trying to find the easiest way to clean up stump grindings, this idea may come to your mind. Can’t you just burn the stump grindings? As we have discussed, you can use stump grindings in several productive ways.
But if you need to get rid of them right away, for whatever reason, you can consider burning them. Before you do it, depending on where you are living, you may need to get permission from the local fire department.
How Long Does the Decomposition Process Take?
When you compost stump grindings, they will decay in a couple of months. The decomposition process is relatively fast during the summer, due to the high temperatures. However, the size of the wood chips determines the exact length of time.
Can Wood Chips Acidify the Soil?
Although wood chips are acidic, they do not acidify the soil. The reason is that their pH becomes neutral as they decompose. They benefit the soil by retaining the moisture. They also control the weeds and regulate soil temperature.
What Can You Do with the Sawdust?
If you add worms to the sawdust, it will decompose faster. It can be used as compost to enrich the soil. Also known as vermicomposting, this process is familiar to most farmers. Sawdust is organic, and therefore good for the soil. You add the worms to quicken the process and make the compost more effective.
Final Thoughts: Easiest Way to Clean Up Stump Grindings
Many people throw away stump grindings, knowing that they can be used in productive ways. Cleaning up the stuff can be laborious and time-consuming, but it can also be enjoyable. Next time you are left with wood chips and stump grindings, hopefully, you will not get overwhelmed, because you know how to clean them up and use them to make your life easier.