My root canal is on fire. Burning the big pine stump.

Winchman

Branched out member

At the end of second day of burning. Just playing around with fire.
1634235253482.png
I noticed a small rotted area about a foot from the edge of the stump, so I cleaned it out. At the bottom I found a cavity going out to the side, so I dug a hole about a foot deep outside the stump. Using a screwdriver and a spoon, I opened a passageway to feed fresh air through the cavity to a fire in the rotted area. The root burning in the video was next to the passageway I opened. The middle of the stump was all fat lighter, so it didn't take long to get a roaring blow torch.

I've burned all the dead wood I can find in the immediate neighborhood, so I haven't decided how to deal with the rest of the stump.

Spreading out the 10 yards of dirt I got to fill in the ruts in the lawn using a bucket and hand truck only took several days. It's not perfect, but at least I'll be able to push my 21" Bolens exercise machine around without scalping anything.
 

Winchman

Branched out member
It's been decades since I've seen a piece of coal, and I doubt the neighbors would be as tolerant as they've been with the burning so far.

Here's an example of what makes up the root mound surrounding the stump. I've already cut off and burned six feet.
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There's only about a dozen more. The one in the video is still smoking, but I can't see any flames or how fat back it's burned.
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So far this is the only root that's shown any sign of burning itself out. I'll have to feel around in the morning to see if there's a warm spot in the grass.
 

Winchman

Branched out member
I wish all the big surface roots had done this.
1634489254210.png
About two feet of the root burned completely away, the dirt caved in, and it's still burning nicely.

The far side of the stump is supported by what's left of the tap root, and it just doesn't want to go away. There was no tap root under the near side of the stump...just dirt.
1634490150658.png

I've run out of stuff to burn, and it hasn't rained in over a week, so I'm going to let it go out on it's own while I decide what to do next.
 
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Winchman

Branched out member
A little digging and chopping has netted a pile of roots. The root on the right had that spike going straight down, but the truck took care of it.
1634740921143.png

At first I thought this was one huge root, but it was actually two that crossed over one another.
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The one on the left was rotten on the outer end. Had to use wedges to pry them apart. My 60+ year-old mattock still gets the job done. Good exercise, sound sleep.
 

Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
A little digging and chopping has netted a pile of roots. The root on the right had that spike going straight down, but the truck took care of it.
View attachment 78395

At first I thought this was one huge root, but it was actually two that crossed over one another.
View attachment 78396
The one on the left was rotten on the outer end. Had to use wedges to pry them apart. My 60+ year-old mattock still gets the job done. Good exercise, sound sleep.
I think you work harder than I do, and I work on trees full time! That’s some hard work, but it looks great!
 

Winchman

Branched out member
Here's what's left of the stump with the four remaining roots marked.
1635114096951.png
The two roots I removed from the left of the stump took some of the stump with them. The one on the right might do that, too, but I think the others are firmly attached to the remains of the tap root that's about a foot thick behind that little pile of roots in the foreground.

I've given up trying to chop those anchor roots that go straight down from the horizontal surface roots. I clean away as much of the dirt as I can, and use the oldest chainsaw on them. If I'm careful, I can get two of them cut before I have to sharpen the blade, and I can do that while the battery is charging.

These are the two I got out today. You can see the saw cuts on the six inch diameter vertical anchor roots.
1635115071796.png
 

Winchman

Branched out member
Yeah, but where's the fun in that? It's something I've always wanted to do, and it's been really interesting to see how the roots grew as a system to support that big tree.

I think it's a genetic thing. My grandfather enjoyed doing things when he was retired that involved lots of physical labor with hand tools. A lot of it was stuff that nowadays would require permits and stamped engineering drawings, but what he did worked well for a long time.
 

flushcut

Branched out member
Location
Delavan, WI
I presume this is not a money making venture? Hell, gnaw it out of the ground like a beaver I don't care. Just saying that a lot of time to invest in one stump.
 

Merle Nelson

Carpal tunnel level member
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
It's closer to a study into the tenacity and dedication the human spirit is capable of.

When some speak of how certain segments of the population can't do this or that because they're x, I think of stories I've read of early settlers spending two weeks digging a stump out to expand their garden space a little. Or indentured servants giving up 7 years of their life for passage from Europe to the New World.

I wish someone was documenting and broadcasting your feats far and wide Winchman.
 

dmonn

Participating member
Location
Mequon
Yeah, but where's the fun in that? It's something I've always wanted to do, and it's been really interesting to see how the roots grew as a system to support that big tree.

I think it's a genetic thing. My grandfather enjoyed doing things when he was retired that involved lots of physical labor with hand tools. A lot of it was stuff that nowadays would require permits and stamped engineering drawings, but what he did worked well for a long time.
My mattock is my favorite tool!
 

Winchman

Branched out member
The last two roots...
1635616385371.png

and the stump are gone.
1635616463101.png

Now it's just a matter of filling in the holes, raking it level, and disposing of the roots. I've already got my eyes on another project.

Thanks for the kind words, encouragement, and realistic assessments.
 

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