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After The Battle Is Won: 3 Ways To Deal With The Leftovers From A Ground Tree Stump

Now that you've pulverized that pesky stump to smithereens, what do you do with the leftovers? You've got several choices, and here are 3 to consider:

Leave it as it is.

If the stump is in an area that most passersby won't notice, and you don't plan to plant anything there for a while, you can leave the underground remains of the stump in place. Simply rake up the scattered wood chips and discard them. You can also turn them into mulch with your lawnmower, which shouldn't have a problem handling slivers and small fragments of wood as long as the blades are sharp.

If the tree was diseased or has an insect infestation, leaving the stump may be a bad idea. There could be larvae feeding on the roots or disease present in the remains of the stump that can be carried by nesting birds to nearby trees or spread via other means.

Leaving the stump also may attract termites or other wood-boring insects that could spread on your property. Ants and termites will help decompose rotting stump pulp and provide food for other wildlife, but make sure any insect-infested stump is close to woods and away from human traffic and wood floor joists.

Dig it up and plant something else.

You can't just dig out a few inches of the stump pulp, throw down some dirt and grass seed, and expect it to grow. The ground-stump area will not support grass or plants that can't handle the acidic conditions of decomposing wood and roots.

You'll have to dig much deeper and try to excavate as much of the dead roots as possible around the area of the stump in order to prepare the area to grow new plants. Adding some garden lime to the soil you use to fill in the hole will help it support grass, annuals, or a new tree.

It's best to add extra soil over the tree stump hole so that it's in a mound. As the roots collapse, so will the soil. That extra dirt will soon be below the surface level, and you will need to add more as it settles.

Grow years of mushrooms.

Learn how to prepare and inoculate a tree stump to grow mushrooms. If you're a fan of shiitake or oyster mushrooms, you can have oodles of them by growing your own varieties. Hen of the woods, or Grifola frondosa, is another easy mushroom to cultivate, especially if you have an oak stump.

There are many companies in the U.S. that ship the spores and kits to grow culinary mushrooms and plenty of internet resources available to help you prepare the stump and keep the mushrooms fruiting. That ugly stump area is perfect for delicious fungi farming.

So what are you waiting for? Now that you know what to do with your conquered tree stumps, it's time to go rent a stump grinder and do some conquering.