Saturday, March 19, 2011

Not to be Stumped

The last day before we headed out to California, Shirley went to Victoria to see a doctor... and I took on the challenge of removing a huge stump.

On the front of the tractor is the reward for six hours of hard work and persistence.  Pretty huge, eh?

The trick to winning this challenge is to cut off every root around the stump and one at a time I pulled them out using either my tractor or a one-ton chain winch... which is attached to a nearby tree.

Cutting roots with a chain saw is hard on the chain... but I power wash all around the root where I plan to cut... and this helps a lot.  By pulling out each root, it is then easier to go deeper around the base and expose more roots.  I did this until I could not find any more roots.

After I had cut off all the roots I could see, I knew there was still the centre tap root that would be very tough to expose and cut.  So I attached my chains to a root in such a way that when I pulled it caused the stump to start to rotate and twist off the tap root... much like a wrench gives leverage to untwist a nut off a bolt.

I could not pull the chain winch more than a couple of links before it was too hard to move... so I attached the tractor with another chain and would give a little slack and jerk the tractor back to try to shake the stump a little.  Then I could pull the chain winch another couple of links.  I would repeat this method probably 20 times, each time gaining a little more until the stump was loosened such that I could ram it with the tractor bucket and lift it out.

In the upper right corner of the picture is the chain winch attached to the tree... and you can see the pressure washer on the walkway above.

Next to the tractor is the pile of roots I had to pull... likely 10-12 of various sizes.

Another trick that helped was to attach a small chain to create a "V" to centre the pulling load for maximum power.

There is a lot of satisfaction in wining the battle over a stump... and not being stumped!  This is the second large stump that we have taken out this winter.  The other was a cedar tree stump next to the driveway just inside our front gate.

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." -Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States (1872-1933)

1 comment:

  1. Great quote...we know that to be true.

    When I left for town that morning I remember saying, "Sherwin, if you have a tree to saw down or a stump to pull, or a rock to set in cement, you are a happy man. We are going to end up like a bald prairie here if you don't find something new to do!"