The Battle of Port Orford

Back in 2009 we had two trees removed from the front of our house. Ever since then, we have been walking around one of the stumps to get to where we park the car. In early 2012, I decided to dig that stump out. I would work on it off and on as the mood struck me. As the hole grew larger, it became much more exciting to walk to the car in the dark as you had to avoid the pits and dirt piles. What can I say? I like to keep things interesting with half finished projects.

Coming down

Needless to say, my stump digging plans came to an abrupt end. Lee finally got tired of the shallow pit mine in our front yard and declared war on the stump. It took less than a week, working an hour each evening. He iterated between digging, chopping roots with a Pulanski, chainsawing for a few minutes until the blade dulled, sharpening the chainsaw, and angrily pounding the stump with an maul. The stump slowly came out in 5 large sections.


We are going to let the other stump by the house rot out. It doesn’t bother us and digging out stumps is madness. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We’ve had lots of people tell us about stump grinders. Yes, stump grinders are a thing, but they don’t completely remove the stump and we didn’t want the walk path planned for this space to settle as the wood under it rotted.

One stump in many pieces

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6 Responses to The Battle of Port Orford

  1. Kam says:

    Yup… taking stumps out by hand is war. You against 50 years of burrowing nature. It’s a great workout though, if you can get by the points of acute frustration. My tool of choice is the pickaxe, but I prefer it in combination with a chain and tractor. Nice job, Lee!

    • lee says:

      I thought sure I responded to these … sorry! šŸ™

      Yup, stump digging is definitely good exercise, although so is splitting firewood and it’s a lot less frustrating. I have a pick but didn’t think to try it. The Pulanski worked the best for the general digging. It’s a cross between an ax and a digging hoe, so you have two perpendicular blades and it’s easy to just turn to the tool to cut a root. The chain and truck sound even easier still, but I didn’t have any monster trucks available.

  2. ShimFarm says:

    …and, he conquers! Nice job, a thankless one at that. I hear you about stump grinders. Nice in concept, not so nice in theory. You did well to remove it, it just sucks that you had to do it by hand!

    • lee says:

      I found the original job estimate recently and the guy offered to grind them down for only $80. That sure sounded like a good deal about half way through digging this one out, but I’m happier with the outcome now that it’s completely gone. Perhaps I’ll look into ways to rot out the other one faster.

  3. Wow.. Nice work! No small undertaking!

    • lee says:

      Ugh, revisiting this post makes my back hurt. No wait, that’s from digging trenches for the last week. I didn’t know how good I had it when there was just one stump to deal with rather than 400 ft of trench to clear.

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