In a forest, tree stumps can be very beneficial to the ecosystem. For instance, a rotting tree stump adds more nutrients to the soil. And while urban tree stumps provide the same benefits, those benefits are often outweighed by the negatives. A tree stump can have a host of negative effects on an urban landscape.
If you have just cut down a tree in your yard, or plan to do so, consider removing the stump too. Otherwise, your yard and the surrounding area might suffer the following ill effects.
They Cause Depressions in the Soil
A tree stump might not look like much above ground, but below ground, it consists of a huge root system that likely stretches many feet in all directions. Thus, when the stump begins to rot, its roots will also rot. As the stump rots, it will steadily break down and begin to fall apart.
As the stump and its roots rot, they shrink in size, leaving depressions in the soil. Over time, you will begin to notice these depressions all over your yard. And if your stump is in close proximity to your home, subsidence could cause cracks to form in the foundation and walls.
They Rob the Soil of Nutrients
As a stump rots, it drains nutrients and nitrogen from the soil. This makes it difficult to grow anything near a rotting stump, including grass. If you plan to create a garden where your tree used to be, remove the stump and fill in the area with soil and mulch.
They Attract Invasive Pests
All manner of pests like to feast on or live in rotting tree stumps. Termites could build a satellite colony in your tree stump, for instance. And you don't want termites near your home for obvious reasons. Tree stumps attract carpenter ants, wasps and even snakes and rats too.
They Prevent Lawnmower Use
Tree stumps take years to rot depending on the conditions in your yard. Unless you plan to leave your yard to nature, then you'll probably need to do at least some yard maintenance in the future. But if you can't use a lawnmower because the tree stump and its surface roots are in the way, you could end up with a scruffy and overgrown yard that attracts pests.
In a forest, a tree stump is useful to the environment. In a yard or garden, a tree stump is a nuisance that might cause years of trouble if you don't remove it. If you have a stump in your yard, contact a tree service for help.