One of the largest expenses associated with cutting down a tree is removing the stump because doing so requires heavy machinery. If you're hiring a tree service to remove a tree, you can save money by asking them to leave the stump in place and let it rot naturally. After they are finished cutting down the tree, you can speed up the rotting process. All you need is a drill and some coffee grounds.
Nitrogen Helps Wood Rot
The rotting process requires two main elements: carbon and nitrogen. Fresh wood, including a tree stump and roots, is rich with carbon, but it lacks nitrogen. Therefore, as The Permaculture Research Institute explains, adding nitrogen to wood will help it rot. Your tree stump would eventually rot on its own, but you can speed up the process by fertilizing it with a nitrogen-rich material.
Used Coffee Grounds Have Nitrogen
There are number of substances you might use to add nitrogen, including commercially manufactured potassium nitrate, horse manure, blood meal and compost. The Permaculture Research Institute even suggests urine. Coffee grounds, however, are a more acceptable and less expensive source of nitrogen.
Used coffee grounds contain about 2.28 percent nitrogen (along with a negligible amount of phosphorus and 0.6 percent potassium), according to Sunset. Their nitrogen content might not be as high as commercial products, which can easily reach 10 percent in the guaranteed analysis, but used coffee grounds are also much cheaper than other nitrogen sources. Coffee drinkers have an ample supply of used grounds, and many cafes give their used grounds away for free.
How to Rot a Stump
As long as you have used coffee grounds and a drill, rotting a stump is easy. First, drill several holes into the stump. Use the largest drill bit you have to drill these holes. There's not an exact science to drilling these holes, but the larger their diameter and deeper they go, the faster your stump will rot. When you're finished, you should have 10 to 20 holes drilled, depending on the size of your stump and drill bit. (You'll want more holes if your stump is large or drill bit is small, and fewer if your stump is small or drill bit is large.)
Once the holes have been drilled, fill them with your coffee grounds. If you have a bag of used grounds from a coffee shop, you can fill all of the holes at once. If you're using your own grounds, fill a hole each morning after making coffee.
When it rains, these grounds will get wet and release nitrogen. The rotting process will then rapidly speed up. In just a little while, you will have a pile of fresh dirt where your stump once was -- and you didn't need to pay a tree service to remove the stump. Perhaps you can use the money you saved on tree stump removal to enjoy another cup of coffee.
For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact MML Tree Service or a similar company.Share