Local Tree Service Explains the Hidden Hazards of Leaving Old Stumps in Your Yard

February 5, 2020

When it comes to your Denver home’s landscaping, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to the features you’ve grown used to. This means you might not notice those perfectly maintained flower beds as quickly as your neighbors do and you’ll definitely be able to ignore that old stump off to the corner of your lot. While you know to hire a Denver tree company to help you care for living trees, you may not understand just how much damage that old stump can do to your property. Here are a few of the worst and least-known hazards your home will face if you don’t remove stumps in your yard.

Insect and Pest Infestations
When a tree first gets cut down, the stump it leaves behind isn’t too much of an issue. The wood is still in good shape and there’s not a lot inside the stump that’s started to break down. Over time, that wood will start to decay. That decay is where the major issue lies. 

The more wood breaks down and releases moisture, the more insects and pests will be attracted to the stump. Decaying wood is both an ideal nesting spot and a perfect food source for many unwanted insects. Once they take up residence in the stump, they’ll start to use up the resources it provides. 

Often, this results in the insects moving around your yard, putting your other plants and even your home at risk for infestation. Getting the stump removed as soon as possible will keep those insects from becoming a problem on your property.

Increased Liability Risk
As stumps break down, they will get smaller. This makes it hard for you and your guests to spot them in the yard if you’re not paying close attention. As a homeowner, you’re liable for any injuries that happen on your property. This means you could end up having to pay for medical treatments and damages should someone sue you for the injury.

Tripping over a stump may not always cause severe injuries, but it can. Getting rid of the stump will keep visitors safe and reduces your risk of having to file a homeowners insurance claim to pay for a liability lawsuit. 

Holes and Depressions in the lawn
Almost all stumps will eventually deteriorate. That’s why so many people are willing to leave them in their yards long after the tree gets removed. But that deterioration isn’t without its own problems.

The stump itself takes up space in the yard. Much of its bulk is actually beneath the soil in the root system. Once the stump deteriorates completely, the space the roots and remaining trunk of the tree once occupied will be empty. 

In most cases, this leaves a large depression or outright hole in your yard. People and animals alike can trip over the hole and injure themselves quickly. When you hire a tree company to get rid of the stump, they’ll be able to fill the hole with dirt so you won’t have to worry about unwanted and unsafe depressions in your yard. This keeps everyone safer and helps improve the look of your yard. 

Decreased Curb Appeal
Trees add tons of value to your property. When they’re properly cared for, they make your yard and your home exterior look more inviting. If you’re trying to sell your house, this can mean a big improvement in how quickly you find a buyer. 

When those trees die and get removed, you’re helping to preserve that property value, but only if you remove the stump as well. Leaving the stump in place decreases your home’s curb appeal, making it look lackluster and, frankly, poorly maintained. The longer the stump stays in place, the more it will decay. And the more it decays, the dingier and dirtier it will look. Let’s face it—no prospective buyers want to see tons of mushrooms growing out of a stump in your front yard. They want something well-manicured and properly maintained.

Increased Risk of Plant Diseases
Decomposing wood may seem harmless and can add some beneficial nutrients to your yard. But it can also spread disease. All plants can be damaged by fungal diseases that infect their leaves and vascular system. Worse, once one plant gets infected, the infection can spread throughout your yard. 

Unfortunately, these diseases are hard to detect when they’re still treatable and you may end up missing them before it’s too late for your plants. When the disease is severe enough, you’ll have no choice but to remove the infected plants and dispose of them permanently. 

Removing those old stumps will greatly reduce the risk of plant diseases spreading throughout your yard. For best results, don’t wait until the stump is starting to break down. Get it removed as soon as you can, even if you don’t think it’s a problem.

Damage to Your Pavement and Walkways
When you look at a stump, you assume that the tree isn’t growing anymore. After all, there are no new sprouts or stems popping up out of the center of the stump. But that doesn’t mean it’s not still growing. You just might not be able to see it.

Even after a tree gets cut down, the roots can continue to grow and spread beneath the soil. When the stump is near pavement or stepping stones, this can be a major problem. As roots expand beneath the soil, they can start pushing against the pavement, creating cracks and pushing the dirt beneath the pavement up until you have breakage. Getting rid of the stump will keep the roots from spreading and preserves the integrity and appearance of your pavement. 

Don’t Leave an Old Stump Alone
If you’ve got a stump on your property, it’s tempting to ignore it, but that doesn’t mean you should. The longer it sits, the more likely it is that the above hazards will become a serious problem. Schedule an appointment with us and let our stump grinding experts get rid of the problem once and for all. 
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