stump under walll The picture shows the stump. We ground up the main stump, but there are parts of it and the root under a block wall/fence dividing my property and my neighbor's property. We suspect that this is pushing the block wall and causing it to lean. (I show a men's size 8 shoe in picture for scale).

I'm able to dig under the root/stump a bit.

What is the best way to remove this and any other remaining roots under the wall.

update Added note that the wall is actually a block wall fence separating my property and my neighbors property. We suspect the root is causing the wall to lean towards his property. We hope to correct the lean once the stump is gone.

  • 3
    TNT... Oh, wait... You want the wall, right? – Tester101 Mar 19 '17 at 16:33
  • Dig, dig and chop. – Michael Karas Mar 19 '17 at 16:59
  • I'm not a handyman, I just like telling people what to do. So, I'd be afraid of "cutting and removing" a root that size without disturbing the wall. I'd use the "drill and poison" technique. By the way, those little "gaps" between the concrete blocks at the base of the wall are "weep holes". They allow moisture trapped in the wall (yes, concrete blocks leak) to run down and out. They also allow bugs and pests to crawl into the wall. So, keep dirt, mulch, etc. down about 6" or so to make it more difficult for those little critters find a home. – Lee Sam Mar 19 '17 at 17:51
  • Oh, eventually the root will die and rot away. When that happens, there will be a gap under your foundation/footing. Typically, foundation systems are "over designed". I'm sure it will be fine for such a short span. However, if not, you'll notice hairline cracks in the mortar joints directly over the old root. (Settlement occurs most at center of spans.) At that time you can "shore up the footing" or seal the joints, but don't seal up the weep holes. – Lee Sam Mar 19 '17 at 18:01
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    A MONTH?!? Uhhh...no. Left to its own devices that root will be there for YEARS - and since it's still in the ground it may well take it into its head (well, whatever... :-) to start growing again. You definitely want to poison this thing - drill holes into it and pour in straight hi-concentration glyphosphate - Round-Up or similar. – Bob Jarvis Mar 19 '17 at 20:58

Easiest? Saltpeter. If you drill holes with a spade bit, fill them with a liquid stump remover, then wait for a week or so it should convert the wood to a punky black consistency that's much easier to dig out. If the chemical you used is saltpeter you will have converted the wood to an oxidizer. Should the stump somehow become saturated with kerosene that was left in the holes for a day or two and set alight it would burn even underground, destroying all of the roots.

Your best bet is probably a reciprocating saw. It won't take a week and a half or attract the fire marshal. It's also safer, in my opinion, than using a chainsaw in very tight quarters.

There are wheels that would allow you to grind the rest with an angle grinder. I'm not too sold on them from a safety perspective, so it'd be a last resort for me personally.

On the professional side of the house, makers of large oscillating saws for masons offer general purpose blades that cut wood. (ArborTech's AS170, for example) Unfortunately it's probably not a common enough tool to be available at most rental places. I'd call and ask, but not get my hopes up.

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