Improper stump removal or burial in the yard can lead to major problems later on. If you purchased the home, you may not even be aware that there is a stump at first. This is because the previous homeowner may have had it ground down only partially so they could cover it with sod. Another issues is when a stumps are disposed of on the property, usually by burying them in holes. The following guide can help you spot the signs of a hidden tree stump so you can have it properly removed.
Sign #1: Mushrooms or fungus
Many lawn mushrooms and fungi sprout from areas that are rich in woody organic matter. If you notice that the fungus is only growing in one area, you may have a rotting stump sitting just beneath the surface of the soil. In some cases you can even trace the shape of the old stump, as the mushrooms will only grow on the stump site and then out and along the arms of the main roots spreading from the stump. Dig down a few inches to see if you hit wood. If so, you may want to have this old stump properly removed.
Sign #2: Sinkholes
Large sinkholes are more common when several stumps are buried in a single location, but even a single stump can result in a small sinking area. This problem is easy to spot, since the ground will actually be forming a depression in the area. The depression will only worsen as the stumps continue to decompose, so damage could occur to nearby structures. It's best to have the cause of the deepening sunken area checked out by a professional, since some sinkholes can be deadly. If the cause is simply old stumps, you can have these removed and the area filled back in with soil.
Sign #3: Wood devouring insects
Termites are the most concerning, although many insects feed and colonize on dead wood. The truth is, you will rarely see termites above ground since they prefer to remain underground or inside the wood they are feeding upon. Instead, you may find concentrated areas of termite sign, such as shed wings from a termite swarm in a concentrated area on the surface of the ground. If this area coincides with others signs, such as an area with fungal issues or that is sunken, chances are, you have a stump. If the stump is far from your home and causing no problems, you can probably ignore it. Otherwise, have it dug up and removed for the peace of mind.
For more information, contact Brown's Tree Service or a similar company.