After a fairly stressful day at work, I thought a good way of taking out my frustration would be to head down to the allotment and do some digging. As luck would have it, there was a tree stump slap-bang in the middle of the plot that needed removing. So I rolled up my sleeves and set about digging it out.
Unfortunately, my plan overlooked the fact that trying to dig out a tree stump is just about the most frustrating thing you can do on an allotment (in my admittedly very limited experience).
The technique I used was to dig around the base to expose the roots holding the stump in place and attack them with a pruning saw, pulling out the severed roots (which were up to a couple of metres long) whenever possible. When the hole got big enough, I hacked away at the compacted earth underneath the stump to undermine it. Eventually, after a long, hard struggle and being on the point of giving up about half-a-dozen times, I was able to push the stump over and haul it out of its pit.
I say “eventually”; the whole process took me well over two hours, and by the time I’d finished it was getting dark. Still, at least the stump is out now, leaving the centre of the plot clear for paths and beds to be marked out and put in.
Unfortunately, this stump isn’t the only one on the plot. Lurking in the background you’ll see the remaining tree stumps loitering and looking shifty. After the effort that it took to get this one out, I don’t think they have much to worry about; unless someone comes up with an easier method for removing tree stumps, they’ll be there for a good while yet.