Over the last two years, I have been cutting down many, many small trees (approx. four inch diameter or less) along stone walls and in other overgrown sections of the farm where we want to make/reclaim pasture for our goats.  This post is to talk about removal of those small stumps.  Originally, I cut stumps as flat and close to the ground as possible.  I have concluded this was a mistake, at least for my circumstances.  I have wrecked the blade on my Cub Cadet mowing over those stumps, which disappear when surrounded by tall grass.  Plus the stumps linger in the field.  My new preference is to first cut the stump as high as I can and still drop the tree safely, and, second, come back later (like a year later) and kick or wiggle them out of the ground.  Poof! -- stump completely gone and mowing blades safe.  Bonus, my goats use the higher stumps as a scratch post for their horns, and the birds make use of them too.  From a time perspective, I don't think I waste much, if any, time relative to getting the area stump free.  I realize there is an increased risk of physcial danger to cutting stumps too high -- so common sense and caution rule.

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Maybe another advantage is you would get coppiced stumps, which would still provide browse for your goats.  

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