Pine trees in Central Florida

Help Support ArboristSite:


New Member
Mar 24, 2019
I know it may be limiting the responses but Id appreciate it if only people with this specific experience post in this thread.

Im not looking for any advice about renting large equipment or a stump grinder.

I have 5 acres just outside of Ocala Florida that I plan to retire on in a few years, it is some sand, and then some more sand and then you finally get to the good stuff below which is more sand.

I drive out there when I can spend the weekend ( usually the 1st weekend of the month ) I am working on clearing the land/doing what I can do to keep busy whilst I waiting for my time to come to start building ( Feb 2023 )

Its small property, only 5 acres.

Lots of pine trees, I dont want the pine trees.

Ive removed over a hundred so far and still more than twice that to go. They average maybe 6-8 inches in diam, some much bigger, some smaller.

In case you didnt know a 6 inch pine tree can EASILY double in size below the ground, they send a tap root that goes down further than I care to dig and Ive dug down 3-4 feet trying to remove a stump.

At this point I have more than 100 stumps sticking out of the ground approx 2-3 feet.

There is zero chance that Im gonna be able to push over much of anything with my small tractor/FEL/backhoe combo ( cause again the taproot ) but I may be able to dig down one side of the tree with my backhoe and get the tree to lean if enough dirt is removed but Im not sure what that will gain me.

It was mentioned to me on another forum that if I left them alone they would be powder with 1-2 years?????

Is this an accurate time frame for my location and specie of tree?

If it is true than I need to get back there and cut down every one on the property so I can get the rotting started and then deal with cleanup over time, if its not true than Ill just keep going like I am and peck at things until Feb 2023 comes and Ill have no better choice than to hire someone to do the work that Id rather be doing myself.

Jan 17, 2012
western washington
The stumps may or may not rot,depends on specific conditions, personally I wouldn't count on it.

What does work dandy is a mid sized excavator, 120-160 class machines, bigger is quicker... but also more expensive and more destructive. Preferably one with a thumb.

Buy some old used machine if you can, probably around $20k, do the work you need, and likely more. Then sell it for about what you paid for it


******** Timber Expert
Jul 21, 2009
Hardwood Country
As far as stumps unless that's some kind of magic sand I don't see them disappearing in two years. To do it right you need the right equipment. Either rented or purchased. Like a smallish excavator or larger tractor backhoe. Pine stumps left alone in the open here in dark soil will take 10 years to break down. In sand I'll bet it's longer because what is there to break it down?


Mountain Ranger
Jan 24, 2019
I mean, I travel deep woods at times with my employment and I’ve seen stumps much older than a year or two, and some still in decent shape. I wouldn’t count on them being rotted in two years, but I may be wrong.

I agree with bitzer, if it’s mostly pine now then it may mostly be pine that grows back, mixed with a few other species perhaps.

What kind of pine?

Latest posts