When you knock down a tree or it falls down on its own, you are generally left with a stump. You may have avoided having the stump removed because you fear the process will be time-consuming or expensive. However, even if it takes some time or money, it really is important to remove that old tree stump. Here's why.

It will attract insects.

At the tree stump sits in the ground and begins to rot away naturally, it will become very appealing to insects. Carpenter ants and termites, especially, will start turning up to feed on the rotten wood. Once these insects are on your property, they can build a rather extensive underground nest. And before long, you may find them feeding on your other wooden structures like your home and your garage. Termites are very hard to get rid of, and carpenter ants can cause a surprising amount of damage for their small size. It's a lot easier to remove the stump than to wait and hope these pests don't show up in your yard.

It can present a tripping hazard.

You might know where the stump is, but that won't necessarily stop you from tripping over it if you have to run out into the yard after dark for something one night. Your visitors may not know the stump is there, and they may trip on it as they walk across the yard. Unless you want to be making a homeowner's insurance claim for medical bills or spending the night in the ER yourself, the safest choice is to have the stump removed sooner rather than later.

The stump can impact your landscaping.

As the stump rots away, the roots may slowly become more compact, causing the soil to settle in. This can lead to disruptions in your landscaping. The flower bed nearby may settle and start to look a little funny. You may end up with low spots in your yard that are tough to mow over. If you have the stump removed, the stump removal company will also remove the larger roots. You can have the empty areas filled with soil and be done with it -- rather than continually worry about changing landscaping for years.

A good stump removal company can be done with the job in about a half day. You may pay a few hundred dollars for this service, but you'll avoid the problems described above.