How to Remove a Tree Stump in Four Ways

How to Remove a Tree Stump in Four Ways

So you finally got rid of that big old tree in your yard? Was brutal, no? But wait. The worst part is yet to come, removing the tree stump. And if you haven’t done any stump eliminating before then, I can assure you it is going to be a tidy bit more horrendous task than merely cutting off a tree.

But worry not, for every problem comes with a solution. Removing a tree stump can be painful and time-taking, but once it’s done, it’s done.

If you’ve done the great deed of cutting the tree yourself, you might as well want to eliminate the tree stump yourself too. However, if that’s not your plan, you can either call in a professional or hire an agency to help you with the removal.

But before you remove the stump, the first thing you need to note down is why you want to get rid of that tree stump. Is it an old tree stump in your yard or the recollection source of the tree removal job?

Also, check the hardness, diameter, roots, and height of the tree stump under observation. Intricate or deep-rooted trees are relatively more challenging to get out than smaller ones. If it encompasses deep roots, you might want to go with the fastest of all methods.

Once all your reasoning and last-minute checks are done, gear up to throw that tree stump out of your garden. Below are four common ways that are all you need for your purpose. These are as follows:

  1. Use Chemicals (With Stump Remover/Killer)
  2. Manually
  3. Burn the Stump
  4. With stump grinder

Some of these methods are expensive, while others are not. Let’s see how these methods work and which one is the best suited for you.

Use Chemicals

This must be the first thought that pops into your head when you think about removing that stump, but all that glitters is not gold. Using a chemical may seem easy and trouble-free, but it takes forever to get the job done.

The application of chemicals is the most used as it requires the faintest efforts only. However, stump removers need long to completely eradicate the tree from the roots, sometimes even up to a year. After all, you are forcing the stump to rot.

And even better, if you happen to have a chainsaw and a drill in your house, you can get rid of it within no time. In addition to these, to get that pesky tree stump off your property includes you may also require potassium nitrate, a plastic tarp, some garden mulch, and an ax to that handy.

How to Use Chemicals for Removal Stump
Plant Abundance

How to Use Chemicals for Removal

Before you opt for this easy-going method of stump removal, you must bear in mind that it might take up to three to four weeks before the actual results show up. Don’t haste to go faster than that, as the natural process takes up to eight years for rotting a stump. Once you have all your tools ready, here’s how you can remove a tree stump using chemicals.

  1. Bring the chainsaw to action and remove as much of the stump as you can. This can get a little rough, so be sure to have your safety accessories, including safety goggles and steel toe boots.
  2. Next is some noise; better send in some apology notes to your neighbors already. On the tree stump that’s left-back, drill holes using a drill machine. Go as deep as you can and choose the most significant drill bit size for this purpose.
  3. Once the holes stand deep and wide, fill them with water and add potassium nitrate to them.
  4. Add water around the stump to make the area around the stump damp and cover it will a plastic tarp to lock the moisture in and speed up the rotting process.
  5. Above the tarp, add a layer of soil, preferably wet, organic soil, as it helps retain the moisture for longer.
  6. Keep a regular check on the stump and add water and nitrogen periodically to keep the stump moist.
  7. After at least fifty days, the stump is likely to become spongy. In this case, get an ax and cut down parts of it. If the stump is still stiff, take another go.

You can use Epsom salt instead of nitrate if you prefer evading chemicals and harsh materials in your garden.

Manual Removal

Manual Removal of the tree stump is an efficient way if fast work is your thing but the effort required is a lot to ask for. The entire removal process will take four to eleven hours maximum if you have the right tools by your side.

You would need a hatchet, ax, box saw, and a digging bar. Also, get a pair of work gloves to save yourself from getting rashes.

How to Manually Remove the Stump
Jack Dubs

How to Manually Remove the Stump

Manual removal works only when the stump is small-sized or medium at max. For large-sized stumps, you would perhaps need to use a grinder.

  1. With the hatchet, get out the dirt and dig around the desired area.
  2. To manually remove the stump, you need to have a clear view of its roots. For this purpose, get all the dirt out from that area, so the roots of the trees are uncovered.
  3. Sever the roots of the tree using your mattock.
  4. Repeat the process until the taproots come into view.
  5. Once the taproots are clear, smack them with an ax.

Once the taproots are gone, you will need to move the tree here and there for a while so that it comes off loose. This can take several hours, but once the tree is gone, everything will seem worth it.

Burn the Stump

The burn is fast, effective, and easy but causes pollution—a lot of it. The material you need for this method includes kerosene oil, a power drill, and a tree stump-eliminating product.

Burn the Stump

How to Burn Down the Stump

Playing with fire can be dangerous; therefore, make sure you have your safety gear right by your side.

  1. Use your drill machine to drill holes in the stump and ensure that the holes are deep enough because the more space, the more stump removal product will enter the place and faster the process will be.
  2. Once the wood has become porous, add kerosene oil to the tree stump making sure that it is completely soaked in it.
  3. Put the tree stump on fire and watch it burn. If the fire seems to be drying out at any time during the process, add more fuel to the party. Once the entire tree stump has been burnt, add dry mulch on top of the fire to extinguish it.

This method is fast, but while living in a colony, one might want to alert their neighbors.

Stump Grinder

Stump grinders are usually used in large old trees or for several tree stumps. Purchasing a tree stump can be a darn bit pricy, so renting it would be a good option. You can rent a stump grinder from your local marketplaces for about a hundred to two hundred dollars. Some other supplies you would need along with the stump grinder include a chainsaw, a rake, an ax, and a shovel.

How to Use the Stump Grinder
Stump Shark Stump Grinding

How to Use the Stump Grinder

Using a stump grinder is easy, but you will need to arrange the transportation as they can be large machines and weigh more than a thousand pounds. You can either get a ride of your own or ask the rental company to drop it off and take it back. They may charge you extra for this service.

  1. Clear away all the dirt, debris, and unnecessary material from the tree stump.
  2. Get a chainsaw and cut most parts of the stump. It’s best if you cut it down just enough to be above ground level.
  3. Position the grinder’s wheel a few cms above the stump and then turn the machine on.
  4. Mode it from side to side after lowering it to about three inches.
  5. Grind the stump down at least four inches but using the grinder and repeat the entire process till the whole stump is below the ground level, but not more than four inches.
  6. Add wood chips in the hole to fill it up, and then add topsoil or grass to cover the ‘gone for good’ tree stump.

Using a grinder is fun and is a definite tool to bring grace to your house, but research before getting your hand on anything is necessary. Machines can be difficult to work with if you don’t know how to use them and nor have any expert help.


All these methods give the same result. Use the one convenient for you to get your work done. That brings me to the end of the post.

Do let me know what you think about this article in the comments section below, and don’t forget to like and share it with your loved ones. Happy Gardening!

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