Five Methods to Remove a Tree Stump

After eliminating a tree, you will have another thing to think about: removing its stump. You can wait for the stump to naturally decay, but it would take ages, and you don’t want to keep the stump for too long. No matter what your reason is for removing the stump, you have to understand that it is not easy as it seems. But the good thing is, you can choose from five basic (and effective) methods to get rid of a stump. 

One popular method to remove a stump is by fastening the stump to a four-wheel-drive truck and pulling it out. We don’t recommend this approach because it can damage your car while still leaving the stump in place. 

Chemical Tree Stump Removal

You can purchase chemical products that speed up the rotting process of a stump at any home garden centers. These products generally contain potassium nitrate known to hasten decomposition process. Also, chemical fertilizers with high nitrogen content aid the rotting process by producing bacterial growth in the stump. You need to drill holes into the stump, fill them with chemical mixed with, and allow the process to take its course. Once the chemical has been full-absorbed by the stump, it will become soft and ready for breaking up. Remove the stump using an ax or a pick-ax. Be careful not to leave children and pets within the range of the stump while letting the chemicals take its full effect. 

Mechanical Removal With a Tree Stump Grinder

Keep yourself safe when using a stump grinder by wearing proper safety gear. Wear pants, long sleeves, steel toe boots, and safety glasses. A stump grinder is a machine used to get rid of unwanted stumps. Its major part consists of the cutting blade that can grind the stump into small pieces. Clear away any rocks and other particles around the stump before getting into the task. Reduce most parts of the stump using a chainsaw. The grinder cuts 3 inches of the stump in its every swing. Using a stump grinder is the best way to remove a stump when you have several stumps to eliminate. Stump grinders can be rented from garden supply centers or hire a landscaper to do it for you. 

Reduce most parts of the stump using a chainsaw. 

Manual Removal

Dig the soil around the stump and reveal as many roots as you can. Use a circular saw or an ax to cut through the primary roots while being careful not to damage the cutting blade. Loosen the soil around the stump’s perimeter with a pick-ax and pulling it out until it’s free. Make sure you have room to move around the stump so don’t dig too close to the stump. Use this technique on trees that have shallow root systems. 

Removal with Fire

Another less-hassle method for stump removal is burning it completely. Make several holes into the stump then fill them with fuel or kerosene. It usually takes two weeks before the stump completely absorbs the kerosene. Put a match into each hole and leave it. The stump will burn for a few days, and it will leave you with a hole. Don’t let your children and pets get any close to the stump while it is being consumed by fire. Smoldering a stump is ideal for small stumps or as reinforcement to another approach, such as when you used the manual or chemical method. 

Before doing this method, make sure to check with your city about fire codes to avoid getting fined.

Natural Removal

If you don’t want to go through any of the methods mentioned above, you can use the natural approach. Leave the stump to rot on its own. When the tree is removed, it will gradually decompose over time. You can leave it there in your yard and do nothing. This method is best to use with smaller stumps only. You can use fertilizer or mulch and cover the stump to facilitate fungus and bacterial growth that speeds up decomposition. The stump will eventually reach a point where it is soft and loosened up, making it easier to pull from the ground. 

Pro Tip: A stump can be an eyesore, so while waiting for it to decay, you can put a planter over it and make it look like design rather than a nuisance.   Learn more