How to Remove a Tree Stump

Here’s everything you need to know about getting rid of a tree stump in your yard, from home cures to expert options. We’ve got you covered if you need to know how to remove a stump. You have options if you choose to call in a professional.

Do you know if it has a deep root system? Is it a small, medium or large stump? Smaller tree stumps may not be as easy to remove with some of these methods.

And why do you want to remove it? It could be part of a tree removal job. Is it a stump you want to take out or something else?If this is the case, you may want to use one of the fast tree removal methods. You can choose your tree stump killer once you have the information and reason behind the stump removal. You can find the popular methods here.

Use Chemicals

The easiest way to remove a tree stump is by using chemicals. It takes time, especially if the stump is large.

If you are decaying the stump, the stump removal process could take up to a year to complete. This method is inexpensive if you already have a drill and chainsaw.

You’ll need the following items to get your tree stump out this way.

  • A drill and a chainsaw
  • Potassium nitrate
  • Plastic tarp
  • Garden mulch
  • An ax

You can get started once you have your materials. It will take at least four weeks to see results when using a chemical stump removal. If you’re looking for a way to rot a tree stump quickly, this is it. It usually takes seven years for a stump to rot.

Step 1:

A chainsaw should be used to remove the stump. Goggles and steel-toed boots are mandatory safety equipment.

Step 2:

The second step is to drill holes through the stump. Make sure the holes are close together and use the largest drill bit you can find. You should go as deep and wide as possible.

Step 3:

The holes need to be filled with water and then added with the potassium nitrate. You could also use a stump removal product designed for this process.

Step 4:

If you want to get a nice and saturated tree stump, soak the ground around it with water and then cover it with a tarp. The rotting process will be accelerated if the tarp is not used.

Step 5:

If you want to keep the area moist, cover the tarp with mulch and organic water.

Step 6:

If you want to recover with mulch and more water, check on the progress periodically.

Step 7:

You can always employ the burn approach if the old tree stump isn’t progressing as quickly as you’d want.

If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals or fuel oil, you can use Epsom salt instead. If you follow the methods above, you should replace the potassium nitrate with Epsom salt.

Remove Stump Manually

It may be possible to manually remove the tree stump if you don’t want to use chemical removal. There are many ways to remove a tree stump from the ground. The method is easy to execute and it consistently rates as one of the best. You can remove an old tree stump from your yard in 20 minutes if you follow this step-by-step guide.

Remove the dirt or sod around the stump:

The circle should be 2 feet in diameter and run around the stump. You don’t have to dig a lot, just 3 to 4 inches is all you need.

Cut the stump:

You must have a saw for this step. It’s recommended that you use a saw for the job. You can use a chainsaw or hand saw as well. You might need to dig a deeper hole if you do use a chainsaw. The stump should be cut 3 inches below the grass level once you have chosen your tool.

Get rid of the dirt or grass

All you have to do is replace the dirt or sod that was taken in the first step. You can leave it and let the grass do its job if you’re planting sod.

The tree stump removal process is incomplete without getting rid of the stump you just removed. You have a number of different options for this. If you want to recycle the tree stump, place it in your yard.

If you want to plant on top of the stump, you can bury it in a location. When you plant the vegetation, the buried wood will act as a sort of sponge. In addition, it will continue to decay. The stump will provide sustenance to the vegetation that you plant.

One of the best ways to get rid of a tree stump is to replant one. If the plan detailed above doesn’t work for you, you will have to come up with an alternative.

There are tools that you need to buy or gather.

  • Digging bar ($30 to $50).
  • Bow saw ($10 to $30).
  • Ax ($30 to $40).
  • Mattock ($15 to $50).

Be sure to wear safety gear such as work gloves and steel toe boots for this project.

The Cut and Pull Method

You can use the cut and pull method to remove a stump from a tree. This option isn’t as easy as the one described above. It doesn’t take advantage of new technologies because it is a method that was popular in the past.

Similar to what you just read, the start of the cut and pull method is very similar.

  • Find the stump by digging around it. The stump has major roots. If your soil is difficult to dig through, a pick is required.
  • Now that you’ve discovered some roots, start chopping them. You can use a handsaw or an axe to make it more tough for yourself if you want to make it more difficult.
  • Cut the roots if you want to uncover any more. After you cut through the first layer, additional roots may be visible. If that is the case, cut through the roots with scissors and repeat step two.
  • Remove the stump. It’s the easiest way to get this done, and most people use a 4-wheel drive vehicle. The stump can be used with the digging bar or 2X4 plank.

Burn the Stump

Another approach is to use the burn process. Here are the 3 steps on how to burn the tree’s stump.

Step 1:

Fill the holes bored in the stump with your powdered tree stump removal product. This will help the porous character of the wood.

Step 2:

Fuel oil or kerosene should be put into the openings. If the tree stump is totally saturated, the porous wood will absorb the fuel.

Step 3:

You can burn the tree stump. Ensure that the flame smolders. It is possible to put out the remnants of the fire if you cover it with topsoil.

If you live in a neighborhood, you may want to check before using this method on your tree stump that it’s acceptable to use kerosene.

How to Rot an Old Tree Stump

Rot through the wood is an option for removing a tree stump. A popular way to dispose of old tree stumps is through this process, which requires less physical work.

The natural rotting process of the stumps is going to be speeding up. Adding a chemical agent will cause the tree fibers and roots to break down faster. How to do it is shown in a step-by-step guide.

  • If there is a dry day, start working on it. The stump is looking for more moisture and nutrients, it will absorb the chemical agents you apply more quickly.
  • If you want to cut the stump close to the ground, use a chainsaw. This will make the rotting process more efficient by giving the chemicals less to eat. You don’t need to worry if you aren’t able to chainsaw. It will take more time to finish the rotting process.
  • The stump needs to be drilled into the top and along the sides. You will be able to access the heart of the tree stump easier with these holes. As large of a drill bit as possible is what you should think about for the best results. Make sure that each hole you drill is at least a few inches deep.
  • You can apply the chemical agent you chose. You have a number of different options to use. Any commercial fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen is the perfect choice. Pack the holes that you drilled with as much of the agent as possible.
  • Any type of organic mulch, like hay or tree bark, will do the trick. This step speeds up the process even more because it helps keep the stump moist.
  • The plastic tarp should be weighed down with rocks. It is possible to use this step to make sure that the plastic doesn’t go somewhere.

That’s all you need! Once you’ve completed these seven steps, all you have to do now is wait. The tree stump will begin rotting on its own. It will take some time to complete this process, which is a natural occurrence.

Use a Stump Grinder

If you are dealing with a larger stump, or have multiple old tree stumps to remove, renting a stump grinder may be your best DIY bet. The cost to rent a sculpt grinder is between $100 and $200 at your local store. You will need a few extra tools as well.

  • Shovel.
  • Mattock.
  • Rake.
  • Chainsaw.

How to Remove a Tree Stump With a Stump Grinder

A stump grinder can weigh over 1,000 pounds. Make sure that you have a vehicle that can transport it to and from your home, or that the rental company can deliver it and take it away.

Step 1:

Use your shovel or mattock to clear dirt and debris from the tree stump.

Step 2:

As much of the stump as possible can be cut using your chainsaw. Ground-level is ideal.

Step 3:

If you want to turn on the stump grinder, put it a few inches above the stump.

Step 4:

If you want to move it from one side to the other, lower it by 3 inches.

Step 5:

The stump needs to be grinned down about 4 inches using a grinder wheel and then reassembled.

Step 6:

After filling the hole with wood chips, cover it with grass or topsoil.

This is a home improvement project that you can do yourself, so it’s important to research before you begin. You will need to wear the proper safety gear when operating these machines.


A tree stump can be a distraction or an obstacle in your yard. It will take a bit of work to get rid of it. Fortunately, there are many ways to do the job. It depends on your budget and how much you want to put into it.

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