2 (Relatively) Easy Ways To Remove An Old Tree Stump

Posted on: 27 August 2014

Your old tree stump is quite an eyesore in your front yard. However, you either lack the time, physical ability, or money to hire a professional company to remove the stump. Instead of allowing your tree stump to continue reducing the aesthetic appeal of your property, use one of these comparatively easy and affordable methods to eliminate your old tree stump.

Before you begin performing either of these methods, you'll need a power drill, large spade drill bit, and a chemical tree stump remover that's high in potassium nitrate (all available at your local home improvement store). If you don't already own these items, you can purchase them from your local hardware store for well under $100.

Burn The Stump

Just as large wildfires can deforest miles of thick vegetation and ancient trees, you can remove your tree stump with fire (on a smaller scale, of course). However, since you have plenty of other vegetation in your yard, as well as neighbors, it's essential that you make sure you know how to control your stump fire before you ignite it.

  • Precautions

    • Before planning to ignite your stump, you'll need to know what's underneath your yard to determine whether or not this removal method will be safe. Contact your local gas and electric company and your municipal water district to identify any pipelines that may be routed underneath your yard. If there are lines underneath your yard, then you should rot your tree stump instead of burning it.

  • Preparation

    • To begin the stump burning process, dig a circular trench that's at least one foot deep and two feet wide around your stump—by doing so, you'll be able to keep your stump fire from igniting any other floral features in your yard. If your tree has large surface roots that you want to eliminate, then encompass them with your trench.

    • Use your drill and spade bit to create several large 6-10" deep holes in the top of your tree stump and roots. While drilling your stump, arrange your holes in a circle that spirals inwards.

  • Saturation

    • Once your holes are drilled, you'll need to fill them with kerosene and your stump remover over the next few days. Depending on the size of your stump and roots, you may need to wait an entire week or more for the stump and roots to become saturated. Although this process will take some time, it's much less work than using a stump grinder or an axe.

  • Fire In The Hole(s)!

    • After you're confident that your stump and surface roots are saturated with your flammable fluid, set aside a weekend to burn your stump. Ignite your stump by pouring a small amount of lighter fluid on top of your stump and lighting it with a long butane lighter.

    • Even with sufficient saturation, your tree stump will burn for several hours. Additionally, the roots of your tree will smolder underground for just as long. By burning your stump on the weekend, you can monitor the fire and be ready to extinguish it if necessary.

Once your stump is entirely burned, soak the area inside your trench with an excessive amount of water to ensure that your underground tree roots are extinguished. Once you've soaked the area in water, replace the dirt you unearthed while digging your trench. Depending on how many roots were underneath your stump, you may need to purchase fill dirt.

Rot The Stump

If you're unable to burn your stump for safety reasons, then your next best method of stump removal is to increase the decay rate of your tree stump. Similarly to burning your stump, you'll need to drill holes in your stump and surface roots. However, rotting your stump will require some physical effort.

Instead of saturating your stump with a combination of kerosene and stump remover, fill your drilled holes with only your chemical tree stump remover. These chemical solutions contain nitrates that will significantly increase your stump's decay rate. However, depending on the size of your stump, the decay process may take several months.

Once you've noticed that your stump and surface roots are soft and rotten, you can easily uproot the stump without much physical effort. If you experience difficulty while uprooting and removing your rotten stump, continue using your chemical stump remover for a few more weeks to further decay your stump.

Although these methods of stump removal are—in comparison—nearly effortless, they will take time. If you are in a hurry to prepare your property for the real estate market, or if you simply want to eliminate your stump immediately, then your best option is to hire a professional tree service company like Pete & Ron's Tree Service to remove the stump for you. Although it can be expensive to do so, you'll have immediate results.