Ways to Get Rid Of a Tree Stump

Last update: 11 months ago

stump gettind grinded with a professional stump grinder

Have you recently cut a tree in your garden and are now left with a stump to deal with? If so, you’re in luck, as in this post, you’ll learn of all the effective ways of removing a tree stump. These include using your hands, digging, burning, grinding or applying a chemical stump remover.

At the end of the day, you’ll be able to choose the method that suits you best and at the same time, is the most appropriate to apply, in terms of the root system you’re dealing with.

How to remove a tree stump manually

If you’re only dealing with one single tree stump that needs removing, the best way to go about it is doing it by hand. This method is extremely affordable and doesn’t require you to own a stump grinder or a digger. 

Just bear in mind that it’s not the most appropriate method for stumps with large and deep roots.

Tools you’ll need

  • Loppers
  • Shovel
  • Grub hoe

Materials for the job

  • Loam or sawdust

Step 1. Dig around the stump’s roots

Use your shovel to dig around the stump until its roots are exposed. Repeat this process until all of the stump’s largest roots are completely visible.

Step 2. Sever the roots from the stump

Pick up your loppers and cut the stump’s roots into manageable pieces. Pull as many of these as you can out of the ground. The clearer the worksite, the easier it will be to remove the stump.

Step 3. Clear out the roots

If there are still some roots left behind, use a grub hoe to remove them out of the ground down to their very tips.

Step 4. Remove the stump

Once all of the major roots have been chopped and cleared out, it’s time to dislodge the stump from the ground. Dig a small hole underneath the stump and then place your shovel underneath it to remove it.

Step 5. Fill up the hole

Since removing a stump will leave a hole behind, you will need to fill it up with either soil or sawdust. If you skip this step, there’s a high chance that the ground around the hole will collapse and you’ll be left with a huge ugly dent in the middle of your garden. Just make sure to top up the hole in the following weeks until the surface evens out.

Removing a stump using a stump grinder

The fastest and most effective way to remove a stump is by using a stump grinder. These machines can be either bought or rented from a local machine rental house. Although there are different kinds of stump grinders that are used differently, the steps you need to follow, in order to grind up a tree stump, are pretty identical.

However, if you’re new to stump grinding, refer to the instructions that come with your specific model, in order to make sure you’re using it correctly.

Tools you’ll need

  • Stump grinder
  • Shovel

Materials for the job

  • Loam or sawdust
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Ear protectors

Step 1. Don your protective gear

Before you turn on the stump grinder, make sure you’ve put on your gloves, goggles and ear protectors.

Step 2. Use the stump grinder

Position the stump grinder over the stump and turn it on. The machine will grind the stump all the way down to its roots. Make sure to move the grinder around to remove all of the aerial roots, too. 

Step 3. Fill up the hole

Shovel the leftover wood chips into the hole left behind. Then, simply add sawdust or loam into the hole.

How to burn a tree stump

Burning a tree stump isn’t really the most advisable method, as it can lead to a full-blown fire if you’re not careful. Also, before you get down to burning it, you will need to check if it’s legal to burn a tree stump where you live. You can check this with the local council.

Tools you’ll need

  • Shovel

Materials for the job

  • Loam or sawdust
  • A lighter or matches
  • Dry chopped up twigs, paper or dry leaves
  • A bottle of an inflammable liquid (petrol, spirit)

Step 1. Build a wood fire atop the stump

Lay out dry chopped up twigs and branches on top of the stump, with some paper or dry leaves at the base. Make sure the stump is properly covered by the severed branches and that it’s located at the centre.

Step 2. Start the fire

Douse the pile of branches and paper with the inflammable liquid of your choice. Then, use the lighter or matches to light the fire. You better use a dry twig or rolled-up piece of newspaper that you can throw in from a distance to be on the safe side. Keep burning the stump until it’s even with the ground.

Step 3 Shovel the ash out

Once the stump has burnt up, shovel all of the ash out of the hole.

Step 4. Fill in the hole

Fill the hole with either loam or sawdust.

Using chemical stump remover

Although this stump removal method is safe, effective and doesn’t require manual work, it is rather time-consuming. As a matter of fact, it can take up to several weeks for the stump to be removed.

Tools you’ll need

  • 12 in. bit extension
  • Felling axe
  • Corded drill
  • Safety glasses

Materials for the job

  • Stump remover chemicals
  • Water

Step 1. Drill holes into the stump

Put on your safety goggles. Use a drill with a one-inch spade bit and 12-inches bit extension to drill holes atop the stump. Make sure these holes are evenly spaced and around 12 inches deep. Drill some additional holes on the side of the stump, at a 45-degree angle, making sure that they connect with the holes drilled atop the stump. This will ensure that the chemicals filled in from the top won’t dribble out on your lawn.

Step 2. Pour the stump remover chemical

Pour about 100 grams of a granulated chemical tree stump remover into each of the holes you drilled on top of the stump. Then simply fill the hole with water and leave the chemicals to soak up all of the moisture.

Step 3. Wait for a few weeks

It will take around four to six weeks for the effects of the chemical to work. After around a month of waiting, the stump should have become soft and spongy, making it easy to break apart with the help of a sharpened felling axe.

As you can see, removing a tree stump that’s just an eyesore in your garden is not a hard task if you have the right tools. But if you’re not up for the job, you can always ask for professional help to get the task completed effectively and the right way.

Get in touch with the pros

If you’re not really into operating heavy machinery, lighting fires, or working with an ax, you can always get in touch with a company that deals with tree stump removal to do the job for you. And what better company to choose for professional stump removal than Fantastic Gardeners!

Update your garden ladscape today! Call and book the professional gardeners!

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For questions about the services we offer visit our main site or you can always call us at 020 3404 4881

The Bottom Line

Whatever the case, avoid leaving stumps around. Not only are they an eyesore but they’re also magnets for all types of pests such as termites, wasps, and more. Plus, an unattended stump can cause someone to trip and injure themselves. So do the right thing and make that stump go away before it causes you any troubles down the line!

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