How to Get Rid of Tree Stumps

Getting rid of a stump can be frustrating. This is particularly true for those interested in going it alone with DIY tree stump removal. However, it is by no means impossible. If you’ve hired someone to cut down a tree on your property, they will probably be willing to also take care of that stump for an additional fee. There is also the option to just hire a different company to take care of that.

Then you have the option to go it alone. You can remove the stump manually, rent out a grinder, or even burn out the stump. Renting a grinder can get a little pricey, as can hiring someone to take care of things for you. In fact, if you want to do the work by yourself, a multifaceted approach will prove to be necessary.

Getting Rid Of a Tree Stump For Good

The following two methods can work if you don’t feel like ponying up the cash to hire someone to get rid of the stump for you. But at the end of the day, if you still can’t get rid of the thing, you may want to consider calling in some professionals.

Method #1: Use a Tree Stump Removal Chemical

If you don’t feel like paying to rent a tree stump grinder, purchase a can of tree stump removal product online, or from a local store. Made from potassium nitrate, this powder should be added with water to holes in the stump that you’ve drilled yourself. This stuff isn’t particularly fast, given that it can take anywhere from four to six weeks for the stump to reach the point of easy removal. However, it is pretty potent stuff all the same. After about six weeks at the most, the stump is going to have a sponginess to its appearance and texture. An axe can then be used to remove the pieces of tree. Remember to keep children and pets away from the stump during the wait period.

Method #2: Burn it

There is also the option to burn the stump down. This method is great, but it can also be problematic, if you don’t know what you’re doing. Using chicken wire to establish around the stump, which you will again drill holes into, make sure you have also removed any and all leaves and debris from the surrounding area. A corded drill is best for either of these options, but you can also utilize a drill/driver if needed. You will obviously want to also make sure you have an extension cord and safety glasses for the endeavor, as well as the twelve-inch bit extension.

What you’re going to need at this point is kerosene or fuel oil. You do not want to use gasoline under any circumstances. Once you have poured your liquid into the holes you’ve drilled along the stump, you’re going to have to wait for a few weeks. It is important to give the liquid as much time to penetrate the wood as possible. Jumping the gun will make it that much more difficult to get rid of the stump.

After a few weeks have passed, you can now drop a match into your holes. This will create a smolder with the stump that will go on for a handful of days. This is also why you wanted to remove the leaves/debris earlier in the project, on top of surrounding the stump with chicken wire. Keep an eye on the stump during the smoldering process.

When enough time has gone by, you should be left with nothing more elaborate than a large black hole. Remove the charcoal and debris. That’s it!


Paying for tree stump removal is certainly more straightforward, when it comes to how to get rid of tree stumps. However, if you’re willing, it can also make for a cost-effective DIY measure.

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