Ways to Remove a Tree Stump

4 Ways to Remove a Tree Stump

Dec 19, 2022

Tree Stump Removal is an essential part of property maintenance. Unless you hired someone to carve the stump into art, you need to remove the cut tree remains. Scattered stumps ruin the curb appeal, pose as a tripping hazard, could damage lawn care equipment, attract wood-boring pests when they rot, and may harbor disease that spreads to nearby trees.

A massive stump can occupy prime real estate in your yard that’s better suited for a lounge area, a pergola, or a floral garden. They also make lawn maintenance a hassle, as some stubborn stumps experience constant re-growth and take vital nutrients from nearby plants.

Thankfully, there are many ways to remove a tree stump. In this post, we will outline a few techniques for how to remove tree stumps.

Start by Seeking Professional Tree Stump Removal Services

You can start by searching for “tree and stump removal services near me” or “in your area.” These experts have the equipment to effectively and safely remove troublesome tree stubs without causing damage to your yard. They will grind down the stub, prevent any chances of sprouting shoots and spreading roots, and leave your outdoor area looking immaculate.

If you’re looking for a dependable tree stump removal service in Frederick and Montgomery counties, Patrick Musser Tree Service has the team, training, experience, and tools needed to rid your yard of troublesome tree remains.

How to Get Rid of Tree Stumps: 4 Methods

Here’s a breakdown of the best ways to remove a tree stump.

Method 1: Stump Grinding

Tools for Tree Stump Removal: 

  • Stump grinder
  • Shovel

The most effective method for removing a tree stump is to grind it down. In fact, most professionals use this approach to get rid of large stubs and those from hardwood trees. Once you hire a stump grinding service, the specialists will bring a mechanical grinder to your home.

This is a powerful machine with a rotating blade that rips into the wood and churns the stump into sawdust. 

The grinder removes the stump’s visible portion and tries to go as deep as 8 to 12 inches below ground. This will sever the root system and prevent new tree development.

Once complete, the expert will clean up the area by shoveling and raking up extra wood chips, and adding soil into the hole left behind. 

Do not attempt to use a grinding machine, as these are dangerous machines that should only be handled by experienced operators only.

Method 2: Chemical Stump Removal

Please note that Patrick Musser Tree Services never use chemicals or anything harmful to pets, humans, nature, or anything living. We only remove by grinding with our commercial stump grinders.

Equipment for Tree Stump Removal:

  • Drill
  • Tree stump removal chemical (potassium nitrate)
  • Chainsaw
  • Tarp
  • Axe

Start by cutting off as much of the stump as possible with a chainsaw. Next, use a large bit to drill a series of deep and evenly spaced holes on top of the stub. Now apply your stump remover, which is typically made of powdered potassium nitrate (or saltpeter), and add enough water to saturate the minerals. 

Next, soak the ground all around the stump and finish by covering the stump with a tarp to prevent rainwater from washing the chemical. Potassium nitrate accelerates the decaying process of the stump and weakens it, making it easier to remove. Prefer something more natural? Fill the holes with vinegar or Epsom salt instead.

Note that this stump removal procedure takes around 6 weeks from the date of application to finish the job. The chemical is harmful if ingested, so keep kids and pets away from the stub. After the stump has softened, chop it with an ax until you’ve leveled it. 

Method 3: Burning the Stump

Please note that Patrick Musser Tree Services does not burn stumps. We only remove by grinding with our commercial stump grinders.

Materials for Tree Stump Removal:

  • Drill
  • Kerosene
  • Shovel

If you don’t want to break your back or wallet, you can use fire to remove a dry tree stump. Start by drilling multiple deep holes on the top of the stump, and pour kerosene into each hole. Once the kerosene soaks in, place scrap wood around and over the stump, light it, and add more wood when the fire subsides. Make sure you monitor it the entire time it burns

Before going this route, you’ll want to consult your local fire department to ensure you aren’t breaking the rules or risking a fire hazard in your area. Also, remove any debris that could ignite, including leaves, and have a garden hose on standby in case the fire gets out of control. 

It may take more than a day to fully burn down a stump, so you may want to put up a barricade or chicken wire to prevent people or pets from accidentally walking over the embers. Once the stump is fully burned, shovel the ash and cover the area with fresh soil.

Method 4: Manually Digging Out the Stump

Please note that Patrick Musser Tree Services does not dig out stumps. We only remove by grinding with our commercial stump grinders.

Tools for Tree Stump Removal:

  • Digging bar 
  • Sturdy shovel
  • Mattock 
  • Ax 
  • Bow saw
  • Steel-toed boots 
  • Work gloves

We can’t talk of how to get rid of tree stumps and fail to mention the old-fashioned technique—digging it out by hand. This is a labor-intensive approach, so it’s best suited for smaller stumps. Use a sturdy shovel, mattock, and digging bar to dig and remove the soil around the stub.

Dig downward and inward from all sides until you expose the largest roots and reach the smaller root network. The digging iron will help you loosen the compacted soil beneath the stump. Once you expose most of the roots, chop them with a bow saw, clippers, or an ax, depending on their size. Try shifting the stump sideways to loosen and expose more roots for cutting.

After cutting the roots around the stub, lift and remove it from the hole. Fill the deep cavity with dirt and spread a layer of topsoil or mulch over it. This solution works best if you can dig and reveal the roots almost to their tips. If the stub is too big, it’s tough to dig to the bottom of the roots, so you’re better off trying another stump removal method. 

Stump Removal Made Simple

Now you know, to get rid of a tree stump, you have four solid choices. But the fastest, safest and most effective solution is stump grinding. At Patrick Musser Tree Service we never use chemicals or anything harmful to pets, humans, nature, or anything living. We only remove stumps by grinding with our commercial stump grinders, leaving no trace and no danger to you or your family!

We will help you grind your stubborn stump into sawdust and restore the beauty of your yard. Our stump-grinding pros have the skills and gear to perform this work safely and efficiently. Reach out for a quote!