Are you trying to figure out how to remove a tree stump? Get the details on why tree stump removal is important and how to do it safely

Did you recently remove a tree and are left with an ugly stump? Or perhaps you moved onto a property, and the previous tenants left behind an unwelcome tree stump gift. Either way, you need to learn how to remove a tree stump safely and effectively.
The truth is a tree stump is more than just an eyesore on your lawn. Eventually, it can spread decay or infection to other trees and shrubs or may even pose a risk to the wood in your home. A rotting tree stump will also attract damaging insects like carpenter ants and termites. These pests may move from the stump to other trees and your home, so it is important to take action and remove the stump as soon as possible.

Keep in mind, removing a tree stump is a big job. Without the proper equipment and stump removal expertise, what seems like a simple project can turn into a nightmare. Personal injury during the removal attempt is the biggest risk. Otherwise, the project can be incredibly time-consuming and difficult.

If you are concerned about the project, it’s always a good idea to call on local tree removal specialists for help. In the meantime, keep reading to learn four different methods to remove a tree stump.

  • #1: Manual Tree Stump Removal

    Digging up the stump will work for some, but not all, tree stumps. Manual stump removal is one of the least expensive methods, but it requires a lot of time—between three and 12 hours, depending on the size of the stump. This method is only appropriate for small or medium-sized stumps. Larger tree stumps will require a grinder machine.

    Here are the basic steps for manual removal:

    • Use a mattock tool to dig around the tree stump and loosen the surrounding dirt.
    • Remove the dirt with a shovel to reveal the roots of the tree.
    • Cut the roots from the trunk with the mattock.
    • Continue digging and chopping until you see the taproot.
    • Clear the area around the taproot and use a saw or ax to cut through it.
    • Manually wiggle the stump to pull it out of the ground.
  • #2: Chemical Tree Stump Removal

    While using chemicals to remove a tree stump doesn't require a lot of physical labor, it poses other health risks and challenges. Remember to wear protective gear to stay safe. Chemical removal will take place over time as it rots away the stump, so don't expect immediate results. It could take between three and seven years for the rotting process to complete.

    Here are the basic steps for chemical removal:

    • Use a chainsaw to remove as much of the stump as possible.
    • Drill holes into the remaining stump.
    • Fill the holes with water before adding potassium nitrate or stump remover granules.
    • Use a water hose or bucket to soak the ground surrounding the stump; saturate completely, and then cover with a plastic tarp.
    • Cover the tarp and soak the area with water again to seal in moisture to accelerate rotting.
    • Continue the process of adding water and chemical to the stump, always recovering with plastic, mulch, and additional water until the stump feels spongy to the touch. This can take from four to six weeks.
    • Once spongey, use an ax to remove the remaining portions of the stump.
  • #3: Burning Stump Removal

    Burning away the stump can be a stand-alone process, or you can use it in conjunction with the manual or chemical removal. It’s a fast removal option, but check your neighborhood guidelines to ensure it is acceptable. Here’s how to do it:

    • After drilling holes in the stump, sprinkle a stump removal powder inside the holes, which makes the wood more porous.
    • Pour fuel or kerosene into the holes.
    • Ignite the stump and allow it to burn, watching closely to ensure the flame begins to smolder.
    • Once the stump burns down, cover with topsoil to put out the fire.
  • #4: Grinding Stump Removal

    Weeds and unwanted vegetation are a pain to homeowners who want to have an attractive lawn. They tend to suck the life out of your grass and may be causing your dry, brittle lawn issue. Depending on your grass species and the type of weeds in your yard, you may require an herbicide application.

    Grinding the stump is typically the best process if you have a large tree stump or multiple stumps to remove. You’ll need a stump grinder machine, which is a huge piece of equipment you can rent or purchase from a home improvement store.

    Here are the steps for grinding a tree stump:

    • Use a shovel to clear away the dirt and rocks surrounding the stump.
    • Use a chainsaw to cut away as much of the stump as you can—the closer to ground level you can get, the better.
    • Move the stump grinder machine wheel to just above the stump.
    • Lower the machine slightly and move it from side to side with the lever to begin grinding.
    • Continue griding down with the grinder wheel until the entire stump is at least 4 inches below ground level.
    • Fill the remaining hole with wood chips from the stump grinding and cover with grass or topsoil.

Would Your Rather Let the Pros Remove a Tree Stump?

large stump in front yard

If you prefer to save yourself the time, hassle, cost, and safety risk of removing your tree stump, the team at Thornley’s Affordable Home Services can help. We understand that tree stump removal is a monumental task, but we have extensive expertise and professional tools to get the job done quickly and easily.

No matter the size of the tree, we are the professionals you want to tackle the task. We keep in mind how removing the stump can impact the foundation of your home and work diligently to protect your property while removing the tree stump safely.

You can count on us to use environmentally-safe solutions to treat the area post-removal, so you won’t have to worry about regrowth. We fill the hole with packed dirt, leaving you with a solid foundation, which allows the grass to regrow seamlessly. Finally, we haul all the mess away, so you are left with a tidy lawn.

Contact the tree removal experts at Thornley’s Affordable Home Services today to get a free quote for your tree stump removal.