How to remove trees?


How to remove a tree stump

Drill holes in the stump

Cut off as much of the top of the stump as possible. Using a 1-in. spade bit with a spade bit extension, drill 1-in. holes around the perimeter of the stump about 12 in. deep and 3 to 4 in. back from the edge. Drill more holes 3 to 4 in. down from the rim at a 45-degree angle to connect with the other holes. They’ll provide vent holes for burning or help the rotting process.

Pour tree stump removal chemicals in the holes

Pour 3 to 4 oz. of tree stump removal chemicals into each of the holes as you learn how to kill a tree stump and fill them with water. The process takes four to six weeks. Find granular root killer that is easy to pour into the holes here.

You can remove a stump by renting a power stump grinder (learn how to use a stump grinder here), which is an option for what kills trees quickly. But another way is to buy a can of tree stump removal (available at most garden or home centers). Most tree stump killer brands are made of powdered potassium nitrate, which speeds up the rotting process. You simply pour the granules into drilled holes and fill the holes with water. The stump will become pretty spongy after four to six weeks. Keep kids and pets away. Then you can break out the rotten wood with an ax.

Watch this video tutorial to learn how to remove a tree stump the best way:

You could also try a more natural method with epsom salt stump removal. Learn how to get rid of tree stumps with epsom salt here.

How to get rid of tree roots

For a completely labor-free removal, the manufacturers of tree stump removal suggest burning out what’s left of the stump by pouring kerosene or fuel oil (never gasoline) into the holes. Wait until the liquid completely penetrates the wood (this could take a few weeks). Then drop a match into the holes to start the burning process. The stump removal will smolder for days, eventually leaving a charcoal-filled hole. It’s dangerous having a giant, smoldering ember in your yard, so some precautions are in order. Envelop the stump in chicken wire, remove all leaves from the vicinity before ignition and keep an eye on it!

We suggest the ax method for finishing the job. Tree stump removal works only on seasoned (older) stumps that have been dead for a year or so, not freshly cut tree stumps.

Next, watch a video tutorial for how to cut down a tree yourself safely:

Required Tools for this Tree Stump Removal Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start – you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 12 in. bit extension
  • Corded drill
  • Extension cord
  • Safety glasses

You can use a drill/driver instead of a corded drill. A 1 in. spade bit is recommended, but you can use a slightly larger or smaller one, if that’s all you have

Required Materials for this Tree Stump Removal Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Stump remover

Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Information On How To Get Rid Of Tree Stumps

While trees are a natural part of the landscape, they may sometimes require removal for whatever reason. Once removed, homeowners are often left with nothing more than an unsightly stump. However, with a little know how, you can find an easy way to remove tree stumps that will have your landscape looking as nice as it did before.

How to Kill a Tree Stump Using Chemicals

Some people choose chemical control for tree stump removal. Potassium nitrate, sulphuric acid, and nitric acid are the most commonly used but should only be used by those with experience and with great care, following label instructions.

A simpler solution may be to bore holes throughout the stump and apply salt (rock salt) and boiling water in the holes. This will help dissolve the salt so that it reaches deep into the stump, eventually killing it.

Chemicals are also commonly used for controlling sucker growth produced from the roots of tree stumps. Non-selective herbicide works well for this and should be applied at the sucker’s base on fresh cuts, or cut into the root itself

and apply the herbicide. More than one application is often needed but this will eventually take care of the problem.

Remove a Tree Stump through Rotting

Rotting or decaying is another method for tree stump removal. Keeping the stump moist, not wet, and adding some nitrogen fertilizer will help encourage fungi, which will aid in its decay, especially in warmer temps (from 60 on up to 90 degrees F.).

To speed up the decaying process, cut the stump as close to ground level as possible and drill 1-inch (2.5 cm.) holes throughout the stump prior to adding the fertilizer and spraying down with water. Cover this with plastic or a tarp to hold in moisture and temps.

Keep in mind that trees like cedar, mulberry, and locust will take longer to decay, as these trees have harder wood. At any rate, sufficient decay is usually evident within a year or two.

Get Rid of Trees Stumps by Burning

Burning can be used to get rid of tree stumps, but this method is rarely done except by professional landscaping and tree removers. Burning tree stumps can take up to a week or two to thoroughly burn and may not be permitted in most areas due to fire codes. This method should not be attempted nearby other dwellings or wooded areas.

Digging: The Easy Way to Remove Tree Stumps

Considered the quickest and easiest method, digging tree stumps out of the ground (by professionals) is often recommended. Though it may be somewhat expensive, it can be done within a matter of hours, or even minutes, using specialized machinery like stump grinders. Smaller stumps can be dug out with a spade shovel or pick axe.

When all else fails, you can actually turn an old tree stump into an asset. I have used them many times as pedestals for container plants, or use a hollowed out stump for the container itself.

Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and much more environmentally friendly.

Quick Tip: Remove a Tree Stump with Epsom Salt


Removing a tree from your yard can be a tricky and expensive process, but it’s especially frustrating when you still wind up stuck with a stubborn stump. Sometimes, when its vast root system continues to send up leafy shoots, the stump will continue to grow rather than decompose long after the tree is cut down. Fortunately, there’s a favorite bath-time essential that moonlights as an easy stump solution: epsom salt. (Don’t have any? Buy it on Amazon). Once equipped, you can easily—and naturally—remove the stump eyesore from your yard.


Start by using a power drill to drill holes that are at least a quarter of an inch wide, about 3 inches from the outside of the stump. Drill into the stump as far as you can, placing the holes at least an inch apart. When you have drilled as many holes into the stump as possible, fill them with Epsom salt and then add enough water to saturate the minerals without spillage. Finally, sprinkle Epsom salt around the entire base, and finish by covering the stump with a tarp to prevent rainwater from washing any of your secret ingredient out of the holes. Although it could take up to a month or more, the solution should eventually cut off the moisture supply to the roots, allowing you to pry up the tree stump and get rid of its intrusive presence for good.

3 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Tree Stumps and Roots

Removing a tree can be an expensive process. Here are three natural remedies you can use to get rid of tree stumps in the backyard. These methods may take a while but they may help you avoid paying thousands of dollars in tree stump removal bills.

How to Get Rid of Tree Stumps

1. Insert Epsom Salt into the Tree Stumps
Drill several holes in the tree stumps using a power drill. These holes should be a quarter of an inch wide. Next, fill the holes with highly concentrated Epsom salt solution. This will speed up the tree stump rotting process. Re-apply the Epsom salt solution every few days until the tree stump starts to rot.

2. Use Rock Salt to Dry Out the Wood
An alternative to Epsom salt is rock salt. Just like method #1, drill a couple of holes in the tree stump then fill the holes with rock salt solution. This method should only be used if you aren’t growing anything within the vicinity of the tree stump.

3. Do a Controlled Burn
Make sure you check with local city ordinances to see if it is legal to do a controlled burn. Also, this method should only be used if there’s plenty of open space around the tree stump.

First, drill plenty of deep holes in the tree stumps then fill these holes with combustible materials. Next, use a fire starter to ignite the material. Do not leave the fire unattended. It may take a couple of hours but the tree stump should eventually burn to ash.

If you are in a bit of a hurry to get rid of the tree stump then rent a tree stump grinder from the local home improvement store. You could even use the tree stump grindings as mulch (as long as the tree is not affected by some kind of disease).

Sam Choan is the Founder of Organic Lesson. He started this site to share tips on using natural remedies at home when such options are available.

The Complete Guide to Removing Tree Stumps – Why to Do It and Who to Call

Why do trees never tell jokes? Because they’re afraid of being stumped!

Tree remains are a major hazard and liability. Every day lawyers are filing liability claims for injuries caused by tree stumps. One great example is a recent case that happened in New York.

A 50-year-old Brooklyn woman was out for a walk. While passing the front of an apartment building she tripped over a tree stump. The fall caused her to break several bones in her hand that required surgery.

The fall also caused her to develop nerve damage and reflex sympathetic dystrophy. The woman’s lawyers were able to sue the city for a six-figure settlement.

You can avoid injuries and liability claims by removing tree stumps. This guide provides you with an in-depth explanation of the different removal methods. We’ll also explain which method provides the most effective, fast-acting results.

Why You Need a Professional for Removing Tree Stumps

Tree services are complex and certain jobs can take a day or longer to complete. Hiring a professional will help keep you save from overexertion. We recommend finding a professional who specializes in stump grinding.

Stump grinding should always be done by a trained safety professional. In addition to being trained, they need the proper insurance coverage. Should your property become damaged, they need to pay for the repairs.

You can go one step further in protecting your assets by requiring they carry workers compensation insurance. This way if a crew member becomes injured you won’t be held liable in any way.

They will have all of the equipment necessary to complete the job the first time. Along with having the right supplies, a good company will also have the right technique.

Every root system presents a unique challenge for removal. A professional will first need to asses the tree remains. Once they know what they’re dealing with they can choose a technique.

Large trees might need a two step removal process. DIY tree removal projects are dangerous. Grinders are dangerous pieces of equipment. These machines require training and protective gear for safe operation.

At the very least, individuals operating a grinder need eyewear and earplugs. The machine is extremely loud and can easily cause damage to your eardrums. The biggest danger presented, however, is the teeth of the machine.

The grinder operates with a set of carbide teeth and is ideal for small to medium sized stumps. The most frequent cause for injury is when an inexperienced person operates the machinery.

Many times inexperienced users will allow their clothing to become entangled in the teeth of the machine. Usually, the injuries result in death or amputation. This was the case for a 33-year-old man in Michigan.

Unfortunately, the young man didn’t have any training on how to run the machine. He was trying to remove a stump from his yard when his clothing became caught in the gears and he lost his leg.

Time Factor with Renting Equipment

Other than presenting safety risks, renting equipment can cause expenses to rise. Getting a rental may seem like a money saver but it could also be a money pit if you don’t finish the job in time.

Time-consuming issues can present themselves with every tree removal. It’s easy to underestimate how long it will take to finish the job completely. You’ll have to conduct research, find a technique, conduct the labor and clean up the mess.

In total, you are probably looking at a job lasting 3 days or more. 3 intense days filled with countless opportunities for you to hurt yourself. It’s a lot safer to let a professional company take charge of the entire project.

Grinding Equipment

The grinding service is one of the fastest options available. This process also causes the least amount of disturbance to the surrounding soil.

A grinder is a machine that eats away at the tree. You’ll be able to remove as far as 12 inches below ground level. The first part will consist of the grinding and the second part will use a tool for complete excavation.

Add the left behind shavings to your compost pile. Next, fill any large craters left in your yard for safety reasons. You can fill craters left behind with a material such as loam.

You will be able to keep nearby tree roots safe with the grinding method. However, not all professionals provide grinding as a service. Certain companies use rough excavation methods that can harm your landscape.

Abrupt excavations can hurt nearby plant life and cause a significant amount of soil erosion. A good company will have new equipment to perform the removal service.

New, top of the line removal equipment will provide you with the best, cleanest results.

Alternative Digging Methods

Tree roots vary greatly depending on the type of tree. A 30 ft tree could have roots that extend 90 feet below the trunk! Certain trees are ideal for digging up because they have a wide, flat root system.

A pine tree is a good example of a tree whose wide, flat root system makes stump removal easy. However, other trees like oak trees have a deep root system. Their root system isn’t wide and spread out.

An oak tree has a tap root that goes straight down into the earth. This makes oak trees a terrible candidate for removal by digging.

Hand Digging

Small trees have similar root systems to shrubs. Their shallow roots are ideal candidates for hand digging. You’ll still need a few tools other than just your hands.

In order to complete the job successfully, you’ll need a shovel, ax, loppers and a root saw. Keep digging, exposing the tree roots. The method of hand digging can take hours and even days to complete.

A lot of times people have issues with removing the entire stump.
You could end up hand digging for days and still have a partial stump when you’re finished.

Backhoe or Skidsteer

Using a backhoe or skid steer is ideal for new construction areas. The entire process will break up a lot of ground and create a big mess. Now you can remove the small or medium stumps with a skid steer.

Some skid steers have a pallet fork attachment while others have a bucket with teeth. You can rent out a skid steer but backhoes are more difficult to come by.
Backhoes are especially handy when the soil is loose.

In a planting area, you can use a backhoe to pull up on them. This method tends to be one of the costliest options. You will lower your expenses when there are multiple stumps on one site.

When you have a lot it helps to be able to bury them on site. Being able to bury them on site eliminates the cost of hauling them to an off-site disposal area.

Keep in mind that eventually, the ground around where you buried it will settle. Make sure if you are burying on-site the area is far away from foot traffic. You should also never dispose or bury them in a wetland area.

Chemical Options

Using chemicals will help accelerate the rotting process. Most garden centers sell chemicals to help with this. One popular chemical used for removal is potassium nitrate.

First, several holes have to drill into the stump. Drill the holes in the top and on the side of the stump. Next, you pour the chemicals into the holes. The decomposition time will speed up significantly.

However, chemicals are not a quick fix. You still have to wait anywhere from a few weeks to a couple months before its decomposed. Usually, after a few weeks, it’ll become spongy and pliable.

This will make excavating the remains a lot easier. However, you can speed things up if you pour lighter fluids on the stump and burn it instead.

It would still take a good amount of time and the fire presents an added danger.
However, the work involved would be considerably less strenuous.

Fire Methods

A fire method could potentially work for one or 2 small stumps. Sometimes people will place scrap wood on top of the tree remains and start a fire.

They allow for the fire to continue to burn until the stump is mostly gone.
Before choosing a fire method, you have to consider the dangers and damage.

However, if you have a lot of property with many trees remains, fire isn’t a good choice. Fire isn’t time effective and produces minimal results.

In the end, you’ll still have a portion of the of the tree remaining in the yard. You’ll also have to deal with a burned spot on the lawn.

Taking Immediate Action

You have to act quickly to stay ahead of the threats presented by tree remains. Waiting to remove them will only invite more problems into your life.

Here are some of the immediate threats the tree stumps present to your property.

Pests and Mold Threats

Removing tree stumps will help keep unwanted visitors out of your yard. Decaying trees provide a living environment for pests, mold, and fungus. Many wood loving insects will seek refuge here.

Nuisance insects like termites and fire ants. When pests like these are able to multiply they can end up affecting nearby properties. If the tree stump isn’t decaying it still poses an environmental problem.

Nearby plant life could suffer as the barely living tree steals valuable water and nutrients from the soil. If the tree was very large and old it’ll steal even more water and nutrients from the soil.

Injuries and Inconvenience

Children and tree stumps do not go well together. While adults might avoid injuries an energetic child will barely notice the decaying trip hazard.

A lot of property owners argue that residents of all ages will know it’is there and be able to avoid it. However, when an injury occurs the court won’t listen to those arguments.

It’s the property owners responsibility to eliminate tripping hazards. Furthermore, guests who are unfamiliar with a property won’t know what to look out for.

Property owners who have tree stumps will never have the peace of mind they need. They are constantly at risk of a small accident turning into a major lawsuit.

Damaged Lawn Equipment

Tree remains make yard work more cumbersome. You will constantly be finding ways to avoid the inconvenient tree remains. You also have to consider the risk presented when mowing.

You could easily damage your lawn mower if you accidentally run it over. When you’re weeding you have to be extra careful as well. Since rotting tree remains attract excess insects, you are at risk for a severe bug attack.

Selecting the Right Sevice for You

What type of stump are you removing from your property?
Take a moment and visit our project gallery for up-close photos of our finished projects.

We can also provide you with a list of references showcasing our previous work.
We provide our employees at Aquatic Consulting with Florida Workers Compensation insurance.

Very few professional entities will provide this type of assurance. If any of our team members experience injuries on your property, they have coverage.
We carry $2 Million in liability insurance.

We operate with extremely high safety standards and procedures. Still, in the unlikely event, damages occur, we will have the adequate coverage to pay for the repairs.

Our team of expert professionals comes fully equipped to handle whatever job you have. We can handle removing tree stumps from Oak, Ficus, Palm, Pine and more.

Our company uses brand new turbo-diesel powered grinding equipment.
Even very large tree stumps can be easily removed in a timely manner.

We want to provide you with the best service for our equipment grinds deeper than our competitors. As a result, the finished product is cleaner and better looking.

Here at Aquatic Consulting, we will provide you with the best service and pricing possible. We’d love to hear about the project you want to complete.

Contact us today for your free estimate. You can also visit our blog for more helpful project tips.


Have you ever seen natural tree stump side tables in your favourite home decor stores and thought “Hey, I bet I could make that!”? Me too — so I did! Today I’m showing you how we made our very own Natural Tree Stump Side Table! I mentioned earlier this summer that I’ve been obsessed with natural wood textures and was lusting after a side table very similar to this one (which retails at $249 at West Elm). I always prefer to make things myself rather buying them, because you’re able to create exactly the look you like at a fraction of the cost. I promise it’s simple to do, and you can make it in a weekend (seriously!).

This idea for this project started a couple of years ago when these tree stump side tables started popping up everywhere. I always knew that I wanted to make my own, because I just couldn’t justify the price tag. This summer, I spotted a nice piece of wood out at my Mom’s acreage — they’re always chopping down damaged or unwanted trees out there for firewood — and I thought it would make a perfect side table! The most important and difficult part of this project is sourcing your tree stump. The type of wood doesn’t necessarily matter, but make sure you like the general shape and ‘bones’ of the stump.

All the materials I needed to purchase for the project came in at a grand total of $99.10. Compared to $249 price tag of a similar table from West Elm, that’s a $149.90 savings! And, if you already have some of these materials, it would cost even less to make.

Be warned, when you see the tree stump in its original form, it’s hard to imagine how it comes together to be a finished piece of furniture! It is a laborious process, but it’s not difficult.

Note: I originally referenced this blog post for a general idea of the materials I’d need and what would be involved, but I ended up taking different steps and using different materials to achieve the look I wanted.

What You’ll Need

• Tree stump
• Chisels in various widths
• Hammer
• Sanding sponges in 60, 80, 120 and 220 grit
• Large, medium and small stain brushes
• Tack cloth
• 1 can of Varathane (I used a satin finish)
• Face mask
• Big piece of cardboard, or something to catch the wood debris
• Handsaw, or Sawzall (depending on your stump, you may not need this)


Before You Begin

The stump needs time to dry out. Ours had about 6 months to dry out fully, but a minimum of 1 month of drying time in an indoor environment is recommended. This will ensure the bark is easy to remove and make the process easier. While it’s drying out, the stump may split — that’s okay! I love the split in our stump, it adds character and a unique touch.

Also, work on this project outside if you can. As you’ll see, it makes a pretty big mess and generates a lot of dust — you may want to wear a face mask.

Bark Removal

1. I highly suggest having a few drinks while you’re working, especially if you’re working outside on a nice day! We drank my White Citrus Sangria frozen and it made a delicious sangria slush! Don’t worry, I’m still doing Sober September, we made this table back in August. 😉

2. Put down a big piece of cardboard, or something similar to catch the debris before you start. Even if you’re working outside, this makes cleanup so much easier.

3. First, you’ll need to level any uneven surfaces on the top of the trunk either with a 60 grit sanding sponge or a saw (depending on how uneven the top is). If you’re happy with how the top looks, cool.

4. Then, you need to remove the bark — this is necessary. If you don’t, the stump won’t seal properly and the bark will eventually fall off anyway. We used a few different chisels, and found that it came off quite easily.

5. One side of the stump had a lot of extra sap and bark remnants on it, so we carefully removed as much of that as we could with a chisel (and a hammer in stubborn spots), working with the grain in downward motions. This stump looks like a mess at this point — don’t worry, it will all come together!

6. Once the bark and sap remnants are removed, if your stump had branches, you’ll need to saw any branch remnants down be flush with the rest of the stump. We used a Sawzall for this.

7. Clean up your work area — dump all the wood, bark and dust off the cardboard, and into the trash. Give the cardboard a good shake.

Stripping & Sanding

8. Start by using a 60 grit sanding sponge to strip any major bark remnants and clean the stump up.

9. Then, we used an 80 grit sanding sponge to remove the sharp edges on the top and bottom of the stump and bevel them. We also ran the 80 grit over the sides to further smooth them — making sure to get into the split and knots in the stump and bevel all the edges there as well. The goal here is to have an entirely smooth surface when you run your hands over it.

10. The stump was looking pretty good at this point, so we moved on the 120 grit to really refine the wood, and 220 grit to finish it off and make it ultra smooth. You’ll notice a lot of dust with this step, and the stump will start to look very light in colour.

11. Then, vacuum the stump and all crevasses to remove all the extra dust (we used a shop vac for this that stays in the garage permanently). I also shook all of the dust off the cardboard and vacuumed it, too. It’s important that you remove all the dust from your work area at this point — flip the cardboard over if you need to, or just remove it until you start the sealing phase.

12. Now, run a tack cloth over all surfaces to remove any remaining dust. Keep rotating the cloth so you’re using up all the available tack to get the dust off of the stump. See how the colour starts to come back as the dust is removed?


Note: I didn’t want to stain the stump, because I love the natural textures and colors of the wood. If you want to stain your stump, now’s the time to do it. Follow the directions on the can, and when you’re happy with it, move on the to the sealing phase.

13. Make sure you follow the directions on the can of varathane you’re working with. If you’re using a satin sealant, it will look cloudy until it dries clear. Start with the first coat on the top, then the sides. Go in with a large brush first to get everything coated, and then follow up with a small brush for the details. Then, use the small brush to remove excess sealant from the any nooks and crannies where it may have pooled and dripped.

14. Allow the sealant to dry completely between coats, following the instructions on the can. I let mine dry about 2 hours between coats. Apply 2 more coats to the top and sides.

15. Once the 3 coats have dried, you’ll probably notice that the top of the stump feels rough — this is because the sealant soaks into the natural texture of the wood and emphasizes it. We sanded the top down again with 120 grit sanding sponge, followed by 220 grit to ensure it was really smooth to the touch.

16. Check out the sides of the stump. The sealant may have dripped and pooled on the sides or at the bottom, so lightly sand that away with 220 grit sanding sponge.

17. Vacuum up the dust, then remove any excess dust with the tack cloth, like you did in steps 9 and 10.

18. Apply the 4th coat of sealant to the top and sides.

19. Then, apply 1 more coat on just the top.

20. Once the last coat is fully dry, you’re done! Make sure you follow the complete drying directions on your can. I let the stump dry for a week indoors before use.

I gave this Natural Tree Stump Side Table to my friends Kelsey and Frank for their wedding gift! It was difficult to part with it (my family helped me make it, and my Mom affectionately named it Stumpie!), but at least I can still visit at Kelsey and Frank’s place. It’s okay though, I have plans for a big natural wood coffee table (see the raw wood in this post, under #6). Once I’m finished making that one, I’ll definitely post about it here, too!

But before I gave it to them I played around with using it for a recipe shoot. It makes a great prop! Here’s the link to my Peppered Pear Elixir.

Here it is in Kelsey and Frank’s place! Kelsey loves natural, cabin-y things, and is using the table in her reading nook. Check her out on Instagram!

Are you guys planning to make a Natural Tree Stump Side Table? If you do, let me know how it goes! I’d love it if you could tag me on social media or leave a comment for me below. I hope this post is helpful, and if you have any questions for me, please leave them in the comments below. I’ll do my best to help you out!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, and contains my genuine thoughts, ideas and recommendations.

How to Burn & Rot a Tree Stump: 2 Natural and Inexpensive Ways to Get Rid of Stumps

You’ve chopped down a tree on your property, and you’ve cleaned up all of the pieces except for that unsightly stump. Instead of trying methods that will either break your wallet or break your back, try either burning or rotting as a natural way to get rid of a tree stump.

On this page:
How to Burn a Tree Stump
How to Rot a Tree Stump

How to Burn a Tree Stump

Below you will find a list of what materials you will need to burn a tree stump as well as directions on how to do this yourself. A few general, common-sense tips before you get started though: Always check with your fire department before you get started, and never burn your stump during a burn or fire ban. Also, make sure that you store your potassium nitrate in a safe location because the substance is a well-known explosive.

Materials Needed to Burn a Stump

  • Drill with a one-inch spade bit or other wood-boring bit
  • Eight to 10-inch extender for the bit
  • Potassium nitrate or saltpeter
  • Plastic scoop or garden trowel
  • Bucket of hot water
  • Cup with spout or a funnel
  • Pieces of dry scrap wood
  • Matches or starter for the fire
  • Shovel

Step-by-Step Directions for Burning a Stump

  1. Attach the spade bit and the extender to your drill. Drill a hole from the top down into the center of the stump with your drill at a 30-degree angle. The hole should be about eight to 10 inches deep.
  2. Clean all of the debris out of the hole. Continue boring holes in the stump, leaving about one inch of space between each hole.
  3. Use the plastic scoop or trowel to scoop potassium nitrate into each hole.
  4. Pour hot water into each hole. You can either dip a cup with a spout into the bucket or insert a funnel into each hole and pour the water directly from the bucket.
  5. Continue pouring water into the holes until all of the potassium nitrate has dissolved. The hot water will help to distribute the substance through the stump.
  6. Place the scrap wood on top of the stump. Alternatively, you can construct a tepee-like shape with the wood, placing one end on the ground and bringing the ends together above the stump in a cone shape.
  7. Light the scrap wood and wait for the stump to ignite. Allow the stump to smolder until all of the wood has turned to ash.
  8. Use your shovel to break up any large roots or stump pieces that are left over. Bring in soil to fill the hole as needed.

How to Rot a Tree Stump

Below you will find step-by-step directions on how to rot a tree stump yourself as well as a list of materials. Before you get started it’s also a good idea to keep in mind the following tips: You can speed up the rotting process by using a high-nitrogen source like potassium nitrate. You can also try natural sources of nitrogen like blood meal, fresh manure or compost.

Materials Needed to Rot a Stump

  • Drill with a one-inch spade bit or other wood-boring bit
  • Eight to 10-inch extender for the bit
  • Potassium nitrate, blood meal, fresh manure or compost
  • Plastic scoop or garden trowel
  • Bucket of hot water
  • Cup with spout or a funnel
  • Shovel

Step-by-Step Directions for Rotting a Stump

  1. Drill holes into the stump using the spade bit and extender. The holes should be eight to 10 inches deep and drilled at a 30-degree angle.
  2. Use the plastic scoop or trowel to fill the holes full of your high-nitrogen substance.
  3. Dip your plastic cup with a spout into the bucket of hot water. Pour water into each hole. Alternatively, you can insert a funnel into each hole and pour water in directly from the bucket. Keep pouring until the nitrogen source is either dissolved or soaked.
  4. Use your shovel to chip off pieces as the stump gradually softens. When the stump is gone, fill the hole with dirt as needed.

By using either burning or rotting, you can easily get rid of tree stumps without expensive or labor-intensive methods. Then, you can either relax in your hammock or play a game of baseball in your stump-free yard.

Rotted stump image via herzogbr

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