How do you remove tree roots

Tree Root Removal: A How-to Guide

You thought you were done with that tree when the chainsaw fell silent. Not so fast. You still have to deal with tree roots. Tree roots are an entirely different beast. Depending on the size of the tree or the reason for the removal, you may even need to call in professional help to remove the tree roots in your yard.

In this how-to guide, we’ll cover the things you need to know about removing tree roots, the conditions you might face, tools you can use, and even when you might need to throw in the trowel and call for expert help.

Why Should You Remove Tree Roots?

The most obvious reason to remove tree roots is that there is a stump in your yard that serves as a reminder of a tree that once stood there. And like the rest of the tree, you need it gone for one reason or another. 

But that’s not always the case. You may, in fact, want to save the tree, but eliminate pesky roots that are cracking your sidewalk or clogging up the sewer line. Whatever the reason, we’ve got you covered. So let’s get started.

Removing Tree Roots After Tree Removal

Taking out tree roots can be a big job, especially if it was a big tree. Its underground root system can spread 20 feet deep, sometimes even more in the right conditions. To remove tree roots that are left after taking down a tree, in most cases, you have three options:

  • Physically remove the roots yourself
  • Treat the roots with chemicals
  • Hire a professional tree stump killer

Physically Remove Tree Roots on Your Own

Physically taking out a tree stump and its roots is the fastest, but most laborious way to get rid of it. Tree stump removal and taking out the tree roots on your own generally involves either digging them out or using a stump grinder. It depends on the type and size of the tree roots you are dealing with. This type of DIY project works best with smaller stumps and roots.

Digging Out Tree Roots

First, call the utility company to make sure you aren’t digging around water, sewer, or other underground lines.  

To dig out the roots, you’ll need a few supplies:

  • Spade
  • Loppers
  • Grub hoe 
  • Root saw (possibly)

Here’s how to dig out tree roots by hand:

  1. Using your spade, you’ll want to dig out the soil that surrounds the roots to expose them. Pull out any loose roots until no more loose ones remain. 
  2. Dig out the dirt surrounding the ones that are still intact and cut through them using your loppers. Try to cut far from the root ball.
  3. Next, use the grub hoe to lift out the cut roots. Pull additional ones out by hand if you can. Push the stump back and forth to loosen the roots and continue to cut and pull roots until you can remove the root ball from the soil. A root saw may be needed if the roots are too thick for the loppers.

Using a Stump Grinder to Remove Tree Roots

Photo Credit: Kinemsm / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4. 0

In some cases, digging out the tree roots may prove difficult. But there is another option to physically remove them, and that is with the use of equipment. Stump grinding a pesky tree trunk is work, but you can eliminate it quickly, and even create some fresh wood mulch in the process.

If you use this method, you’ll need:

  • Chainsaw
  • Shovel
  • You’ll need to rent a stump grinder  

The average cost to rent a stump grinder is between $100 and $400. They can be found at your local home improvement stores such as Lowe’s or Home Depot. Or you can rent one from an equipment store such as Sunbelt.

Pro Tip: Because of the debris involved, it’s important to wear the right safety gear. This includes fully covering your body with pants, a long sleeve shirt, and protective headgear and glasses.

  1. Use your chainsaw to trim the trunk as close to the ground as possible. 
  2. Dig up any rocks and debris around the trunk that could damage your grinder.
  3. Once the trunk and roots are prepped, you can drive the grinder onto the stump and start grinding it down.

Depending on the size and location of the tree, you’ll grind down anywhere from 2 to 4 or more inches. After you’ve completed this, use your shovel once again to dig up tree roots that were attached to the trunk.

Once you’ve completed the process, it’s time to treat the area. You can do this by shoveling or raking the loose wood chips onto the area where the stump was. If it is in a grassy area, also add topsoil and grass seed. If not, use mulch to help cover it.

Continue to check on the hole and treat it until it becomes a natural part of the yard.

If you’re contemplating how to remove the stump before you worry about removing the roots, check out our guide on 5 Ways to Remove a Tree Stump.

Treat the Roots With Chemicals

If you choose to treat the tree’s roots, there is a chemical herbicide option, which works fast to eliminate roots, or the more natural option of using rock salt, which is equally effective but takes longer. You can also use Epsom salt or another highly concentrated form. Table salt won’t do the trick.

Remove Roots Using a Chemical Compound

Treating chemically is easier, but will take longer.

You will need:

  • Saw
  • Water hose
  • Garden sprayer or paintbrush
  • Herbicide – a glyphosate herbicide with an active ingredient concentration of at least 41 percent is best.

Pro Tip: Wear safety goggles or a face shield, a dust mask and hearing protection while working with the saw.

  1. Use the saw to make a fresh cut across the tree stump.
  2. Saturate the tree’s outer layer (just behind the bark) with water. The water will help distribute the herbicide to the tree roots.
  3. Next, mix the glyphosate herbicide with water to create a 50/50 solution, and use your garden sprayer to saturate the outer ring of the tree stump with it. Try to avoid getting the solution on the grass or any nearby plants.

Once the chemical treatment is applied, you just wait. It will take about two weeks for the tree roots to completely die off.

Remove Roots With Rock Salt

It will take a few months and a few applications to get the job done. 

First, you’ll need: 

  • A drill
  • Drill bit that’s 3/8 of an inch in diameter.
  • Rock salt
  • Water

Pro Tip: Take care when handling rock salt and always wear gloves, because when it contacts your skin, it can cause “salt burns.”

  1. Drill several holes in the tree stump that is about three to four inches deep. If there are any exposed roots on the ground, drill holes in these too.
  2. Fill each hole completely with the rock salt, then add enough water to cover the hole without any spilling out and causing damage to other vegetation. Do this several times each month. 

The rock salt will rob the roots of any water and after a few months, your tree roots should be dead.

How To Remove Roots Inside Your Plumbing Pipes

Clogged plumbing due to tree roots is a common issue for homeowners. But if you take proactive measures, you can easily correct this problem with just a little rock salt. 

  1. Pour about half a pound of rock salt at a time into your toilet and flush until it goes down the pipes. 
  2. Repeat until you’ve used a full two pounds. 
  3. Then close off the bathroom and don’t let anyone in the family use that toilet for about 8 to 12 hours.

The rock salt will kill the tree roots by robbing them of their moisture. Repeat this monthly for ongoing maintenance.

Tree Root Removal Without Harming the Tree

Sometimes you love the tree in your yard but hate the roots that are tearing up your sidewalk or clogging up the plumbing. So what do you do about them? Can you eliminate these roots without harming your tree?

The answer here is yes. You can trim the roots back and you can take measures to prevent them from coming back in unwanted areas.  First, you’ll need a water hose, hand trowel, and a wheelbarrow or tarp to temporarily place the dirt, root saw, and material to create a root barrier (plastic, metal, or concrete).

With supplies ready, start by using your hose to soften the ground with water. You want the ground to be damp, but not soggy. Next, use the hand trowel to loosen the soil and feel out the roots. Remove the soil in and around the roots and place it in the wheelbarrow or on the tarp. It’s best to use your hands for this.

Once the area is clear of dirt, cut the roots using your root saw, but be careful. A few guidelines to follow so that you don’t damage the tree are:

  • Don’t cut more than one-third of the roots.
  • Measure the tree trunk’s diameter, then multiply it by three. That’s as close to the trunk as you want to cut.
  • Cut only those roots smaller than the size of a fist.
  • Do not cut any more than 25% from one side.

After you’ve trimmed the roots, dig a trench between them and the area that you don’t want them to go. Create a barrier at least 12 inches high and 10 inches long using a material like metal, plastic, or concrete, then cover it with soil. Pat or compact the soil down and spray with water to wet the ground.

Hire a Professional

There are several reasons that you may want to hire a professional tree service to remove your tree stump. For example, if you don’t want to mess with the physical work of digging or grinding the stump yourself, and you don’t want to wait weeks or even months for it to go away, then it’s a good idea to let a pro take care of it for you.

 In many cases, if you are having the tree professionally removed, then you can hire the same company to take out the stump too — for an additional fee.

According to Bates Hite, the owner of Tree Stump Masters in Atlanta, he’s seen homeowners do all kinds of crazy things to remove tree stumps, even lighting them on fire with charcoal. And he warned that the stump grinders you can rent at the local home improvement store are not powerful enough for larger roots.

“You can’t rent a big enough piece of equipment to get the job done right on a large tree stump. You need to go deep, and you need a big machine,”  he said.

On average, the cost of tree root removal by a professional tree removal service can range from $250 to $350 depending on the size and location of the tree stump.


What is the Easiest Way to Remove Tree Roots?

While labor-intensive, the easiest way often is to dig around the stump, exposing the roots, then using a chainsaw or hatchet, cut the large roots. You can use gardening shears to cut smaller roots.

What will Dissolve Tree Roots?

Rock salt or a glyphosate herbicide with an active ingredient concentration of at least 41 percent can dissolve tree roots.

What Tool Removes Tree Roots?

Depending on the size of the root, you can use gardening shears, a chainsaw, a hatchet, or a handsaw to cut away roots.

What Should I Do With a Tree Stump?

If you have a tree stump, then it should all be removed to avoid it developing health hazards like mold or fungus. The dead tree can still spread disease to your healthy ones if left in place.

If you’d prefer someone else did the work, check out our comprehensive pricing guides:
• How Much Does Stump Grinding Cost?
• How Much Does Stump Removal Cost?

Should I Remove the Roots in My Yard?

If it’s only for aesthetic reasons, no. If the roots are threatening to damage structures or sidewalks, yes.

Call in the Tree Care Experts

Some jobs are best left to the pros. Contact a local tree care expert to take care of uprooting the problem roots in your lawn.

Main image credit: Aaron Escobar / Flickr / CC 2.0

Jennifer Lester

Jennifer Lester is a freelance writer and social media strategist who covers a variety of home and garden topics. She’s a graduate of Texas A&M University and the proud mom of three boys. In her spare time, she volunteers in her community and her children’s schools.

Posts by Jennifer Lester

Tree Root Removal Guide | Arborist Services

The roots of a tree are the lifeblood that keeps it alive. They provide nutrients to the plant through their underground network of tubes called xylem. The root system is also responsible for anchoring the tree into its soil environment. When trees have been damaged by disease or insects they can lose up to 90% of their root mass.

The first step in any root removal project is determining what type of root you have. This may seem like a simple task but there are many different types of trees that grow roots differently than others. The most common mistake people make when trying to remove roots from their property is not knowing exactly what kind of tree they have.

Identifying Your Root Problem

The first step in solving a root problem is identifying what exactly you have. This may seem like an obvious statement but many people do not know where their trees’ roots begin or end. The following questions should help:

  1. Where does my driveway slope? Is there any soil movement on either side of the driveway? If so, then that area needs attention.
  2. How far away from the house is my retaining wall? Does it extend beyond the foundation?

The Tree Root System

A tree’s root system is made up of two parts; primary roots that penetrate deep into the earth, and lateral roots that extend outward from the main trunk. Lateral roots branch out at right angles from the main stem, forming a network of fine feeder roots that reach down toward the surface. These roots help absorb water and minerals from the surrounding soil. They also anchor the plant by providing support against wind pressure and other forces.

Removing Tree Roots After Tree Removal

It can be difficult to remove tree roots, especially if it was a large tree. In the right conditions, its underground root system can reach 20 feet deep. You have three options to remove tree roots after a tree is taken down most of the time.

  • Pull the roots out yourself.
  • Chemical treatment of the roots.
  • There is a professional tree stump killer who you can hire.

Physically Remove Tree Roots on Your Own

The most laborious way to get rid of a tree stump is by taking out the stump. You can either dig out the stump or use a stump grinder to remove the tree roots. Depending on the size of the tree roots you are dealing with. It’s best to do this type of project with small roots.

Digging Out Tree Roots

You will need a spade, loppers, grub hoe, and perhaps a root saw to dig out the roots.

Call the utility company to make sure you don’t dig around water, sewer or underground lines. To expose the roots, you will want to dig out the soil surrounding them. Remove any loose roots before they become loose ones. Cut through the ones that are still intact with your loppers by digging out the dirt surrounding them. Try to cut far from the root ball.

If you have a lot of roots, it is best to remove all but one or two at a time so as not to damage the tree too much. If you do need to pull up several roots in succession, use a rope tied around each root with an overhand knot on top of the root. This will allow you to tie off the ropes together when pulling up multiple roots.

The grub hoe is needed to remove the cut roots. You should be able to pull additional ones out by hand. Continue cutting and pulling roots until you can remove the root ball from the soil by pushing the stump back and forth. If the roots are too dense for the loppers, a root saw may be needed.

Using a Stump Grinder to Remove Tree Roots

It can be hard to dig out the tree roots with a tree stump grinder. The use of equipment can be used to physically remove them. Even though stump grinding a tree trunk is hard, you can eliminate it quickly and even make some fresh wood mulch in the process.

You will need a shovel, chainsaw and stump grinder if you use this method. Between $100 and $400 is the average cost to rent. It is possible to find them at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot store. There is an equipment store called Sunbelt where you can rent one. It is important to wear the proper safety gear because of the debris. You need a long sleeve shirt, pants and protective headgear to cover your body.

The first thing you’ll do is trim the trunk as close to the ground as possible, using your chainsaw. Next, dig up any rocks and debris around the trunk that could damage your grinder. You can begin grinding down the stump once the trunk and roots are prepared.

You can grind down a tree from 2 to 4 inches, depending on the location. Once you’ve completed this, use your shovel to dig up the tree roots that were attached to the trunk.

After you’ve completed the process, it’s time to treat the area. The area where the stump was can be raked or shoveled with loose wood chips. Topsoil and grass seed should be added if it is in a grassy area. If it isn’t covered with mulch, use it. Continue to keep an eye on the hole and treat it until it becomes a part of the yard.

Treat the Roots With Chemicals

Chemical treatments for root rot include copper sulfate and lime sulfur. These chemicals will kill any bacteria that may have gotten into your soil. They should not be applied directly on top of the plant; they must first penetrate the soil before reaching the roots. The best way to apply them is by using an irrigation system that has been designed specifically for this purpose.

Chemical compounds can be used to remove roots.

An active ingredient concentration of at least 41 per cent is needed for a saw, water hose, garden sprayer or paintbrush to be used.

The saw can be used to cut across the stump and make a fresh cut in the tree’s outer layer. The water will help with the distribution of the weed killer.

Use your garden sprayer to saturate the outer ring of the tree stump with the 50/50 solution that was created by mixing the Glyphosate and water. It’s best to avoid getting the solution on the grass or nearby plants.

Remove Roots With Rock Salt

The job will take a few months to be completed. You have to get a drill, rock salt and water. There are a number of holes in the tree stump that need to be drilled. If the ground has exposed roots, drill holes in them.

Adding enough water to cover each hole will prevent it from spilling out and causing damage to other plants. Each month you should do this several times. After a few months, the roots of your tree should be dead because of the rock salt in the water.

Hire a Professional

There are a number of reasons that you should hire a professional tree service to remove your tree stump. A professional can take care of the stump for you if you don’t want to mess with it. If you hire the same company to take out the stump for an additional fee, you can have the tree professionally removed.  We at Eden are consistently ready to provide professional assistance regarding plant life and anything that has to do with landscaping.

Homeowners do a lot of crazy things to remove tree stump, including lighting them on fire with charcoal, according to the owner of Tree Stump Masters. The stump grinder you can rent at the home improvement store isn’t powerful enough for bigger roots.

Renting equipment is not enough to get the job done on a large tree stump. He said that you need a big machine for going deep.

The cost of tree root removal can be as high as $350, depending on the location and size of the tree stump.

Tree Root Removal Without Harming the Tree

Sometimes you enjoy the tree in your yard but don’t like the roots that are damaging your sidewalk or plumbing. How do you deal with them? Is it possible to get rid of the roots without harming your tree?

Yes. You can get rid of the roots by trimming them back and taking other measures. To create a root barrier, you’ll need a water hose, trowel, wheelbarrow, tarp and material to temporarily place the dirt, root saw, and material.

The first thing to do is use your hose to get the ground softened with water. The ground needs to be damp but not soggy. The trowel should be used to loosen the soil and feel out the roots. The soil should be placed in a wheelbarrow or tarp after being removed from the roots. The best way to do this is by using your hands.

If you want to cut the roots, make sure the area is clear of dirt. It’s important to follow a few guidelines so that you don’t damage the tree.

  1. Don’t cut more than one-third of the roots.
  2. Divide the diameter of the tree trunk by three. That’s as close to the trunk as you want to cut.
  3. Only the roots smaller than a fist can be cut.
  4. Do not cut any more than 25% from one side.

You should dig a trench between the roots and the area you don’t want them to go after trimming them. Create a barrier at least 12 inches high and 10 inches long using a material like metal, plastic, or concrete, then cover it with the soil. Pat or compact the soil down and spray with water to wet the ground.

Do you know how to remove tree roots under concrete?

It’s not an easy process since you have to safeguard both the tree and concrete. Unless you’re going to remove the tree completely.

The methods you can use to remove tree roots are listed.

  1. The roots can be cut or killed to stop their growth under the concrete. If you want their growth to continue, you have to cut the roots from their source or somewhere else that will stop their growth. It is possible to use a chemical to kill the roots.
  2. The second method is more costly than the first one. It involves removing the concrete, removing the roots and pouring fresh concrete again.

Removing Roots Inside Your Plumbing Pipes

Homeowners often have logged plumbing due to tree roots. You can easily fix this problem with a little rock salt if you take proactive measures. When you flush, pour half a pound of rock salt into your toilet. Don’t use more than two pounds at a time. Don’t allow anyone in the family to use that toilet for up to 12 hours, then close off the bathroom. The tree roots are vulnerable to being killed by the rock salt. It is recommended to repeat this monthly for ongoing maintenance.

There are alternatives to root cutting and removal.

It might seem less appealing to cut your tree roots now. Here are some alternatives if you find that the risk of losing your tree is too high.

  • Reseed the roots by adding soil over their surfaced roots.
  • Around the tree, root spread is where you want to design your landscape.
  • The use of reinforced cement is recommended in hardscapes.
  • You should install root barricades.
  • A gravel walkway will replace a broken or buckled cement one.
  • When planting new trees, make sure the soil is suitable for the species and that it’s the water well. You can click here for more information on watering and soil.
  • The root barricades can be seen in the following video.

Look after the health of your tree no matter what solution you use. If you’re unsure, call a professional to evaluate and assess what actions should be taken.

There are other ways to handle tree branches

After reading this, you might decide that it’s too much work to remove your tree roots. You can always find ways to incorporate the tree stump into your design if that’s the case.

How to get rid of stumps and tree roots on the site: 4 ways

Sooner or later, every owner of the site is faced with the problem of removing stumps. Even if they didn’t exist initially, they will definitely appear over time. Aging and diseases of fruit trees, the need for redevelopment of the territory - there can be a lot of reasons. We will analyze several working methods on how to remove a stump from the site quickly and easily.

All about uprooting stumps yourself

Is it always necessary
4 working methods
— Manual uprooting
— Burnout
— Chemical destruction
— Mulching

The easiest way to solve the problem of removing large and small stumps is during the development of the site. If the territory has not yet been ennobled, special equipment is ordered. With its help, in just a few hours, they clean the site. The disadvantage of this method is obvious: heavy machinery and destructive mechanical uprooting will leave numerous marks on the site. But if the territory is still going to be ennobled, it's not scary.

It is much more difficult to choose the right solution, how to get rid of a stump in an already developed area. There can be a lot of options, but each of them has certain disadvantages. First of all, you need to understand whether it is really necessary to get rid of a piece of wood. After all, you can benefit from them. For example, an interesting landscape decor is obtained from the rest of the trunk. In order to make it, the core is hollowed out and a fertile substrate is poured into the cavity. The resulting "bed" is used to grow flowers, vegetables or berries. Such a flower bed or garden bed can become the center of an interesting multi-tiered composition. A good option is growing mushrooms. Their spores are inhabited by the remains of wood, where mushroom families germinate very quickly.

It turns out an unusual and useful “decoration”. Honey mushrooms or oyster mushrooms will give several harvests over the summer. At the same time, the mycelium actively destroys wood, because it needs food for growth. In five to six years, mushrooms will completely destroy the remains of the tree. Flowers or vegetables "work" in a similar way, however, they need much more time to destroy.


If the stump stands where it is planned to set up a flower garden or beds, or somehow interferes with the improvement, you have to think about how to uproot the stump on the site. You can invite specialists with a cutter. A powerful technique will crush the wood, deepening 20-30 cm. This is enough to get rid of the roots. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to use the services of specialists. Then use the methods available for independent use.

1. Manual uprooting

In order not to mess around with the remains of the tree, when sawing, you can cut the trunk at ground level. This is done if they do not interfere and it is possible to leave them to rot in the soil. To speed up the process, the cut is chopped with an ax. Sooner or later, the rhizomes will rot, but this will not happen very soon. All the time, while the processes of overheating are going on, it will not be possible to break a garden bed, put up any building, etc. at this place.

When there is no time to wait, choose manual uprooting. This is a very labor intensive method. To begin with, they dig a hole around the hemp, exposing the rhizome. It is important to expose all root processes in the trunk area. You can not remove the soil with a shovel, but wash it off. To do this, put a drain chute in the pit and “wash” the rhizome with a stream of water under strong pressure. The bare root shoots are cut. This must be done very carefully so as not to get hurt. It is extremely inconvenient to work in the pit, the roots are most often mixed up and very hard. But it is imperative to cut them, otherwise, when the hemp is pulled out, the long rhizome will easily destroy the adjacent path, fence or building foundation. A snag with chopped roots is fixed to a winch or any other lifting mechanism and pulled out of the ground. If it is not possible to use mechanical devices, the stump is split, loosened and untwisted fragments, removed from the ground.

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Instagram vash_sadovnik__

Uprooting takes a lot of time and effort, so not everyone is ready to do it. There are ways to remove the stump without uprooting. They are much easier. Let's analyze the most effective of them.

2. Use of fire

A very simple, but rather dangerous method. It can be used with certain restrictions. First of all, the remains of the tree must be removed from buildings, fences, underground and air communications, power lines. It is impossible to carry out the procedure on peat soils (peat bogs ignite quickly and can smolder for a long time). Putting out an underground fire is very difficult, almost impossible.

Burning is carried out in calm, dry weather. All flammable items are removed to a safe distance and be sure to prepare a supply of water in case the situation gets out of hand. Start by drilling two channels inside the hemp. Drill to the maximum possible depth. One is lowered strictly vertically, and the second is placed at an angle to it. In the first there will be a fire, through the second it will receive the air necessary for combustion. In large snags, it is advisable to drill several holes for air. This will speed up the burning.


A flammable liquid is poured into the central cavity. It is best to take lighter fluid or diesel fuel. Gasoline will burn very quickly, which will not give the desired effect. A cotton wick is lowered inside the hole and lit. The only thing left to do is keep the fire going. Depending on the condition of the wood, it will last from 13 to 16 hours.

You can speed up the process if you remove the stump using the Tsiolkovsky method. In this case, "caramel fuel" is used as fuel. This is a mixture of ammonium nitrate and sugar in a ratio of 7:3. The ingredients are mixed and carefully poured into the drilled hole. You need to know that the mixture gives a very strong flame. In a matter of minutes, the entire snag, including the roots, burns out. Therefore, it is imperative to observe precautionary measures: it is necessary to ignite the fuel from a certain distance; for this, a gasoline “path” is laid to it.

3. Chemical destruction

The essence of the method is the decomposition of root residues with the help of chemicals. This is an effective, but slow way to get rid of tree roots. Different preparations are used for destruction, but the method of their application is approximately the same. To begin with, as many deep holes as possible are drilled in the saw cut. This is best done in the fall, two to four weeks before the first frost. The chemical substance will have time to penetrate into the most remote root shoots before the cold weather and will destroy them all winter.

Chemical reagent is poured into the holes. Most often it is carbamide, aka urea. This is a well-known fertilizer that decomposes wood in large quantities. The granules are tightly packed in the cavity, spilled with water, covered with plastic cut and the film is securely fixed. You can plug filled holes with corks or cover with clay. After a few months, the snag will soften, it will be easier to remove it from the ground. Urea, even in large quantities, is relatively safe for the site.

The same cannot be said about potassium or sodium nitrate. They are also used to destroy wood residues. Nitrogen salts are toxic in high doses, so the technique is not suitable for areas where there are new plantings near tree residues. Saltpeters act differently than urea. They dry up the root, which is then easily taken out of the ground. If the soil is not peaty, you can simply burn it, because it is saturated with a substance that stimulates combustion. To destroy a hemp with a diameter of 15-16 cm, it is necessary to lay 2,000 g of any reagent.

Salt will help solve the problem of how to remove stumps from freshly cut trees. Tree juices will quickly spread it throughout the rhizome, which the salt will “dry out” in a year and a half. The removal procedure is the same as described above. You need to know that a high concentration of salt will not allow plants to develop in this place for several years.

Copper or iron sulphate can also be used as a chemical agent. Each of these preparations is a highly effective insecticide and fungicide, toxic in large doses. Vitriol is used for chemical uprooting of diseased stumps. No other way can prevent the infection of nearby plantings.

Herbicides work quickly and effectively. They process only a fresh cut, pour the roots with a solution. Autumn processing allows you to remove the rhizomes from the ground in the spring without any problems. But the soil turns out to be contaminated with herbicides, nothing will grow here for several years.


4. Mulching

The essence of the technique is that the mulch layer blocks the access of air to the saw cut. Without oxygen, the roots slowly die. True, it takes a lot of time. Mulching is more suitable for destroying small stumps. For example, it will be a good solution for getting rid of cherry or plum roots.

The trunk is cut at ground level or slightly above. The saw cut is covered with a dense layer of mulch 20-25 cm high. It is desirable to cover the entire near-trunk circle. Any organic matter is suitable as mulch: chopped grass, leaves, plant debris. The rhizomes will rot for a long time, for several years. All this time, organic matter will have to be added, as its layer is thinning.


There are many ways to uproot trees. The optimal one is chosen taking into account the prevailing conditions. So, effective mechanical uprooting is not suitable for an already ennobled area, but on a newly developed area it will help to get rid of rhizomes quickly and easily. In order not to spoil the landscape design, they invite specialists with a cutter, they can remove any stumps in a short time. Or use the safest chemical uprooting. Burning is effective, but it must be done very carefully. The risk of fire and fire is too great.

Material prepared by

Inna Yasinovskaya

how to get rid of a stump without uprooting quickly, how to burn it out, remove it chemically

After pruning trees, stumps remain on the territory. Sometimes a person wants to use this place for planting new plants, but the trunk sticking out of the ground interferes. The problem is rather not even in the stump, but in the many roots inside the earth, which make tillage impossible. We have to look for methods for removing tree roots, among which there are fast and not very fast ones.

To begin with, let's compare the popular methods for removing tree roots on the site in the table.

Method Pros Cons
Chemical method, urea No special effort required, anyone can do it. You have to buy a lot of chemical, and you can run into a mixture that can harm the soil.
Process or crusher It will take a few minutes to remove the rhizome. Equipment needs an open area, and the cost of the crusher is quite high.
Physical or uprooting No need to spend money on chemicals and tools, you can do the job in a day. It will not be possible to remove all the roots, but they grow along the road, removal becomes impossible.

Classic manual and mechanical method

Includes manual removal. The traditional method is effective if the stump is small, but if the tree is old and has been growing for many years, it will take a lot of effort. We take a shovel, put on gloves, and get to work.

The features of the method are as follows:

  1. First you need to dig the soil around the stump in order to expose the growing roots as much as possible.
  2. As soon as you get access to them, you need to get rid of them - chop and trim them.
  3. After cutting the roots, the stumps can be loosened. Then access will open to the last - the largest core rhizome. It grows downward vertically.
  4. Separate it from the stump. It may not be possible to remove the tap root, it is very deep.
  5. Then we remove all the remnants of small roots.

The mechanical method of getting rid of stumps is extremely labor intensive. It is effective, but you have to work all day, removing each root manually. Large equipment will help. Or you can use a chainsaw. And if a certain area does not lend itself, it can be doused with water to soften it.

When using the rope, be careful - the stump can suddenly jump out of the ground and injure a person.

Don't forget that if the stump is next to the road, the standard uproot may not work. The fact is that the roots go deep, and it is difficult to get to them.

Technological method

This is a stump grinder. The equipment is expensive and suitable for experienced workers. Outwardly, such a crusher is similar to a professional cutter on wheels. A gasoline engine is mounted in the device.

Features of the destruction of stumps with such a device are as follows:

  1. Turn on the crusher and use it on the stump.
  2. Wood chipper turns wood into sawdust. It is effective - you can remove the stump in a few minutes, nothing will remain of it.
  3. Sawdust can be removed or left in the ground as fertilizer.


Chemical stump removal is fine if one can wait a few years for the mixture to eat away at the material. You can remove the stump with urea (urea). But just setting fire to the stump will not work, you will have to wait for the destruction of the structure. The chemical method also involves the use of salt or other aggressive substances.

Features of the chemical method of removing tree roots on the site:

  1. Holes are made in the stump with a drill.
  2. Chemical is poured into the holes.
  3. We wait about a year until the mixture begins to destroy the structure of the tree.

Removing with urea

You can quickly remove the stump without uprooting with urea.

Holes are made through which urea is poured. The difference between this method and the use of sodium nitrate is that the tree will simply corrode, it does not need to be set on fire.

After using urea, the stump crumbles like dust and can be dug up together with the soil. In addition, urea is an ideal fertilizer, therefore, in the place where the stump used to be, you can plant a new plant.

Potassium or sodium saltpeter

A versatile tool that allows you to quickly get rid of the stump without uprooting. The wood is impregnated with saltpeter, which is a strong oxidizing agent. Even the rhizome will burn out. We saturate the stump with saltpeter and set it on fire.

How to burn a stump with saltpeter:

Using ammonium nitrate:


Herbicides can also be used to get rid of stump, but they are considered hazardous substances. But, if you choose the right drug, you can effectively get rid of the roots without harming the person. You can kill the root of a tree with the following drugs:

  • Alaz;
  • Tornado;
  • Glisol.

They are specifically designed to remove weeds, disintegrate into water and gases, and are not harmful to humans.

It is best to treat the fresh cut with the substance or spread it on the soil around the stump. Thanks to the rain, the preparations will fall deep into the rhizome. This method is effective only if the tree has been cut recently, since substances can only destroy the structure of living vegetation.

Video on how to get rid of the stump and roots without uprooting:

Not quite the usual methods for removing stumps and tree roots on the site


You can also remove the stump without uprooting with ordinary salt. The cheapest method, but you have to buy a pack of salt. Sodium chloride is a food additive, but it also has aggressive properties. Table salt is an effective way to destroy the structure of wood, it is well suited for removing a stump.

To do this, take a drill and, using a large drill, make several holes inside the stump. We pour salt inside them, fill them with water and cover with cellophane. Now you need to wait from 1 to 2 years. This time is enough for the salt to destroy the structure of the wood, the stump can be removed on its own.


Mushrooms help to destroy the stump without uprooting. This biological method cannot be called the fastest, you will have to wait at least 2 years. But one should not rush, because the prospect opens up not only to remove the stump, but also to grow mushrooms. A wooden post must be infected with spores. For this, 2 types of mushrooms are best suited - winter mushroom and oyster mushroom. These types of mushrooms will grow well on any stumps, not counting those that remain from conifers.

The technology for using mushrooms is very simple - mycelium in grain form, preferably grown on a substrate, is brought into the holes made. That's all, but it is important to moisten the stump sometimes, especially when it's hot - mushrooms love water. If you do all the work in the spring, the first harvest of mushrooms will be in the fall. And from winter to spring, you can collect winter mushrooms. In a few years, the stump will turn into dust, and a person will gain experience in growing mushrooms.


The stump has roots that can be softened with water for easier removal. We dig another hole, the dimensions of which are equal to the one made around the hemp. The soil around the tree is washed away with a hose jet. The second hole is needed so that excess water comes out through it. As soon as the roots get wet, they become accessible, they can be cut and uprooted.

Car oil

You can remove the stump of sawn wood by treating it with car oil. In the spring we dig a hole around the stump, the depth is 15 cm. The bark is removed from the trunk. Lubricate it with car oil. We attach the bark in place, sprinkling with earth. Green shoots will appear on the stump. But as soon as it gets hot, they dry out.

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