How to grind 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

How To Remove Roots After Tree Removal

Sometimes tree removal is the only viable solution to maintaining the health and safety of a yard or other outdoor space. Once the tree is removed, the stump and the connecting roots underground are left behind, which can be a significant problem and one has to consider how to remove roots after tree removal.

Typically, tree removal involves clearing up the surrounding space, identifying the best way to fall the tree, and then using the appropriate equipment and technique to cutting it down to its stump.

Left behind stumps are a nuisance and should be removed immediately for the following reasons:

  • The stump can be a tripping hazard with the potential to cause serious injury.
  • The presence of the stump can hurt the overall aesthetics of the landscape.
  • Sometimes, the roots connected to the stump continue to grow after the tree removal and may end up wrapping around pipelines, lifting patios, or even damaging the foundation of the house.
  • A new tree might grow around the stump left behind, which might be harder to remove than the original one as shoots keep returning. These new growths can often suck up essential moisture from the soil adversely hurting the health of the landscape.
  • The stump and the roots will rot over time and become a breeding ground for many pests, which can spread to other healthy plants, and even find their way indoors.

Stump Grinding

Due to all of the aforementioned reasons, it is important to get rid of the stump and roots once the tree has been removed.

One popular method of getting rid of the stump is known as stump grinding. It involves the use of a powerful machine, known as a stump grinder that grinds the stump into tiny wooden chips.

Stump grinding offers numerous benefits, which include being quick and non-invasive, being cheaper than full stump removal and offering nutrient-rich mulch that can be used to improve the health of the soil.

How To Remove Roots After Tree Removal and Stump Grinding

Being non-invasive, stump grinding does not actively remove the underground roots. Once the stump is ground out, the roots die and decay, becoming part of the soil. As a precaution, the roots connected to the base of the stump are often severed using shears to ensure there is no regrowth. This natural process is a time-consuming one with roots sometimes taking up to 10 years to decay completely.

Hiring a tree service pro like Hidden Oak Tree Care can immediately solve your tree and root removal needs. However if you have more time, there are several other options available for getting rid of roots after stump grinding:

  • Dig Out The Roots: Have your stump grinder go a little deeper into the ground when grinding the stump. Once the stump is ground 6 to 8 inches into the ground, it becomes much easier to simply dig and pull out the roots, getting rid of them completely. This is one of the most comprehensive means of getting rid of roots and the associated problems with continued root growth.
  • Chemical Herbicides: Another method that can be used is to treat the left-behind roots after stump grinding with powerful chemical herbicides found in stores. These powerful chemical agents work effectively to kill the roots quickly, which can then decay and become part of the soil. We don’t recommend the use of chemicals, however, because they can leach into other areas of your yard and harm your plants, and potentially your animals.
  • Epsom Salts: If you are avoiding chemicals, then you can use the more natural route of using Epsom salt or any other concentrated form of salt to kill the roots. While it will require several applications over a few months and will be slower than its chemical counterpart, Epsom salt will be equally effective in killing the roots.

Stump grinding is the best way to get rid of the underlying roots of any removed tree. It is also the best way to get rid of the stump’s roots and certainly beats waiting for the roots to naturally decay.

If you are unsure of which method to use for your particular situation, it is always a good idea to seek the opinion of the professionals at Hidden Oak Tree Care. We can advise how to remove roots after tree removal and will handle the full project to your satisfaction.

How to uproot a tree, the lifespan of trees and how to remove trees from the site


  • Uprooting trees - all methods of removal
    • How many years trees usually live
  • How to remove dead trees from the site
    • Method 1: mortar salt
    • Method 2: ammonium nitrate
    • Method 3: sodium nitrate
    • Tools and equipment for sawing and uprooting wood
  • How to get rid of tree stumps and roots
    • Ways to uproot trees on the site
    • Removing tree residues from dry soil by crushing
    • Uprooting stumps on the site with an ax and crowbar
    • How to get rid of stumps without uprooting: chemical method of burning with saltpeter
    • Uprooting a stump with urea
  • Using bark to mulch trees and shrubs
    • How to grind tree bark at home

Old trees are a common problem in any garden or park. No matter how long the life of plants is, the time comes for them to give way to young seedlings, and then gardeners decide how to remove the roots of trees from the site. There are quite a few ways of uprooting trees - simpler and more complicated.

Uprooting trees - all methods of removal

The easiest way to remove an old tree from the site is to uproot it yourself. This is possible when the plant is 100% dead. In this case, its roots no longer have such a strong grip on the ground and are quite amenable to extraction.

Old tree in need of removal

How old trees usually live

The lifespan of a plant is determined by its species. Some horticultural crops live only a few decades, while others can grow for centuries. Here are some average statistical data on the most popular crops cultivated in Russian gardens (lifetime in years is indicated):

  • birch - 150;
  • sweet cherry - 30;
  • mountain ash - 80-100;
  • peach - 20;
  • apple tree - up to 200;
  • sea buckthorn - 30;
  • pear - 200;
  • walnut - 400;
  • quince - 50.

Old pear trunk

Shrubs usually have the shortest lifespan, not exceeding a hundred years. Here are a few examples:

  • gooseberries - 25-30;
  • honeysuckle - 50;
  • raspberries - 12;
  • blackcurrant 40-50;
  • blueberries - 60-100.

How long trees live depends not only on their type and variety, but also on quality care.

How to remove dead trees from the plot

Diseases of fruit trees, diseases of orchard fruit trees

A dry plant is usually cut down, and then its stump is uprooted. To remove a large tree or bush from the site, it is sawn into pieces so that they can be loaded onto vehicles and taken out, or put into a woodpile and burned later.

The hardest part is uprooting the trees. In tall plants, roots can go many meters deep. You can extract them with the help of special equipment, which is widely used in forestry. In the absence of the possibility of hiring such equipment, various methods are used to crush the stumps in order to then extract them from the ground in parts.

A separate case when the tree is already dying, most of the branches are dead, but there is root growth, the roots are alive. Such a plant is still very firmly planted in the ground. Before uprooting, it is necessary to kill (dry) it, in order to then decide how to get rid of the roots of the trees.

Method 1: salt solution

Considered the most gentle on nearby plants and soil. You can corrode a tree with ordinary table salt, using one of the following methods:

  • In the trunk circle, dig the soil 20-30 cm deep (on the bayonet of a shovel), evenly distribute several kg of salt, fill the soil back. Conduct abundant watering and wait for the result.
  • Salt can be spread over the surface of the soil. Then you can water or just wait for the rains, then the salt will dissolve without any extra effort.
  • A hard saline solution (diluted 1:1 with water) is poured under a tree. During the season, watering is repeated several times.

Usually 2 kg of salt is enough to not think about how to destroy the roots of felled trees. The soil from such an impact in a summer cottage is completely restored in a few years.

Method 2: ammonium nitrate

This substance accelerates the decay of wood several times. As a result, a lot of environmentally friendly fertilizer remains from the tree. The method is extremely simple: saltpeter is scattered around the trunk and watered well. The best time to work is early spring or autumn, when sap flow along the trunk continues.

Method 3: sodium nitrate

This nitrate is used differently. The trunk of an old spruce or aspen is drilled with deep holes, into which saltpeter, dry or diluted with water, is introduced. A year later, the tree dies. If you use a saltpeter solution for irrigation in the root area, then it will take several years to destroy, so this method is almost never used.

If you want to get guaranteed results as soon as possible and save yourself the trouble, you can use herbicides that are poisonous to plants. The drugs are effective against hardwoods, but much weaker against conifers.

The following low hazard herbicides are commercially available:

  • Roundup. For a young tree or bush, 4 standard packages are required, which are diluted in a bucket of water and poured under a tree. If an oil form is caught, then it is used by spraying on the crown. Against an old tree, it is better to use another remedy.
  • Tornado. The tool is only suitable for hardwoods. The drug is diluted with water, according to the manufacturer's instructions and sprayed onto the crown.
  • Arsenal. An almost complete analogue of Tornado, it is also used, guided by the manufacturer's instructions.

You can enhance the effect of any garden chemicals with vegetable oil. It is added to the working solution in 50 or 100 ml. This technique increases the penetrating power of all drugs. The speed of exposure depends on the size and age of the tree. The largest and oldest can last for several years, and the young die in the first year.

Tools and accessories for sawing and uprooting wood

Chopping trunks and branches can be done with hand or electric tools. In the first case, saws, hacksaws, axes are used. For large branches and trunks, it is better to use an electric saw - it will cope with wood of any thickness. A similar tool is a chainsaw, which has a valuable advantage - autonomy of work (it does not require an outlet, it is enough to fill the tank with fuel).

Correct posture when using a power saw

For uprooting stumps, a crowbar and a shovel are useful, as well as various hooks with which you can pry thick roots and pull them out. If one’s own strength is not enough for this, then the snag is tied with a cable, which is pulled by several people or a car (tractor, walk-behind tractor, etc.).

Tip! Do not immediately remove the fancy stump, craftsmen willingly buy them to make various handicrafts (benches, sculptures, garden furniture, etc.).

How to get rid of tree stumps and roots

Grafting trees in spring, methods for grafting fruit trees for beginners

The underground part of trees and bushes usually sits very firmly in the ground, for example, near linden. It is sometimes very difficult to pull them out, but it is necessary to free up the territory for new plantings.

Methods for uprooting trees in the area

Practice has shown that three methods are the most effective in uprooting:

  • mechanical - chopping with a special cutter or extracting with earth-moving equipment;
  • manual - this includes burning, as well as uprooting with a winch and a crowbar with an ax, sometimes you can wash the stump with water;
  • chemical - urea, nitrate or salt.

The choice depends on the size of the tree, the total scope of work and the time frame in which you need to get rid of the old stump.

Removal of wood residues from dry ground by crushing

Crushing the stump is a task for the chipper, which is a specialized machine. Its size and specifications vary widely. Some models work with large volumes of wood, while others are hired for one-time work (remove one stump).

Grinders according to the principle of operation are different:

  • rotary;
  • disc;
  • through.

The walk-through shredder has a special rotor that, going deep into the ground, grinds everything it comes across: roots, stones, stumps, etc. After the passage, there remains a section loosened to a given depth, “seasoned” with large sawdust. This versatile technique is suitable for removing small stumps in orchards or vineyards, such as those that died during a harsh winter.

Example of mounted shredder on loader chassis

The disc cutter can handle almost any stump. Its working disk with teeth, like a saw, moves up and down and left and right, cutting a stump out of the ground. There are no drawbacks to this technique, except for one thing - the disc is afraid of colliding with large stones.

Rotary rooter works like this: a drill with cutters is cut into the center of the stump, and then, as it rotates and sinks, the drill crumbles the wood.

Specialized vehicles may run on their own chassis, but there are models designed to be mounted on a tractor, excavator or loader. Usually the choice is dictated by the estimate of work, its prices.

Uprooting stumps on the site with an ax and scrap

The stump is manually dug around with a shovel, surrounding the bases by 1-1.5 m. The goal is to expose the largest roots as much as possible. Then they need to be cut with an ax. Then, a crowbar is brought under the bottom of the stump and pulled out of the ground with effort.

Undermined stump for uprooting

The method is suitable for uprooting stumps up to 20 cm in diameter. Larger specimens are unlikely to be pulled out of the soil in this way. If there is no goal to immediately use the area under the stump, then it is quite possible to limit yourself to cutting down its central part. The remaining roots are sprinkled with earth and left. It will take a little time, and all the wood residues will rot on their own.

How to get rid of stumps without uprooting: chemical method of burning with saltpeter

At the end of winter, when the thaw has already begun, but before the sap flow is still far away, several thick holes 40 cm deep are drilled in the stump with a drill. The number of holes is determined as follows: one for every 10 cm of the trunk diameter. Then saltpeter is tamped into the holes and moistened. Next, you need to seal all the "seals" by wrapping the barrel with polyethylene or smearing them with resin. In the spring, with the onset of sap flow, the tree will quickly die, after which it can be removed by burning.

Saltpeter plugs in the stump

Uprooting the stump with urea

Urea consumption is lower for this method, as the holes are drilled only 3 cm deep. Then they are sealed with sealant. The waiting time is a year for the stump treated in this way to rot. But next year you can burn it and immediately plant something new.

Burning a dead stump

Using bark to mulch trees and shrubs

Whitewashing trees in spring - pest control of fruit trees

A popular way to use wood waste is to mulch the soil. For this purpose, you can take fallen leaves, grass, peat, but sawdust and crushed bark have a number of undoubted advantages:

  • A long process of decay is accompanied by a gradual release of nutrients into the soil, which is especially good for tree bark.
  • Rotting bark increases the alkaline reaction of the soil. This is the optimal environment in which crops can live: cranberries, blueberries, rhododendrons, blueberries, heather, conifers and many other horticultural crops.
  • The material is a natural filter. It freely passes water and air through itself, but retains harmful substances. This is very important for gardens within the city, where bark mulch that has not rotted in a year is raked, burned, and a new one is poured in return.
  • A thick layer of mulch prevents the soil from compacting, so loosening the soil and weeding it as often as before is no longer necessary. For those plants whose root system is superficial and afraid of damage, mulching is ideal, they can live in a climate that is not the most suitable for them.
  • Phytoncides in the composition of the bark do not allow gray rot, fungal infections to multiply in the soil, and prevent root rot.
  • Ground covered with bark mulch does not infest soil nematodes, against which there are still no effective protection measures.
  • If the soil is sprinkled with mulch, then it creates an optimal microclimate for the life of earthworms. With their arrival, the soil structure noticeably improves, it becomes more fertile, air penetrates to the roots more easily.

Important! A thick layer of bark mulch will prevent various pests from settling in the soil. How to shred tree bark at home? If independent procurement of raw materials is carried out, then take into account:

  • For capricious plants, you should not use oak bark, since it contains a large amount of tannins.
  • Pine bark takes three times longer to decompose than hardwood.
  • Birch bark is very beautiful and will decorate any area.

Zoning and decorating flowerbeds and lawns with bark mulch

In the process of harvesting, the following recommendations are additionally taken into account:

  • Do not remove the bark from living trees, as they will then die.
  • The best material is sawn and dried wood. Old and rotten trunks are not very suitable, since their bark is usually full of fungi and pests.
  • Bark, suitable for chopping, detaches easily from the base, but does not crumble into small pieces.

Pine bark dressing for tulips

Almost any tool is suitable for shredding, including scissors or pruning shears. You can use a garden shredder. The optimal size of the pieces is 1-5 cm. It is advisable to sterilize the entire mulch before use. To do this, it is boiled for 10 minutes or heated in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 70 ° C.

One of the options for using old stumps

Old stumps on the site can become a stand for a flowerpot, a decorative table, or serve as fertilizer. Which option to prefer is decided in each case separately. The main thing is to adhere to the principle of compliance with the efforts made and the result obtained from them.


Natalia Zhizhko

9 effective ways to uproot an old stump on the site

Over time, the trees planted in the country inevitably grow old, fall ill, degenerate or no longer fit into the design. They are easy to cut down, but not everyone can uproot stumps on the site, or rather, not everyone knows how to do it right.

Clearing a site from trees and shrubs is a long and laborious process. Of course, you can pay professionals and admire the work of technology, but it will cost a lot. We will analyze the main ways in which you can get rid of an excess natural element on your territory.

Mechanical Stump Uprooting

Tree and stump uprooting is a fairly lucrative business, so it's easy to find specialists in any field who are ready to bring equipment to your home and solve the problem of stumps in a couple of hours.

Stump grinder

The stump grinder is a huge cutter that turns wood into shavings. Its size is comparable to a garden wheelbarrow, so the chopper is easy to deliver to any part of the site and not damage neighboring plantings. It works not only with the ground part of the stump, but also with the underground, deepening by 30 cm.

Unfortunately, there are fewer quality shredders on the market, so not all companies can provide such a service. It is also not cheap and is suitable for removing the stumps of those trees that do not produce abundant root shoots.

Earthmoving equipment

Stump can be excavated using special equipment: an excavator, a manipulator or a bulldozer. But this method of the advantages is only speed and work with the largest stumps, but there are significantly more disadvantages.

Firstly, the work of such equipment is always very expensive, and the stumps will turn out just "golden". Secondly, such a large car can not drive into every site - gates and gates may simply not be designed for it. And finally, even in the dry season or in winter, these machines damage the soil very much, and leave only lumps from the lawn.

Therefore, it is good to use such equipment at the stage of preparing the site for development, or if there are a lot of huge stumps on the territory and cannot be dealt with in other ways.

Manual stump removal methods

If you have only a couple of stumps on your property, you are confident in your abilities and are not ready to overpay for what you can do yourself, proven methods of removing stumps manually will come to your aid.

Removing tree stumps with fire

If you have an unlimited supply of time and firewood, and your neighbors are loyal to the smell of smoke, you can turn your stump into the finest fertilizer - wood ash.

To do this, you will need to drill holes in the saw cut, pour lighter fluid into them and set them on fire. At first, it will be necessary to forcibly provide oxygen to the fire, but as soon as the holes increase, you will only have to throw up firewood and remove the burnt part in a timely manner. This must be done carefully, otherwise the combustion will slow down.

If the stump is very hard or you have nothing to drill holes with, make a fire right on the saw cut - it will gradually burn out, turning into a hole.

Removing stumps on the site with a winch

If you only plan to cut down a tree and remove its roots, you can use a winch. To do this, leave a stump about 1 m high - it will be easier to deal with it.

Fasten the winch with a force of 3 tons to the nearest tree or pole, tie it with a cable or an additional rope around the stump. Dig the stump in a circle, at a distance of 1.5 m from the trunk, to expose the roots. Chop them off or cut them off with a hacksaw. Only after that turn on the winch, and from its side place a wooden stump under the stump.

Uprooting stumps on the site with an ax and crowbar

Dig around the stump at a distance of 1-1.5 m from the base so that the roots are exposed. Chop them, and slip a crowbar under the stump. Lift it with force and the stump will be pulled out of the ground.

This method is suitable for removing stumps up to 20 cm in diameter. If the stump is larger, then you will spend too much time and effort.

If the tree from which the stump remains does not give root growth, you can simply cut it down to ground level, grind the cut with an ax and cover it with earth - it will gradually rot by itself.

Uprooting stumps on the site with water

At a distance of half a meter from the roots of the stump, dig a hole and begin to wash it out with water under pressure. After a while, the roots will be washed away, and the stump will hang in the air. Then the main roots can be chopped off, and the stump itself can be removed.

The stump washing option is not suitable for all summer residents, but only for those who have their own water source and a pump capable of supplying it under good pressure on the site. If your water is given on a schedule, or you have to go to the well for it, consider other options. In addition, this method is rather dirty, and it will not work on an already ennobled area in the middle of flower beds and beds. Although if there are no tender plants around that are afraid of flooding, then you can take a chance.

Chemical tree root removers

Not physically strong enough to tolerate construction machinery on your property? Then you should know how to remove a stump without uprooting. To help you will come funds that are easy to get on sale.


Not the fastest method for a year is suitable for those who want to get rid of the stump without any extra effort. It is enough to drill several holes in it with a diameter of 1-3 cm, pour urea into it and wrap everything tightly with polyethylene.

By the next season, there will be no trace of the stump, and the vacated place can be used.

Potassium nitrate

This method is similar to the previous one in its first part: in the cold season, during the thaw, holes up to 40 cm deep are drilled in the stump with a drill with a thick drill at the rate of one hole per 10 cm in diameter. Water is poured into them, and then potassium nitrate is rammed for several days in a row. After the stump is wrapped with polyethylene and left in this form until spring. Under the influence of saltpeter, the tree dries quickly, and in the spring it can easily be burned without residue.

Burning of stumps (both after treatment with saltpeter and without it) is prohibited on peat soils.


If you plan to put a gazebo, shed or other building on the site of the stump, then the salt option will suit you. But remember that salt will destroy not only the stump itself, but also the soil around it, so planting something there will no longer work.

Immediately after sawing, start sprinkling coarse salt on the stump, do not spare it and add after each rain. Salt will saturate the wood, and it will turn into dust.

If you do not want to use drugs on the site and are willing to wait a few years, grow mushrooms on the stump.

Mushroom or oyster mushroom mycelium is sold in all garden stores, and all you have to do is drill a few holes in the stump, spread the seed into it, water it and cover it with moss or soil according to the instructions on the package.

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