How to remove small tree stumps and roots

5 Ways to Remove a Tree Stump

You eliminated the tree that just didn’t work in your yard, but now you have the stump to contend with. Surprisingly, removing it is no easy task.  In fact, it’s left you, well — stumped. But never fear! Here are 5 ways to remove a tree stump.

  • No. 1: Use Chemicals
  • No. 2: Remove Stump Manually
  • No. 3: Burn the Stump
  • No. 4: Use a Stump Grinder
  • No. 5: Call in the Pros
  • Best Way to Remove a Tree Stump
  • FAQ About Tree Stump Removal

No. 1: Use Chemicals

Using chemicals to remove a tree stump is the least labor-intensive way to get rid of it. However, this process does take time, especially if the size of the stump is large.

In some cases, it could take up to a year for the stump removal process to be complete because you are literally rotting the pesky stump. But the good news is that this method is inexpensive if you already have a chainsaw and drill.

The materials you need to purchase will cost you less than $20. Here are our five picks for stump removal chemicals.

To get your tree stump out this way, you’ll need the following:

  • A chainsaw and a drill
  • Potassium nitrate
  • Plastic tarp
  • Garden mulch
  • An ax

How to Remove a Tree Stump Using Chemicals

Once you’ve got your materials, you can begin. But remember, when you use a chemical stump remover, be patient as it will take at least four weeks in most cases to see results. If you are looking for a way to rot a tree stump fast, this is it. Normally, it takes three to seven years for a stump to rot.

Step 1: Using your chainsaw, take off as much of the stump that’s above ground level as possible. Be sure to have protective safety gear on such as safety goggles and steel toe boots.

Step 2: Next, it’s time to drill holes through what is left of the tree stump. Space the holes closely together and use the largest drill bit that you can. Go as deep and wide as you can with these holes.

Step 3: Fill the holes using water first, then add the potassium nitrate. You could also use another type of fertilizer high in nitrogen, or even stump remover granules designed for this process.

Step 4: Soak the ground all around the tree stump with water to get it nice and saturated, then cover the area with a plastic tarp. The tarp will help to keep moisture in and accelerate the rotting process.

Step 5: Cover the tarp with mulch, preferably an organic variety, and water again to help retain moisture and soak the area.

Step 6: Check on the progress periodically and add more water and nitrogen to your tree stump, then recover with mulch and more water.

Step 7:  After four to six weeks have passed, your tree stump should become spongy. If so, you can use an ax to speed up the process and remove portions of the tree stump. If enough of it comes loose, you can cover what remains with dirt, and create a flower bed or even plant grass seed. If the stump is still firm, repeat the process.

If you discover that the old tree stump hasn’t progressed as far as you’d like, you can always move on to the burn method listed below.

Or, if you want to avoid harsh chemicals, fuel oil, or anything else that’s not natural, you could use the Epsom salt method. Follow the steps above but switch out Epsom salt for the potassium nitrate.

No. 2: Remove Stump Manually

If you don’t want to use chemical stump removal or wait too long to get rid of the tree stump, it may be possible to remove it manually. Again, it’s not expensive to do it this way if you already have the tools. It may take around three to 12 hours to finish the project, but once you are done, that stump will be history.

The tools that you need to gather or purchase include:

  • Digging bar ($30 to $50).
  • Bow saw ($10 to $30).
  • Ax ($30 to $40).
  • Mattock ($15 to $50).

Be sure to wear safety gear such as work gloves and steel toe boots for this project.

How to Manually Remove a Tree Stump

Manually removing a stump is definitely more labor-intensive, but it will get the job done fast. This method is best used on small to medium-sized tree trunks. If your stump is larger, then you’ll probably need a stump grinder, which we will talk about later.

Step 1: Use the broad end of the mattock to dig around the stump and loosen the dirt.

Step 2: Remove the loosened dirt with a shovel so that you see the tree roots.

Step 3: With your mattock (or a small bow) sever the tree roots from your tree trunk.

Step 4: Continue to dig and chop until you reach the taproot and clear an area around it.

Step 5: Using an ax or bow saw, cut through the taproot.

Once you’ve cut through the taproot, you can wiggle the tree stump around and pull it out of the topsoil. This process will take hours, but when it’s over, your tree stump will be gone.

Another strategy for removing a tree stump manually is to use a wedge, which this video illustrates.

No. 3: Burn the Stump

Another do-it-yourself option is the burn method. This may be used alone or in conjunction with one of the two stump removal methods listed above. The supplies you’ll need to burn your stump include:

  • A tree stump removal product such as Stump Out (which you can find on Amazon).
  • Kerosene or fuel oil.
  • Power drill.

How to Burn a Tree Stump

Burning the stump may seem daunting, but as long as safety measures are followed, this is an effective method to remove a tree stump. Carefully follow the instructions:

Step 1:  Drill holes in the stump and sprinkle your powdered tree stump removal product inside. This will help to make the wood porous.

Step 2:  Pour kerosene or fuel oil into the holes. Soak the tree stump completely, allowing the porous wood to absorb the fuel.

Step 3: Ignite the tree stump and let it burn. Watch it closely and make sure that the flame smolders. Once it is just about finished, you can cover it with topsoil to help put out any remnants of the fire.

This is a fast method for removal, but if you live in a neighborhood, you may want to check first that it’s acceptable to use kerosene on your tree stump.

No. 4: Use a Stump Grinder

If you are dealing with a larger stump, or have multiple old tree stumps to remove, renting a stump grinder may be your best DIY bet. Stump grinders that are available at your local home improvement store generally cost between $100 and $200 to rent. You’ll also need a few extra tools including:

  • Shovel.
  • Mattock.
  • Rake.
  • Chainsaw.

How to Remove a Tree Stump With a Stump Grinder

Stump grinders are large machines that can weigh around 1,000 pounds. So before you rent one, make sure you have a vehicle that can transport it to and from your home, or that the rental company can deliver it and take it away.

Step 1: Clear dirt, debris, and rocks away from the tree stump using your mattock or shovel.

Step 2: Using your chainsaw, cut as much of the stump as possible. Ground-level is ideal.

Step 3: Place the stump grinder wheel a few inches above the stump and turn it on.

Step 4: Lower it about 3 inches and move it from side to side using its lever.

Step 5: Grind it down about 4 inches using the grinder wheel and repeat until the entire perimeter of the stump is 4 inches below the ground.

Step 6: Fill the hole with the wood chips which are the remnants of your stump then cover with topsoil and/or grass.

While this is a home improvement project that you can do yourself, be sure to do your research before you begin. These machines can be a challenge to operate and you will need the proper safety gear and attire.

No. 5: Call in the Pros

If waiting weeks, working on it for hours, lighting fires, or operating heavy equipment don’t appeal to you, you can always hire a local tree care professional. If you’re already getting a tree cut down, ask that company to remove the trunk. They will charge you an additional fee, but you may be able to negotiate a favorable rate since you are already working with them.

It generally costs between $175 and $516 per stump for removal. To get a good estimate, measure the diameter of the stump and multiply this by $2 to $5. The average cost for professional removal is $326.

Stump grinding costs from $158 to $450 depending on the size of the stump. The average cost of stump grinding is $313.

Advice from a Pro

Since the cost to rent a stump grinder ranges from $200 to $400, you could actually come out ahead by hiring a service instead. Gerald Williams, owner of C-Trees & More in Houston, Texas said that in many cases the stump grinders available for rent at places like Home Depot are not big enough for most jobs.

“I’ve seen people rent these machines and try to do it themselves,” he said. “They get worked to death trying to remove the stump with one of these small grinders, and then they still end up calling a professional in to do the job.”

He said that you can rent a stronger, professional-grade stump grinder, but warns that these can cost around $400 or more.  Additionally, he said that the commercial-grade grinders require skill to operate as well as the proper equipment to haul them.

The Bottom Line: By calling a professional, you’ll not only avoid hauling heavy equipment, but you’ll also avoid safety glasses, sawdust, and the local fire department.

How to Choose the Best Way to Remove a Tree Stump

There are several aspects to consider when choosing how to remove a tree stump. Does it have a deep root system? Is the stump small, medium, or large? Large tree stumps may not come out as easily as smaller stumps with some of these methods.

And why do you want to get rid of it? Is it an eyesore that you are ready to eliminate, or are you willing to wait? Once you have the details and reasoning behind the stump removal, you’re ready to choose your tree stump killer. 

  • Best ways to remove a small stump: Chemicals, remove manually, or burn
  • Best ways to remove a medium stump: You could use any of these five methods, depending on the size, age of the stump, and root system. Probably wouldn’t need to call in a pro, unless you prefer for someone else to do the work.
  • Best ways to remove a large stump: Call in the pros for the fastest results. Chemicals or burning may also work, depending on the size, age of the stump, and root system. 
  • Cheapest ways to remove a stump: Remove the stump manually, or burn the stump. Compared to renting heavy equipment or hiring a pro, using chemicals is also inexpensive.
  • Fastest ways to remove a stump: Remove the stump manually or call in the pros

FAQ About Tree Stump Removal

How Far Down Should a Stump be Ground?

Generally, tree stumps are ground from between 4 inches to 6 inches below the surface. This length is ideal because it’s deep enough for the lawn to regrow over the remaining stump and roots. Further grinding can be done, but it can be challenging for a DIYer and cost more if you hire a professional.

Can I Leave a Tree Stump in the Ground?

If you leave a tree stump and its roots in the ground, it’ll decay. Sometimes it can take up to a decade for the decay process to start, but it will eventually start. In the meantime, it’ll be vulnerable to organisms, fungi, diseases, and pests like termites and other wood-destroying insects.

Can you Remove a Tree Stump with Epsom Salt?

Yes. It is a long, drawn-out process, but you can use Epson salt to remove a tree stump. You can either drill a few holes on the top of the stump, dump in the salt, and then add enough water to moisten the salt. The other option is to make a 2:1 water: salt solution and dump it on the stump, then cover it with a tarp, and repeat the process a week later. Both methods will slowly draw the moisture out of the stump and kill it. Chip away at the dead pieces as they form until, eventually, the stump shrinks enough to pull out of the ground.

If I Grind the Stump, What will Happen to the Roots?

Eventually, they’ll decay and break down, returning to the environment. Because the roots are below ground, they don’t cause the same issues as leaving the tree stump. However, if you’re concerned, you can use most the same methods to remove the roots as you would the stump.

If I use a Herbicide, How Long will it Take to Work?

It depends on a few factors. How new is the stump? How big is the stump? What product did you use? On average, results should appear in 6 to 8 weeks. However, it may take several months for the stump to decompose.

No Longer Stumped

If you’ve got an annoying stump in your yard that you are ready to remove, you have options. This final stage of tree care really depends on how quickly you want the stump removed, how much work you are willing to put into it, and of course, how much you want to spend to remove it.

If you’re ready to take action, contact a local tree care professional to remove the stump and take this chore off your lawn care to-do list.

* LawnStarter participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. LawnStarter may earn revenue from products promoted in this article.

LawnStarter writer Nicki DeStasi updated this article.

Main photo credit: Shutterstock

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 a tree stump

(Image credit: Aitor Diago / Getty Images)

When deciding how to remove a tree stump, you will need to consider its size, your budget, and how much time you are prepared to invest, as there are several ways to get the job done.

A tree stump is an inevitable consequence of cutting down a mature tree, but it doesn’t have to be a blight on your backyard ideas. There are some really creative tree stump ideas to turn it into a practical and even beautiful feature.

However, if you do choose remove a tree stump, then it's important to establish whether you can tackle it on a DIY basis, or if you need to bring in a professional.

How to remove a tree stump

(Image credit: Simone Torkington / EyeEm / Getty Images)

‘Removing a tree stump can be challenging due to its weight and size. When a stump is too big or problematically located – for example on a sloping piece of land – it will need professional assistance,’ says Lisa Tadewaldt, arborist and owner of Urban Forest Pro .

‘The average homeowner will struggle to address a large stump without renting tools, and you also need to factor in disposal, which is often limited at your run-of-the-mill green waste drop-offs.’

However, if you are dealing with a smaller tree stump, have time on your hands, or are willing to rent tools, then there are several DIY options worth exploring.

How to remove a tree stump by hand

As long as the tree stump isn’t too big, it should be possible to remove it by hand. This involves digging it out of the ground using the the tools you have at home. 

It’s definitely worth taking this approach if you want to save your tree stump, and recycle it for a woodworking project. ‘High-quality tree stumps can be upcycled to furniture and different DIY projects,’ says Robert Johnson, woodworker and founder of Sawinery . 

‘Instead of it going to waste, I would suggest removing it by hand, as other methods such as burning, grinding or decaying will destroy it.’

Using hand tools will enable you to keep the stump as intact as possible. However, bear in mind this method takes a considerable amount of time and effort.

  1. To remove a tree stump by hand, you need to dig out the entire area around the stump using a shovel, pick mattock and/or digging bar. ‘Keep digging until you expose as many roots as possible,’ says Ray Brosnan, landscaper at Brosnan Property Solutions .
  2. Next, cut through the larger roots using an axe, loppers or root saw. You can use a chainsaw if you have one.
  3. ‘As you work your way through the roots, you may come across smaller ones, which can be severed with clippers,’ adds Brosnan.
  4. Pull out the roots. ‘A grub hoe will do the job of wrenching the remaining entrenched roots out of the ground to their very tips,’ says Johnson. ‘You can make more cuts as necessary to make pulling them out of the ground easier.’
  5. Now you can begin to remove the stump from the soil. ‘Without most of the roots, you should be able to easily dislodge the stump,’ says Johnson. ‘You may need to use a shovel to dig underneath the stump and cut a few more roots under it before you can get it out.’
  6. Finally, cover the hole with surrounding soil, and add mulch and topsoil. 

Removing a tree stump by hand is not without its issues, however: 'As well as taking a serious amount of work, it can potentially be destructive to your yard,' says Brosnans.

'If in doubt of how to remove a tree stump without causing damage, leave it to a professional who will have the adequate tools for the job.

How to use a stump grinder to remove a tree stump

Using a stump grinder is a popular way to remove a tree stump, and can be performed using rented machinery. Alternatively, you could hire a professional to do the job for you.

‘Using an appropriate size of tree stump grinder, you can remove the stump quickly, and in a way that is safe for you and the environment,’ says Codey Stout, head of operations for TreeTriage .

Tree stump grinders are substantial pieces of machinery, and can cost upwards of $200 per day to rent. They are maneuverable on wheels and use very sharp blades to grind the stump and roots down, up to several inches below ground.

Do not attempt to grind a tree stump in bad weather, and make sure you have good work boots, gloves, clothing and face protection.

  • First, ensure the working area is safe. ‘Clear the area around the stump so you can move around easily – remove foliage, rocks, and other debris or tripping hazards,’ says Stout.  
  • Use a spade to dig around and make sure there are no rocks hiding beneath the surface, as they can damage grinder blades.
  • Before using a grinder, it may first be necessary to use a chainsaw to cut the stump as short as possible, as this will make grinding easier. However, you should not attempt to cut the stump level to the ground, as this can be dangerous.
  • Make sure you have read and understand the operating instructions supplied with the grinder. 
  • Move the grinder next to the tree stump before starting the engine. Stay at the handle end at all times.
  • You will need to lever the machine up on the stump, going inwards by a couple of inches. Then simply move it side to side. ‘Don’t apply force – let the machine do the work until the stump has been ground out below the ground level,’ says Stout. Aim to dig down around 4-6 inches.
  • Dig up and remove any remaining roots.
  • ‘Once the stump and roots have been removed, cover and treat the area by raking the resulting wood chips into the hole and covering it with a few inches of mulch and topsoil,’ says John Lucas, owner of J&L Landscaping.

Using a stump grinder to remove a tree stump is quicker than the alternative removal methods, but it does take time, so find a clear day to do the work. ‘The whole job can take several hours depending on the size of the stump,’ says Lucas.

How to remove small tree stumps

Small tree stumps should be fairly easy to remove on a DIY basis. ‘If the tree stump is reasonably small, you can remove it by cutting sections of the roots and pulling it up – you could use a truck to help you,' says Lucas. 

'You can even take it out by hand with some basic tools like a saw, shovel, and sledgehammer.'

For smaller tree stumps, you usually won’t need to remove the entire stump and root system. ‘By simply cutting a few inches below the grass line, you can remove the stump and re-lay the turf on top,’ adds Lucas.

‘If done correctly it would be difficult to even realise that a tree has even been there and the root system will slowly rot underground over the next few years.

(Image credit: Andrew Thomas / Getty Images)

How to rot a tree stump

Given enough time, a tree stump will eventually rot and break down, but this can take a number of years.

‘To accelerate this, you can add chemicals to the stump to allow it to break down more quickly,’ says Tadewaldt. ‘It won't just disappear but it will become more manageable to break down and remove. It beats waiting up to a decade!

'Environmental laws vary, so you'll need to check what chemicals are allowed in your area. However, you can use high nitrogen-based fertilizers.' Alternatively, use a branded tree stump-killer product.

You need to tackle this job in dry weather, so the chemicals have chance to work properly.

  • Begin by drilling multiple holes into the top of the tree stump and more along the sides at a downward angle. 
  • Fill the holes with your chosen stump removal product.
  • Lightly wet the stump and soak the soil around it, then cover it with a tarp to trap the moisture. 'Cover the tarp with organic-matter mulch, such as hay or bark,' says Tadewaldt.
  • 'If you live in an area prone to gusty winds, place some pavers or large rocks on the corners of the tarp to ensure your concoction underneath stays in place.'
  • You should notice the treatment taking effect within a few months, but it can take up to a year. 'You'll know it's working when the tree stump feels softer and more spongey,' adds Tadewaldt. At this point it should be easy to remove.

Bear in mind that there is always an environmental impact when using chemicals in the garden. ‘Stump killer is not always a preferable go-to,' says Warren Byington from landscaping firm Backyard Brothers . 

'The chemical agent will likely seep into the ground, drip, or risk spillage or too much product being used, and this puts surrounding plants' and trees' health at risk.’ 

‘Additionally, people can endanger themselves with chemical stump-removing formulas. So make sure no garden or crop is too close and that it's an area where children don't play.

How to remove a tree stump with Epsom salt

When researching how to remove a tree stump, you may have heard of epsom salt or rock salt being recommended. 

This is a widely available, low-cost solution if you aren’t in a hurry, and the process is similar to rotting the stump.

  • As when rotting a tree stump with chemicals, you need to drill multiple holes into the top of the stump.
  • Pour the Epsom salt or rock salt into the holes, filling them right to the top.
  • Add water to moisten the salt, but don’t pour it so fast that the salt overflows.
  • Cover the stump with a tarp or plastic bag.
  • Check the stump every 3-4 weeks and repeat the process until the stump dies.

How long does Epsom salt take to kill a stump?

How long Epsom salt takes to kill a stump depends on the size and tree type, but you can expect it to take effect within six months. A large stump could take as long as a year to break down.

(Image credit: Srdjan Radevic / EyeEm / Getty Images)

How to burn a tree stump

Another method of removing a tree stump is to burn it, which requires less man power than digging it out, and is also a lot faster than rotting it.  

However, this method is only suitable where the stump is not located close to buildings, trees or plants.

'The process can take up to two weeks of burning the stump daily,' says Stout. 'Before proceeding, you need to check if burning a tree stump is legal in your area based on local ordinances.'

  • Before you burn a tree stump, you need to cut it as close to the ground as possible. A chainsaw is the best tool for this job, but do not attempt to level it to the ground. 
  • 'Drill several holes down into the stump, as well as from the side, to allow enough oxygen to feed the fire,' says Lucas.
  • 'Apply a small amount of kerosene (never use gasoline/petrol) into the holes and carefully light.'
  • 'This will burn over a day or two and leave behind a hole full of ash which can be easily swept away when fully cooled,' adds Lucas.
  • Finish by treating the area with a good amount of mulch and topsoil.

What is the fastest way to remove a tree stump?

The fastest way to remove a tree stump is to use a tree stump grinder, which usually takes a few hours to completely grind it down.

Tree stump removal cost

‘Removing a tree stump costs around $450 on average and can be as expensive as $800,' says Hank Martin, CEO of Tree Musketeers. 'It's a separate process from a basic tree removal service, and the cost will depend on the size, type, location, roots, and condition of the soil.'

Meanwhile, Tadewaldt advises that you should expect to pay a minimum of $200 for the job, so it's worth getting more than one quote. 

‘However, you can rent all the tools from local vendors for around $300 per day if you want to handle it 100 per cent DIY.’

(Image credit: Teresa Lett / Getty Images)

Issues with removing tree stumps

Whatever tree stump removal route you take, you should check for any wildlife before starting work.

'Be cognizant of what can lurk around – or in – stumps,' says Byington. 'I recently encountered a formidable population of brown recluse spiders within a large old stump and was grateful to have shone my flashlight and analyzed the area thoroughly.  

'Venomous spiders such as recluses and black widows love wood, especially dark, dank wood. From spiders and snakes to rabbits and mice, a variety of creatures regard stumps as home!'

As editor of Period Living, Britain's best-selling period homes magazine, Melanie loves the charm of older properties. I live in a rural village just outside the Cotswolds in England, so am lucky to be surrounded by beautiful homes and countryside, where I enjoy exploring. Having worked in the industry for almost two decades, Melanie is interested in all aspects of homes and gardens. Her previous roles include working on Real Homes and Homebuilding & Renovating, and she has also contributed to Gardening Etc. She has an English degree and has also studied interior design. Melanie frequently writes for Homes & Gardens about property restoration and gardening.

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.


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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 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.

Instagram vash_sadovnik__

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.

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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 control. 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.

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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 reagent. 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.


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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.


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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 handle 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.

Removal with urea

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 out a stump with saltpeter:

Use of 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. Mushrooms will begin to grow on the trunk, it will peel off, and in a few years it will collapse.

Another video on how to uproot a stump effortlessly quickly:

How old tree stumps can be used for new seedlings

The trunk can be removed in any way and burned along with the roots. Wood ash is formed, which is an excellent fertilizer. Just spread it over the soil and you can plant a new plant. The advantage is that this fertilizer is natural, very effective and does not harm the environment.

In addition, old stumps can be used as flower beds.

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