The Best Solutions for Removing a Tree Stump

Has your tree stump got you stumped? Never fear. Tree stump removal is one of our specialties. Follow this guide and that tree stump will be out of your yard in no time.

First, determine whether it would be best to hire a tree stump removal company rather than handling it DIY-style. If you have only one stump to remove, it’s probably more cost-effective to hire tree stump removal experts like those of us here at Vernon Imel Tree Service. However, if you have multiple stumps to remove and the time and patience it takes to remove them, then you may want to tackle the job yourself. In that case, this handy outline will help you every step of the way.

It’s important to make sure you’re working with a clear path. Remove any rocks or branches that are attached to or surrounding the stump. Once that’s done, it’s time to get to work. Grab a chainsaw and cut the stump down to the ground as much as possible.

Now, you’re ready to start grinding away. Unless you have a grinder sitting in your garage, you’ll likely need to rent one from a company. You’ll also want to have goggles, gloves and other safety gear on hand before you get started. Follow these steps on how to properly use the grinder.

The Best Solutions for Removing a Tree Stump

If the tree stump is small and manageable, you can even try removing it by hand. Like the above method, you’ll want to make sure the stump is free from any obstacles by rooting them out. Again, remove all branches and then use a shovel to dig around the base of the tree stump to expose the tree’s roots. Grab a hose to wash away any dirt and soil and then use an ax to start chopping away at the roots. Once you’ve removed all those within sight, push the base of the stump out of the ground. If any more roots are exposed, you’ll know that you haven’t rooted them all out. Grab the ax again and repeat the process. Then push and prod the stump until it’s loose enough to be lifted from the ground.

If you’re having no luck, you’ll probably have to secure the stump with a chain and pull it out with a four-wheeler. Use the same technique you would use if your car were stuck in the snow. Move forward and then put the car in reverse. Repeat these steps until the stump is loose enough to be removed.

If this sounds a bit more complicated than you initially thought or you simply don’t have the proper tools at your disposal to remove the stump with this technique, then you may want to opt for the chemical version of tree stump removal. This can be accomplished with a simple home remedy. Mix Epsom salt with water to create a homemade liquid solution. Then drill about a dozen evenly spaced holes into the top of the tree stump. The holes should be about an inch wide and roughly 10 inches deep, give or take a couple of inches depending on the size of the stump. Then pour generous amounts of the liquid solution into the holes. Cover with a tarp and let sit for a few months in order to kill the stump’s roots.

If you don’t have a few months to wait, you can try using rock salt instead. After drilling holes in the stump, pack each hole with the salt and pour hot water on top of it. Then use the remaining rock salt around the base of the stump so it’s surrounding at least a 2-inch wide area. Once again, pour hot water on top of the salt and cover the stump with soil and mulch. Allow to sit for 6 weeks.

Once the stump has begun to decompose, you’re ready to commence the tree stump removal process. Use an ax to break apart the stump and manually remove it.

Another option is to burn the tree stump, though you’ll have to check with city code to make sure a controlled burn is legal in your area. If you’re located in Oregon, consult this resource. If an open burn is legal where you live and you decide you want to proceed, do so with caution since open fires can be dangerous.

The controlled burn technique mirrors the chemical removal process. You’ll want to drill holes in the top of the tree stump, but instead of pouring chemicals into the holes, you’ll soak them with kerosene instead.  Once the tree stump is thoroughly saturated, you’ll want to pile scraps of wood on top and use a fire starter to ignite it. Note that the burn could take several hours. Under no circumstances should you leave the fire unattended. After a few hours, the stump should burn to ash. Once finished, remove the ashes with a shovel and cover the hole with fresh soil.

Another measure that could be useful for ridding yourself of a tree stump is to rob the stump of sunlight. If you have a large tree stump, cover it with a dark tarp. If the stump is smaller, a dark trash bag will likely do the trick. Let the tree stump sit covered for three to six months. The tree will begin to rot away. If you want to hurry the process along, you can put some Epsom salt in the tree cracks as outlined above. Or you can use a stump removal solution in the same way. Once the tree stump has rotted away, use an ax to chop it up. It’s now ready to be removed completely.

Based on your time frame for the tree stump’s removal as well as the size of your stump, you can choose the method you feel would work best. If it all sounds like it could be too time-consuming or labor-intensive for you, call tree stump removal professionals like those here at Vernon Imel Tree Service. We can rid you of that stump quickly and cost effectively. There’s no need for you to be stumped for any longer than you have to be.