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There are many reasons to remove a tree on your property. It could be sick or starting to decay, the roots or tree might have become a threat to your home, or maybe you’ve decided to give your yard a fresh look. Whatever your reason for removing your tree, you now have a stump left and need to find the best way to remove that tree stump.

While some homeowners choose to leave the stump or try to dress it up to make it fit into their landscaping, sometimes, a stump needs to be removed for safety reasons. If your tree was decaying, the stump will also be decaying. If the stump isn’t removed the decay from the stump can spread throughout your yard as well as invite unwanted pests ready to make a home in the decaying wood.

If your tree was healthy, there is the possibility of shoots growing near the roots and ruining your yard. The roots and stump themselves can be a danger for tripping, especially with young children or the elderly and should be removed to protect them. So, what are the best ways to remove a tree stump? Ultimately, calling a pro is the best way to go if you’re not confident in trying yourself or don’t have the time, but here are a few removal options for DIYers.

Chemical Removal

Removing a stump with chemicals takes patience, but it’s a frugal option, especially if you have a chainsaw, drill, and axe. To complete this method, you will need:

  • Chainsaw
  • Drill
  • Axe
  • Potassium nitrate or stump remover granules
  • Plastic tarp
  • Garden mulch

To start, make sure you have all your safety gear handy and are taking the necessary safety precautions with your power tools. Cut the stump as close to the ground as you can with your chainsaw. Next, drill holes in proximity to each other into the remaining stump using the largest drill bit you have. Fill the holes with water and then add the potassium nitrate or stump remover. Soak the ground around the stump with water and cover with the tarp and add mulch on top.

Check the progress periodically to ensure the ground is still moist. Having this moisture will speed up the controlled rotting process. After four to six weeks, check the stump. If the stump has a spongy texture, it is ready to remove portions using your axe. If the stump hasn’t reached this stage, repeat the process and give it more time. Depending on the size of your stump, it’s possible to take up to a year to complete this removal method.

Burning the Stump

This removal option can be used with the previous method or by itself. To burn the stump, you will need:

  • Tree stump removal product
  • Power drill
  • Kerosene or fuel oil

First, you drill holes into the stump and pour a small amount of the powdered stump removal product inside. Put the fuel inside the holes as well as on the entire stump. Light the tree stump and let it burn, carefully watching the entire time. Do not leave it unattended. Once the tree stump is finished burning, cover the stump with topsoil to ensure the fire is completely out.

This is a very quick method of removal, but you need to make sure burning your tree stump isn’t against any of your neighborhood or state regulations. As always, use proper safety precautions when dealing with fire, and don’t do any burning during the fire season in your area.

Manual Removal

Manual Removal of a tree stump is very labor-intensive and can take a chunk of dedicated time, but it can be a good option for a small- or medium-sized stump. Here are the tools you will need:

  • Mattock
  • Shovel
  • Axe or bow saw

Use the flat end of the mattock to loosen the dirt around the stump and remove it with a shovel. Continue this process until you see the tree roots. Use the mattock to sever the roots, and continue to separate the roots and remove dirt until you clear an area around the taproot. Finally, use the axe or bow saw to cut through the taproot.

This process may take hours, but once you cut through the taproot, the tree stump can be wiggled free and pulled out of the topsoil. Always take proper safety precautions when using tools to remove a tree stump.

Hire a Professional with a Stump Grinder

If you are wanting a quick and easy stump removal, the best way to remove a tree stump is to call in professionals. They have the equipment needed to complete the task quickly, the knowledge of how to do it properly, and the ability to remove large stumps and multiple stumps in one go.

While it’s possible to rent the equipment needed to do a removal like the professionals, it can be a hassle and can be more expensive. Stump grinders are a large piece of machinery that can be rented to remove a stump. You will need to have a way to transport this half-ton machine to your home or find a company that will pick up and drop off as part of the rental.
Although renting a stump grinder is an option, the rentals aren’t professional-grade equipment and will not complete the job as easily. You also need to be able to operate the machinery and make sure you have all the proper safety gear to protect yourself.

If you want to have a tree stump removed on your property, getting a quote can be helpful in deciding what the best way to remove your tree stump will be. Vernon Imel Tree Service would be happy to answer any questions you may have about your stump removal needs and can give you a personalized quote that is affordable and competitively priced.

No stump is too small or too large for us to remove; we can take care of any sized job. We are an OHSA-approved company and are licensed, bonded, and insured to protect you and your neighbors. Our highly trained and arborist-certified staff look forward to talking to you.