How Can I Remove a Tree Stump?

How do I remove a large tree stump?

Hardiness Zone: 7b

By Sandy from Salisbury, NC

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January 7, 20110 found this helpful

I honestly don't mean to be sarcastic, Sandy, but if you discover an "easy" way to remove a tree stump I suggest you patent that idea! You could make a fortune!

There are chemicals you could use to help speed up the deterioration of the stump and roots, but the ones I've heard about (via friends) take years and I don't have a clue as to how safe they are. You could also hire someone to ground it out but that, too, only scratches the surface. As well, it's not inexpensive. The bigger the tree, the bigger the stump and root system and the higher the cost.

My only serious suggestion is to call a landscaping business or a professional Arborist and ask for advice and/or an estimate. Again, if you or anyone else finds an "easy" way to do this, find a U.S. Patent attorney, quick, quick, quick! Good luck.

Edited update from Cindy: My bad as you didn't ask for an "easy" method, but the word "easily" was in the title of this post. My mistake for failing to remember that posters don't generate their own titles in this section of the site. Sorry for the misunderstanding, but again, if you do find an "easy" solution take a bow and a big claim to fame and run, don't walk, to that Patent Attorney's office! :-)

Editor's Note: Thanks for pointing out the misleading title, Cindy. I have removed "easily" because it isn't really helpful or accurate.

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January 8, 20110 found this helpful

You could hire a stump grinder to do thejob. They bring in a machine that has a large diameter circular saw and they grind the stump down to just below the ground surface. You could add a chemical that burns out the remainder of the root or you could let nature finish the job over time.

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January 14, 20110 found this helpful

We had one stump and was able to have it ground. If you have several it gets costly. A friend puts a barrel (not wood or plastic) over his stump and keeps a constant fire going - mostly coals. It takes a bit of time but it works!

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January 15, 20110 found this helpful

It all depends on how you mean "easily", lol. For me that means picking up a phone and paying a professional to remove it. The easiest method I know of if I was removing it myself, would be to cut the stump using a hatchet and saw, or if you can take a chain saw to it and get the stump below ground level. Once below ground level cover it with salt of any kind, table salt, epsom salt or the salt you use for sidewalks and driveways. Cover over with dirt. The salt will eventually kill off all of the roots and prevent it from growing new shoots.

Good Luck!

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July 25, 2011

Two trunk tree on a hill.I have a tree/weed that I need to kill. I cut it in half. It's still about 9 ft. tall and 6 ft. in diameter. I think it's a brush wattle. How do I get it gone?


By Kisha K


July 25, 20110 found this helpful

Are you sure it is 6 feet in Diameter? If so how did you cut in half. If you cut the the tree closer to the ground you can hire a stump grinder. They have a saw that will cut the stump to below the surface of the ground. You should be able to find them in the yellow pages.

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January 7, 2011

Does someone have a simple method of removing a tree stump?

Please advise.

S. Gardner


How Can I Easily Remove a Tree Stump?

I don't know if any of this will help because I'm trying to kill my ligustrums and people say I should cut down to the stump first.

To kill the stump, I've heard several things:


  1. Pour gasoline on it, apparently the gas doesn't need to be set on fire.
  2. Pour antifreeze on it.
  3. Drive a nail in it. My mother is a wonderful gardener and she says a regular nail, not picture hanger, nail will do it. I've also heard it has to be a copper nail.

Here are some others:

  1. Drill holes in the stump and pour Roundup on it, then drill holes into the freshly cut stump and pour herbicide (brush killer? apparently Ortho makes one) into the holes.
  2. Pour bleach on it.
  3. Pour salt on it.
  4. From the Ft. Worth, TX, USA Nature Center: cut plants to the ground and treat them with 3:7 diesel mix. The active ingredient is triclopyr is not a restricted herbicide and can be purchased by anyone. They mix the dilution in a dropper bottle and two or three drops on the cut stump will do the job with low residual. I haven't a clue of what all this means; I'm just repeating what I found in my research.

  5. Pour liquid car wax on it.
  6. Apply Brush-Be-Gone (don't know where to buy this), which is a little stronger than Roundup. Apparently there's a foam option on the sprayer and it clings best.
  7. Pour a 'solution of Epsom salt' on it. Unfortunately, it didn't say what the solution was made out of, but I bet you could try it dry or mixed with water, or maybe make a paste out of it.
  8. Pour ice cream salt on the stump.
  9. Look for something called "Stump Rid", or something along that line - my research didn't elaborate on the name of the stuff.
  10. Cover the stump with a black plastic feed store bucket and put something heavy on the bucket so it won't fall over. Apparently, these buckets are virtually free at the feed stores. No light, no life.

  11. Buttermilk and salt, I don't have any info on this because someone used it to kill a corkscrew willow in a sewage line. It did kill the tree, but didn't clear the sewage line!
  12. Caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) solution will kill the stump. 1 part caustic soda and 2 parts water and pour it on the stump.
  13. On this site I've heard that 'spirits of salt', hydrochloric acid, would work. I'm definitely not doing that one.

A lot of people said you'd likely have to repeat the process more than once.

Would you do us all a great favor and if you try any of these, would you please print your results as to what was successful or not? That would be really nice of you!

Good luck! (06/04/2010)

By metroplex

How Can I Easily Remove a Tree Stump?

You've got to kill the stump first, or it will grow back. The first post has tons of ways to do that in it. Personally, I bought some brush killer (Tractor Supply Store, Home Depot/Lowe's may carry it, any farm specialty store will have it), took a drill and put several deep holes in the stump, and added some brush killer.


You can also strip off sections of the bark and paint it on with a paint brush. This solution works best if the stump actually has a few leaves left on it. If it's still growing somewhere, it will absorb the poison better.

To remove it:

I've heard you can use a drill bore to cut a large hole in the stub and fill it with high nitrogen fertilizer. This will eventually burn/decompose the stump. Kind of like composting. Takes a while, though.

My neighbor uses this technique to (mostly) completely remove the stub and kill it off.

Make a small wire circle/basket big enough to fit around the stump with a few inches to spare on either side. Pour a bag or two of charcoal in, light it, and let it burn until it goes out. Repeat if large stump or isn't as gone as you'd like.


The only other thing you can do without having someone come and remove it for you that I know of is to dig down as far as you can stand around the stump once you've killed it, and cut through it below the soil level and just fill the hole back in. This is a lot of work, though.

If you decide that you can wait a while for it to break down or you're into birding, here are some alternatives to full removal.

Bore out the middle of the stump, fill it with dirt, and plant something you like in the stump. Your favorite flowers, flowering vine, a running vegetable, anything that doesn't need a ton of root space or is an annual will work. Just keep repeating this process yearly and the stump will eventually rot away. In the mean time, it will add some beauty to your yard.

Along those same lines, you can also bore out the top of the stump to about one inch and fill it with water to use as a birdbath if you have any interest in that kind of thing. Alternatively, you can place seeds along it and use as a bird feeder. (06/05/2010)

By Casey

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