Tree stumps can be a real pain. They’re not only an eyesore but a potential safety hazard. If you’re not sure how to remove that annoying ugly stump, then read through. We have a range of solutions here. Some that require less work, but more time to complete, and others need more work, but less time to complete. It’s really up to you how you want to remove your stump. Just remember that for most of these you’ll want to be wearing safety equipment such as protective eyewear, and earmuffs, especially for those requiring tree care equipment and machinery.
1. Dig up the stump
If you want the stump removed cheaply, without any extra special equipment, then dig it up yourself. We’ll recommend a method that doesn’t require too many items. Tree stumps can be notoriously difficult to get out, especially if it was an old, large tree. So, get a helping hand, as it requires a fair bit of work. This may take anywhere from an hour or three, so allow for a decent amount of time to get it done.
All you’ll need is a mattock, a straight crowbar, an axe, a spade, some gloves and a pair of strong hands.
- Begin by using the mattock to loosen up the soil around the stump.
- Dig away the loosened soil with your spade. Try to go as deep as you can. If you get to a bit of hard soil or clay, use the straight crowbar to dig away the hard material. If you need to use your hands to get it out, you can do that. Just make sure you have your gloves on, to reduce any risks of scratching yourself.
- Chop away at the roots with the axe. You’ll want to cut as many as possible. You can also use the crowbar for the deeper roots an axe won’t reach.
- Keep chopping and digging until you reach the taproot. Sever the taproot, it’ll be the thickest and hardest to get.
- Now wiggle the tree stump until it comes loose, making sure everyone is helping. Once it feels loose, pull it out.
- Fill the hole and pack it down to reduce the risk of falling and tripping.
2. Burn the stump
Fire is the oldest tool in humanity’s arsenal, and we’re going to show you how to utilise it. This method, especially in dry areas should be done with the most precaution. The best time to burn anything is in rainy and cold seasons like autumn and winter. Be aware, that even if it is cold, surrounding trees and plants can still be dry, especially if it hasn’t rained in a while. Remove any leaves, branches or potential fire hazards away from the stump. You could even dig away at the grass and surrounding soil, and line it with rocks for a little bonfire. But please remember to act safely and abide with any local fire restrictions or warnings.
3. Let the stump rot
This method, although kinder to the environment, is very slow and may take many weeks or months for the rotting process to complete, so don’t expect any instant results. It may take a few months, but it does mean you don’t have to do too much work. You’ll be using compost to encourage microbes to eat away at the stump.
For this, you’ll need a drill, some compost, a straight crowbar fertiliser and water.
- Drill some large holes, the more the better.
- Mix the compost, fertiliser, and water. There’s no real ratio, just eyeball it until it becomes a slurry.
- Pour it over the stump.
- You can keep adding your compost to it over the months or chip away at the stump as it softens with your crowbar.
4. Rot the stump with chemicals
Maybe the previous method was a little too slow for you. Well, this one will just be a tad faster. Stump removal chemicals work to accelerate the rotting process of dead wood. This should take a few weeks to work. Keep your children and pets away from the stump, as the chemicals are potentially poisonous.
What you’ll need is a drill, an axe, a spade and a chemical stump removal.
- Same as before, drill a number of large holes into the stump, the more the better.
- Pour the stump removal solution all over the stump making sure it soaks into the holes and wood.
- Wait for a couple of weeks, monitoring the stump.
- Dig it up or break it down with an axe or spade, or even your boot if it’s soft enough.
- Now it’s just a matter of cleaning the stump out with your spade, and disposing of it in the green waste bin.
5. Stump grinder
Perhaps the most efficient and easiest way to remove a stump. Stump grinders have a serrated spinning saw that mulches the stump, making it easy to remove. There are options to buy or even hire a stump grinder for a reasonable price. So this is a great solution for those who have a lot of stumps that need excavating.
There are still a few items you need. A chainsaw, and shovel.
- You’ll want to clear away the majority of the debris so that it doesn’t get caught in the grinder and fly into the air.
- The stump needs to be almost level with the ground, so use a chainsaw to cut away as much of the stump as you can.
- Position the grinder above the stump, and start it up.
- The grinder will want to dig into the wood, and you’ll need to lower it down so it’s able to mulch up the whole stump.
Now you can either dig the debris up with a shovel or just pack it down and lay some topsoil over it, to allow for grass to grow.
Please remember that, like any machinery, stump grinders can pose a risk to personal safety if operated incorrectly. Always refer to and follow the operator instructions for your safety, and those of others.