How to Remove a Tree Stump From Your Yard: A Simple Guide

Most tree roots grow outwards from the trunk rather than downwards. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make them any easier to remove.

A 30ft tree could have roots that stretch 60-90 ft from its trunk!

Luckily, there are things you can do if you need to remove a tree and its stump. Here’s how to remove a tree stump.

How To Remove a Tree Stump

If you have removed a tree and are left with a stump, there are several options for stump removal. Chemical removal, digging it out or burning it.

Of course, there is also always the option of getting a specialist to take care of tree removal, including the stump. For numerous or large trees, especially those close to the property, this is probably the best option.

Chemical Removal

You might think chemical removal will be the easiest way of removing tree stumps. Whilst it is likely the least labor-intensive, it still takes time and effort.

You’ll need several tools as well as the chemicals to remove the stump. A good checklist would be:

  • The chemical remover (some form of potassium nitrate)
  • An axe or chainsaw
  • A pickaxe
  • A shovel
  • A plastic sheet
  • A drill
  • Long and wide drill bit
  • Garden mulch (optional)

Cut the tree or the stump down as close to ground level as you can. Next, drill holes as deep into the stump as possible, keeping them fairly close together. Fill these holes with water before adding your chemical remover.

Wet the ground around the stump and cover it, along with the stump, with a plastic sheet. You can also add mulch to help speed up the process.

After many weeks, the stump will become soft and removal can begin with a pickaxe or shovel. You may need to repeat this process several times.


Similar to the above method, you can burn the stump out. For this, you’ll need:

  • A stump removal product
  • Kerosene or fuel
  • Power drill.

As above, drill holes into your stump and fill them with the stump removal product. This helps make the stump porous. When you add the fuel for burning, it will soak into the stump better.

Our expert arborists are highly experienced inĀ tree removed.

Once ignited keep a close eye on the stump as it burns, to ensure the fire does not get out of hand or spread where it shouldn’t.

Manual Removal

If you’d like something a little more environmentally friendly, manual removal is a good choice. It’s labor-intensive though, so be prepared.

You’ll need:

  • A pickaxe
  • A digging bar
  • A bowsaw
  • A shovel

Use the pickaxe and digging bar to loosen as much dirt around the stump as possible. Remove it with a shovel and keep going until roots are visible and uncovered.

Sever the roots from the trunk and continue digging and cutting until the stump comes loose.

Get Stumping!

Now you know how to remove a tree stump, you just need the tools and the time.

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