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How to Remove a Tree Stump

There are many ways to remove a tree stump depending on its size and root system. Choose a method that works best for you.


  • Step 1: Cut down stump Cut down the stump as much as possible with a chainsaw.
  • Step 2: Remove roots Dig around small, shallow rooted stumps with a grub hoe or shovel to expose the roots and then cut them with a root cutter. Keep digging and cutting until you have removed the stump.
  • TIP: Remove the stump after a good rain when the soil is moist.
  • Step 3: Use a stump grinder Buy or rent a stump grinder to chew up small- to medium-sized stumps. Follow the grinder's operating instructions carefully.
  • Step 4: Burn it Build a fire on top of the stump with scrap wood and keep it burning until the stump is gone.
  • Step 5: Drill holes Drill holes in the stump and pour granules of powdered potassium nitrate inside to promote the rotting of the stump. Fill the holes with water, and then wait 4 to 6 weeks for the stump to break down.
  • Step 6: Break up wood Break up the rotten wood with an axe.
  • FACT: A 10-year-old Sussex Spaniel named Stump won Best in Show at the 2009 Westminster dog show.

You Will Need

  • A chainsaw
  • A grub hoe or shovel
  • A root cutter
  • A stump grinder
  • Scrap wood
  • A drill
  • Powdered potassium nitrate
  • An ax

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