Tree Stump Removal Methods - Your Ultimate Guide

Tree Stump

Believe it or not! tree removal may actually appear easier than the more challenging task of removing the tree stump. Stumps are unattractive, potentially dangerous for kids and elderly people, and new stumps may even develop fungal infections that might affect other plants.

As the go-to choice for arboriculture, our experts today explore various methods to remove the tree stump safely.

Common Tree Stump Removal Methods

Tree Stump Grinding

Simply call our tree cutting experts at Elevated Arbour to use a stump grinder to remove the tree stump safely and efficiently. Apart from being quick and efficient, using a stump grinder is environment-friendly and leaves your yard looking like a clean slate.


  • The fastest method to remove a tree stump
  • Not labour intensive
  • Stumps can be used for mulching
  • No gaping hole after construction
  • Environment-friendly


  • The possibility of eventual sprout
  • Root decay
  • Potentially harmful to children

Chemical Tree Stump Removal

Use a drill machine to drill holes in the stump every three inches and 10-inches deep. Also, drill holes from the side of the stump that intersect the holes on the top of the stump. Mix one part caustic soda and two parts water. Next, pour the solution on the tree stump and repeat the procedure 4-5 times. Alternately, you may use over the counter chemical tree stump remover that mostly use potassium nitrate and are readily available in the market. They mostly contain fine granules as they are easier to apply and more efficient than just liquid. However, make sure to choose the chemical that works for the particular species of the tree.


  • Easy to apply
  • Just need to drill deep holes in the stump to place chemicals
  • Inexpensive method


  • Potentially dangerous, especially if you have pets and children around
  • Use of strong chemicals
  • The lengthy process may take up to 6 weeks for results to be visible and may require you to repeat the process or even more.

Manual Tree Stump Removal

It requires specialised equipment and lots of hard work on your part. Depending on the size of the tree, simply dig a trench around the tree’s perimeter and use a pickaxe to cut the main root and then dig the soil around the stump so the soil loosens around the stump. Cut down large roots before you proceed to dig out the stump.


  • Cost-effective
  • Manual tree stump removal is physically exhausting
  • Traditional age-old method and most environment-friendly


  • It is a physical and potentially dangerous job
  • You can injure yourself
  • Only effective if you have a relatively small stump.
  • Trees that go deep roots may not easily be removed manually

Tree Stump Removal By Fire

Cut down the tree to the ground level and drill a 10” hole in the middle of the stump as well as around the stump to make it hollow and let air in. Next pour kerosene into the hole and use a small piece of cloth to light fire to the kerosene in the stump. Continue adding inflammable sticks until the tree stump is all ashes.


  • Requires Minimum equipment
  • Ideal for those who don’t want to deal with equipment and prefer a DIY approach
  • It is recommended to check with your local city council to prevent being fined


  • Can cause a potential fire in a climate that is less damp
  • Can be dangerous and difficult for a tree that’s recently been removed
  • A lengthy time-consuming process
  • Only recommended for stump less than 15”
  • Dangerous and can damage the  surrounding soil

Use Epsom Salt to Remove Tree Stump

Simply drill holes in the stump till at least 10” and apply a generous amount of Epsom salt over the stump. Then cover with leaves and dirt to rot and it will take a few months to remove the tree stump. Epsom salt draws out the moisture out of the soil, thus isolating the tree stump and drying it eventually causing it to rot. The other option is to mix a solution of two gallons of water with one gallon of Epsom salt to speed the absorption process. Then, pour it on the tree stump, the roots and soil nearby. Next, cover the stump with a tarp and repeat the process once a week until the stump rots.


  • Particularly useful if you are trying to remove a stump quickly
  • Safe without the use of toxic chemicals
  • One of the most natural and environmentally-c friendly options
  • Removes the tree stump without harming the soil


  • Most effective only during the summers
  • A time-consuming process as compared to using a stump grinder
  • Requires frequent monitoring