How to Remove Old Tree Stumps


Tree stumps often need to be removed from a yard or landscaping area to even out the ground or to remove a potential pest hazard. Rotting tree stumps often attract fungus or worse, termites into the lawn. There are several ways to remove a tree stump from a lawn, including chemicals, machinery or hand digging, which all take a great amount of effort. The quickest solution is to burn the stump.

Step 1

Cut off as much of the stump as possible recommends the Reader's Digest online. Use a chain saw or hand saw to cut the stump to close to ground level.

Step 2

Drill one inch holes 12 inches deep into the stump, starting 3 to 4 inches from the edge. Make several holes around the circumference of the stump.

Step 3

Make 3- to 4-inch holes in the side of the stump, drilling at a 45 degree angle until the hole meets the 12-inch vertical hole. This allows for burning throughout the stump and provides ventilation.

Step 4

Pour gasoline into each of the holes and allow to sink in for several days recommends the Reader's Digest. This prevents fire from leaping up at you when you light it. After the fuel has sunk in, light the stump and allow to burn for several days.

Step 5

Block off the area to prevent children and animals from getting too close to the stump.

Step 6

Break apart the charred remains of the stump using an ax once it has stopped burning.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check with local fire authorities before burning a stump, advises This Old House online. Often there are only certain times of the year when burning is allowed. Some metropolitan areas do not allow it at all.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Gasoline
  • Chainsaw


  • University of Minesotta Extension: Removing Trees and Shrubs
  • Reader's Digest: Family Handyman-How to Remove a Tree Stump Painlessly
  • This Old House: Removing Tree Stumps
Keywords: tree stump removal, stump removal techniques, removing old stumps

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.