Removal of Tree Stumps


One of the problems with cutting down a tree is being left with a big old stump to get rid of. Although it is possible to allow a tree stump to rot away naturally, it may take years. Also, tree stumps are an attraction to termites and other pesky insects, as well as fungus that may infect other plants in the area. Removing a tree stump does not require large equipment and digging, but just a drill and some patience.

Step 1

Cut off as much of the tree stump as possible, lowering it to around ground level, recommends Reader's Digest.

Step 2

Drill holes 12 inches deep around the perimeter of the stump at 45 degree angles. Make holes 3 to 4 inches from the edge of the stump through the top, so that the two drill holes meet inside the stump, recommends Reader's Digest.

Step 3

Pour stump removal chemicals into the stump according to the label instructions and allow 4 to 6 weeks for the stump to decay, says Colorado State University. Repeat application until the stump is decayed.

Step 4

Remove all leaves and plant debris from the area of the stump using a rake. Surround the area with chicken wire or temporary fencing.

Step 5

Add a small amount of kerosene into the holes of the stump and allow it to sink in. Drop a match into one of the holes and allow the stump to burn, says Colorado State University. This may take several days.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check with local fire regulations before burning a stump. In some places it is illegal. Call a local tree surgeon or tree removal service if burning is not possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Chainsaw
  • Drill
  • Safety goggles
  • Work gloves
  • Stump chemicals
  • Kerosene
  • Matches
  • Chicken wire
  • Rake


  • University of Florida Extension: Vanishing Stumps
  • Colorado State University: Stump Removal
  • Reader's Digest: How to Remove a Tree Stump Painlessly
Keywords: tree stump, removing tree stumps, tree stump removal

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.