How to Bury Tree Stumps


Once you remove a tree, the tree stump is often left behind. Because tree stumps are laborious to remove, many people leave them in place to rot. This can leave behind an eyesore in your landscape until the stump finally rots away. One way to disguise the stump and speed decomposition is to bury the stump.

Step 1

Dig a trench around the base of a stump two feet wide and two feet deep with a mattock hoe. Cut through any lateral roots with the hoe or a set of branch loppers.

Step 2

Push the stump over on its side to expose vertical roots such as the taproot. If the tree is too large to push over in one piece, divide the stump into pieces by chopping it up with an ax. Push each piece over individually.

Step 3

Cut the vertical roots beneath the tree with an ax or branch loppers.

Step 4

Pull the stump free of the soil. Dig a hole larger than the tree stump with the mattock and a shovel. Cut roots with an ax or branch loppers.

Step 5

Place the stump into the hole and cover it with soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Mattock hoe
  • Shovel
  • Branch loppers
  • Ax


  • LSU Ag Center: Stump Removal from Home Grounds
  • This Old House: Removing Tree Stumps
  • New York Times: Buried Stumps Are Blamed for Sinkhole

Who Can Help

  • The Baltimore Sun: Builder Cited for Burying Tree Stumps Illegally
Keywords: burying tree stumps, eliminating tree stumps, removing tree stumps

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."