How to Remove Stumps With a Chainsaw


Removing a tree stump with a chain saw can be a very tricky process. A chain saw should never be allowed to dig into the ground. Doing so can damage the saw, kick up debris and cause kickback, which can harm the operator of the saw. There are two methods you can use to remove a stump using a chain saw: rotting and grubbing.

Step 1

Cut the stump flush with the ground using the chain saw.

Step 2

Make a series of gouges in the exposed wood using the tip of your saw. This exposes more surfaces to rot. The more surfaces of the stump that are exposed, the faster the stump will rot.

Step 3

Cover the stump with sod.

Step 4

Wet the sod until it is soggy.

Step 5

Keep the sod damp to encourage the growth of microbes and fungus that will rot the stump. Stump rotting may take up to five years.


Step 1

Dig a trench around the stump with a grubbing hoe. The trench should be 2 feet wide by 2 feet deep.

Step 2

Cut through thick roots using a chain saw.

Step 3

Tilt the stump onto its side to expose the tap root.

Step 4

Saw through the tap root with the chain saw.

Step 5

Lift the stump away from the roots.

Step 6

Fill in the hole left by the stump with dirt.

Things You'll Need

  • Saw
  • Sod
  • Grub hoe


  • LSU Ag Center: Stump Removal from Home Grounds
  • NC State University: Twigs and Branches - Stumps
  • Colorado State University Extension: Stump Removal

Who Can Help

  • University of Missouri Extension: Basic Chain Saw Safety and Use
Keywords: removing stumps, cutting out stumps, chain saw uses

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."