How to Get Rid of a Stump


Trees have a massive root system, so a trunk cannot simply be pulled up. Some trees have a flat system that spreads out near the surface of the ground while others have deep root systems that are hard to dig out with a shovel. Stumps are unsightly and are not safe sticking up out of the ground, but they can be removed with a few steps.

Step 1

Drill many holes into the top of the stump. You want to drill down as close as you possibly can to the soil that is underneath. This helps to aerate the stump and speed up decomposition. Use a saw or other tool to help break down the stump further so that it is more level to the ground. Remove as much of it with a saw as possible so there is less to decompose.

Step 2

Use a shovel to dig up some of the surrounding dirt and place this on top of the stump. This will add organic material to the stump. Mix this soil with a good 20-20-20 fertilizer and use a hose or watering can to wet the area. This will make a mud coating on top of the stump.

Step 3

Place a tarp securely over the stump and place bricks or large rocks along the edges to seal it. The heat from the sun and the moisture inside the tarp will speed up decomposition of the stump. It will take about a year for the stump to completely be decomposed.

Step 4

Use an axe or shovel on very small stumps. Dig a hole around the outside area of the stump and dig underneath the stump to completely remove the tree and all of its roots.This can be very time consuming and back breaking for larger trees.

Step 5

Completely cover any stumps that you have with soil by using a backhoe. Build up the soil around the stumps so that they are in the ground. This is probably one of the easiest methods of getting rid of the stumps. You can rent a backhoe at most equipment rental places and use fill dirt to build the area up.

Step 6

Set the stump on fire and way until the stump has completely burned to the ground. This is probably one of the easiest methods if you have many stumps, but you will need to make sure you obtain a burn permit before you can start a fire on your property.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Dirt
  • Fertilizer
  • Tarp
  • Bricks
  • Axe
  • Stump grinder
  • Back hoe
  • Burn permit


  • How to get rid of stumps
  • Removing tree stumps
Keywords: removing stumps, tree stump, stump removal

About this Author

Melody Dawn has been writing since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and USA Today. Her writing focuses on gardening, home improvement, travel, sports, business, parenting and education. Dawn holds a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism.