How to Burn a Tree


One of the easiest and least time consuming ways to remove a tree from your property is to cut it down and burn it. Before you attempt this process, check the burning code in your area to make sure it allows you to light fires on your property. Most areas require you to obtain a burning permit that may require a site inspection. If no site inspection is required, it will be up to you to make sure the fire is not near any buildings or other flammable material. It is also a good idea to keep an adequate pile of sand and a large bucket nearby to douse flames in an emergency.

Step 1

Use an axe to cut down the tree so that the remaining stump is roughly 1 foot above the ground.

Step 2

Chop the tree up into logs of a manageable size.

Step 3

Drill air holes into a 55-gallon metal barrel. The number of holes are up to you, but there should be enough to allow air circulation.

Step 4

Drill holes throughout the stump. Drill the holes at a diagonal angle, and make them as deep as your drill will allow.

Step 5

Fill the holes with the stump killer according to the manufacturer's instructions. Products such as Stump Remover, or simple salt peter will break down the wood fiber of the tree, and allow it to absorb the kerosene more easily.

Step 6

Pour boiling water into the holes. This will dissolve the stump killer and distribute it throughout the stump. After the water has dissipated, pour on another dose until all of the stump killer is dissolved.

Step 7

Soak the tree stump with kerosene.

Step 8

Light the stump carefully with a barbecue lighter.

Step 9

Place the 55-gallon barrel on top of the stump, and let it burn out.

Step 10

Lay the pieces of wood in a pile, add a bit of kerosene to them and light them.

Step 11

Re-light either fire if it goes out.

Things You'll Need

  • Axe
  • Drill
  • Stump removal chemical
  • Barbecue lighter
  • 55-gallon metal barrel
  • Sand
  • Bucket


  • Service Magic: Stumped About Stump Removal
  • Hume Seeds: Tree Killing and Stump Removal
Keywords: burn tree, burn stump, burn dead tree

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.