How to Remove a Pine Tree Stump


Sometimes it is necessary to cut down a tree if it has died, or if the roots are taking over your lawn and causing damage to driveways and patios. Once a tree has been cut down, you have to deal with a part of the stump sticking up out of the ground. The stump can not only be unsightly, but can also be a hazard in your lawn. You can wait for the stump to rot, which can take many years, or follow a few simple steps and remove the stump yourself.

Step 1

Choose a day after a heavy rain to remove the stump. You can also water the area heavily with several inches of water. The ground will be easier to dig and the stump will be simpler to remove if the soil is wet. If there has been a period of drought, water the ground with 2-3 inches of water for several days before you decide to dig the stump.

Step 2

Dig a trench around the base of the pine tree stump using the spade. The trench should be approximately eight to 12 inches wide and at least six inches deep to begin with. Measure the base of the tree to the outside of the trench. There should be about 15 inches in between. This will give you an area at the stump, beneath the soil line, to work with.

Step 3

Continue digging down in the trench until you begin to find the tree's roots. Use your utility bar to chop away sections of the roots. Drive the bar down into the root to begin the cut, and then hammer the bar deeper into the root. The root will eventually cut in half. Keep the utility bar sharp by using a bench grinder or file. Continue digging down and removing roots. This will make the stump easier to remove by destroying its root system. Try to cut the roots as close to the base of the tree as possible; this will loosen the tree faster.

Step 4

Wiggle the stump after you have removed some of the roots. Keep removing roots until the tree stump begins to get loose. Wiggling the stump will also help to expose roots so that you can remove them faster. As you are cutting, you will finally come across the biggest root--the taproot. Cut through this rot and the tree should come free. Remove the pine stump and fill the hole and the trench with the original soil and an all-purpose potting soil, if needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Landscape bar
  • Hammer
  • Bench grinder
  • Work gloves


  • This Old House
Keywords: tree stumps, tree stump removal, getting rid of tree stumps

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree has a master's in business and is working on a master's in journalism from the University of Tennessee. She is a member of the Society for Porfessional Journalists and has been writing for five years. Works include publications with Hall County Crime Examiner, Player's Press and The Gainesville Times.