Tree stumps are ugly and take away from the appearance of your landscape. Removing tree stumps will make mowing your lawn easier and prevent safety hazards such as tripping over a low stump. When trying to figure out how to get rid of a tree stump, consider the size and location of the stump.
Shallow Tree Stumps
Use a shovel to dig around the root mass. Start a couple of feet from the tree trunk and see if you discover roots under the ground.
Dig until you expose the entire root system. Work your way out from the tree until you no longer see roots.
Brush soil from the top of the roots so you can better see where they lie. Cut each one with an axe or root saw.
Pull the roots out of the ground with the grub hoe. Work until all the roots have been removed. Put them in a compost pile.
Start a fire on top of the tree stump. Use scrap wood to start the blaze and keep it going until the stump is gone. Make sure to check with authorities before burning on your property.
Deeper Root Systems
Rent a stump grinder from a tool rental company or hire a tree removal company to come and a grind the stump.
Run the stump grinder over the root system. It will chew up stumps that are 6 to 12 inches below the ground. The carbide teeth will work the fastest on small to medium-sized tree stumps, but will take longer to chew up larger stumps.
Follow the instructions that come with the specific stump grinder. Wear eye goggles and ear protection. Once the stump is ground, put the pieces in the compost pile.
Rent a backhoe or skidsteer for the largest root systems. This is the most expensive way of getting rid of tree stumps, but is worth it if you have many stumps to remove.
Remove the tree stump with a bucket with teeth or the pallet fork attachment. Lift it right out of the ground. Bury the stump on the property, if possible.
About this Author
Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.