How to Control Tree Stumps


Cutting down a tree is the easy part of tree removal. The stump left behind, on the other hand, is a lasting reminder of the project. Tree stumps can be a hazard on your property--not to mention an ugly addition to the landscape. Controlling them will increase the value of your property and show others your commitment to maintaining a neat landscape. If there is no rush, concealing stumps and allowing them to naturally rot away is the easiest and cheapest way of controlling tree stumps.

Step 1

Cut tree stumps as close to the ground as possible with a chain saw. Keep an eye on the stump and trim it down over time if it continues to grow in height.

Step 2

Drill several holes in the top of the tree stumps. Make them at least one inch in diameter. Drill vertically into the wood. The holes will expose more wood to quicken the rotting process.

Step 3

Cover the stump with a layer of top soil that is at least three inches thick. Rake it smooth, breaking up any clumps that are more than one inch in diameter.

Step 4

Lay sod down on top of the soil, pushing it together to get rid of lines between the pieces. This will camouflage the tree stumps.

Step 5

Water the sod thoroughly and keep it moist. The goal is for the tree stumps to be in a temperature of 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and at least 20 percent moist at all times, but not soaked. This encourages the growth of fungi, which rot and decay the wood.

Step 6

Consider digging holes in the soil and planting ground cover over the tree stumps instead of sod. Choose plants that do well in moist conditions.

Things You'll Need

  • Chain saw
  • Power drill
  • 1-inch drill bit
  • Top soil
  • Rake
  • Sod
  • Soil
  • Ground cover
  • Water


  • Louisiana State University Ag Center: Stump Removal from Home Grounds
  • Removing Tree Stumps
Keywords: controlling tree stumps, control tree stumps, tree stumps

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.