How To Remove Tree Stumps


Tree Stump Removal

You’ve just cut down that old, dead tree in your yard. After spending hours sawing it up into pieces and removing the wood, there’s still one problem: the stump. For home owners looking to re-do their lawn and build new landscaping, there’s few annoying obstacles that compare to a tree stump. They stick out like a sore thumb, especially if located in the middle of your front yard.

Why Remove a Stump?

If you ask around, the most common explanation for stump removal is to improve the aesthetic appeal of your property. Maintaining a healthy looking lawn is hard to do when you have a large chunk of wood poking out of the grass. Home owners typically remove them to put landscaping in its place.

Tree stumps of old trees have roots that are deeply entrenched in the grounds of your property. This makes removing them one of the most burdensome tasks of property renovation. These roots, if planted close enough, can create stress on the foundation of your home (see picture above). Concrete driveways, sidewalks, and fence lines can also experience distortion from tree roots pushing into them. Tree stumps are also breeding grounds for termites. If they’re close to your home, the last thing you want is an infestation.

Tree Stump Removal Methods

The stump grinder is the most common form of tree stump removal. They’re relatively easy and safe to operate. The grinder will shave the stump repetitively until all visible wood is gone. Due to the heavy duty nature of grinders, there’s steps one should take when using.

  1. Use a shovel to remove all stray rocks/pebbles from the desired grinding area. If you run the grinder over the stump with rocks present, there’s a solid chance of hazard when the teeth grab hold of them and toss them wildly. Rocks also wear down grinder teeth.
  2. To get a start, without creating unnecessary stress on the stump grinder, use a chainsaw to file the stump down as low as possible. This isn’t a requirement, but will expedite the grinding process when using the machinery.
  3. Position the hydraulic level of the stump grinder roughly three inches above the stump. The grinder wheel should be over the front edge. Once you start the wheel, lower it 3-4 inches into the stump. Make sure that observers, including the operator, are located behind the grinder and not in front in fear of stray debris flying from the wheel.
  4. Once you’ve grinded at least 4-6 inches into the ground, the mass of the stump and roots should be gone. Remove smaller roots by hand and fill in the hole with fresh topsoil.
  5. Tamp and rake the soil. Spread grass seed into soil and be sure to water.

Burning Tree StumpBurning a tree stump is common practice, as well. Effort is minimized compared to using a grinder and hand removal. Once you used a chainsaw to cut the stump to the ground as low as possible, you begin to drill holes into the surface of the stump with a spade drill bit. Drill multiple holes with 1 inch depth.

Proceed to pour kerosene into the holes. Once the liquid has fully penetrated the wood over the course of a week or so, drop a match into the holes. It’s important to check with local fire ordinances to verify fire compliance laws.

Rent Stump Grinders and Chainsaws from BlueLine Rental

Feel like taking on that monolithic tree stump this year? Rent It Today can connect you with BlueLine Rental at one of their nationwide rental hubs. Blueline Rental provides stump grinder and chainsaw rentals.

13 comments
silasknight1
silasknight1

It seems like the stump is the hardest part of a tree to get rid of. It sounds like the stump grinder is a pretty good method, especially if it gets rid of all the visible wood. 

JenniferStevens
JenniferStevens

Tip number one stuck out to me when it talked about removing rocks so that you can avoid possible problems with the grinder.   Removing a stump seems like it could take some understanding and knowledge in order to do it right.   Luckily, there seem to be services out there that can help with things like this should help be necessary.  

wjack4580
wjack4580

There are people that actually wonder why you remove a stump? It is pretty obvious why you should remove it from your yard. The look of it throws off the image of your house. 

SkyJensen
SkyJensen

These are some really good tips on how to remove tree stumps. I like your tip on removing this that would make removing it harder, like rocks and smaller roots. Its a good reminder to do things the easiest way. It seems like removing a tree might be harder than you would think. It might be best to let a professional do the removing.  

jasonshwartz1224
jasonshwartz1224

This really is great information for anyone that is looking to take care of their pesky tree stumps. That really is a great way to look into being able to have a efficient way to remove and replace an old tree. Being able to grind the stump down sounds like something that can be a quick solution as well. Thank you for sharing.

Gary Puntman
Gary Puntman

I have a tree stump in my backyard that has been there for years.  I need to just get rid of it.  I know I can't do it on my own.  I'll need the right person who has the right equipment to do this. 

JordanJohnson2
JordanJohnson2

The one time I removed a stump with my father we used a chain and his truck. Since I only have a sedan I know that I'm going to have to rent something bigger. Renting something like the construction vehicle in your picture actually gets me a bit excited for the project.

reginamariepeterson
reginamariepeterson

It looks a lot easier to remove a stump than I thought. I assumed you had to hitch it up to the back of a truck and pull it out, but I guess not. I think I would try the shovel first and if that doesn't work then just burn it. Thanks!

emilysmith47876
emilysmith47876

I didn't know that you could rent a machine like this. You would think that you would  need proper training in order to operate a machine like this. After all, it can be very dangerous with that spinning blade. Where can I go to rent one of these? I have a few stumps in my yard that I would like to get rid of. 

tedsmith575
tedsmith575

Thank you so much for the tips on how to remove a tree stump! This machine would make the job so easy.

bryanflake1984
bryanflake1984

I didn't know that it was safe and effective to burn out a tree stump.  Does burning it kill all the roots.  I'd like to not have the tree grow back.  My future plans for the yard do not entail the tree coming back.