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You've decided to remove a tree from your landscape. If you're a DIYer you lace up your Paul Bunyan steel-toed boots and saunter out there to cut it down. You even remember to yell, "Timber!" at just the right moment. You're darn proud that it fell where you wanted it to, with no damage to property or injury to yourself. You even have enough energy left over to clean up the mess left behind -- all but the tree stump, that is. Getting rid of tree stumps can be the most difficult part of tree removal. Renting stump grinders is an expensive option -- and inconvenient. Let's take a look at a cheap and easy alternative that just requires a little patience....


May 31, 2006 at 7:39 pm
(1) Darlene says:

My 83 year old friend has had a pine tree cut. A ragged stump is left. She has not the money to hire someone to get rid of the stump. any suggestions as to how to do some landscaping around it so it won’t be an eyesore?

May 31, 2006 at 8:04 pm
(2) landscaping says:

Put a container garden on the stump. Preferably, something with vines trailing down (like vinca).

June 2, 2006 at 1:25 pm
(3) ruin says:

They charged my mom $100 dollars for a tree stump removal..

They took like 2 hours or so.

But i’ve seen places say it only cost 60 dollars.

Was I overcharged with the 100 dollars.

May 7, 2011 at 1:22 am
(4) Joel says:

100 dollars is not a bad price in my neck of the woods. You need to remember, that equipment is not cheap and the operator needs to be paid also. Of course that also depends on the size of the stump. I’ve seen prices as much as 150 or higher.

June 23, 2011 at 1:36 pm
(5) Snuffy Smith says:


Your replying to a post that is 5 years old. Please getcher self new glasses.

June 2, 2006 at 2:59 pm
(6) landscaping says:

Prices vary greatly based on where one lives — not only from state to state, but even from town to town. Therefore, only those comparisons conducted on the local level are meaningful.

July 1, 2006 at 10:52 pm
(7) chris says:

Someone told me bleach and rock salt poured over the stump would rot it and in about a year would be able to pull it out of the ground. Has anyone tried this or heard of this?

March 3, 2011 at 1:45 pm
(8) charlie says:

Copper nails work I cut a nice tree down a couple of years ago and hammered about 30 nails into it. the Sides the root and all over the stump. I painted it and just this past weekend I pulled it up in pcs. It was the size of a large Beachball.


July 2, 2006 at 10:46 am
(9) landscaping says:

Hi Chris,

Yeah, I’ve heard of rock salt being used in the stump removal process. I’m sure there are other substances out there that you could use, too, including the ones sold commercially for stump removal. It’s mainly a matter of determining what’s available, affordable, and environmentally acceptable to you — and then experimenting!

July 2, 2006 at 2:17 pm
(10) Michael Cerda says:

I lived in Chicago for many years. People in the boonies used charcoal. Yes, first make sure you call the gas company to locate any gas lines or other buried pipes. Secondly start with a small amount of charcoal, such as a small bag that all you do is light the bag so as to not use any type of charcoal lighter fluid. Then if you place the charcoal on the stump and start the bag, with constant supervision and perhaps with a call to the local fire department for safety, Safety, and yes Safety. The charcoal may take a few hours to consume the stump depending if the stump is dead and dry, or still green. Remember, Safety first, fire is very dangerous. If all goes well, get some hotdogs and enjoy, have a picnic!

September 13, 2011 at 5:48 pm
(11) mike says:

drop a 55 gallon barrell aroun it , speeds up the process

November 6, 2006 at 10:16 am
(12) Stump Puller says:

Depending on your location, the type and size of the stump and heavy equipment access to it, I think $100 for two hours of stump-pulling work is darn cheap. Must have been a pretty nasty stump to take 2 hours. $60 may be appropriate for a smallish stump. Folks around here want $150 just for backhoe delivery… then $95-115 per hour plus disposal fee. I am low man in my area at an average cost of $75 plus disposal fee for pulling a 12-16″ stump. Price varies a lot with number of stumps (more=less per stump) and type.

August 4, 2007 at 1:56 am
(13) BG Johnson says:

I have heard that triple 10 fertilizer mixed with a little water, poured into holes drilled into the top of the stump will kill it. Also, non diluted roundup and spectricide brused on the stump will kill it. Don’t forget to dispose of the brush afterwards.

October 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm
(14) chulookin says:

Drill into side of stump four inches where bark would be,ignore center of stump, fill holes half way with Potassium Nitrate fill the rest of the hole with water, cover stump with plastic to keep the elements out. Also, look up a product called Stump remover.

October 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm
(15) Bob Allwine says:

Be real careful with this one, it might be as dangerous as using potassium sulfate, which can be used to make explosives (It is what Timothy McVeigh used to bomb the building in Okla.). Unless of course you forgot to mention using a fuse to help facilitate the stump removal.
I am a tree trimmer and $100 for a two hour stump removal is more than fair, the price to rent a quality stump grinder runs from $90 for 4 hours to $160 for a full day, and then you have all the wood chips mixed with dirt to clean up and dispose of. I have also dug a hole around the stump and using a pressure nozzle for a hose, washed the dirt away from the roots, and after a little wait, was able to use a chainsaw or loppers to cut the roots away from the tap root. This is very time consuming, energy consuming(especially in the heat of Phoenix, Arizona), but it works.

August 16, 2007 at 10:20 am
(16) Joe Anthony says:

I had my tree cut down all the way with only 6 inches remaining above the ground. I had not started any stump removing attempts like using the “Stump Remover” product, so the tree is still alive. Now, my objective is to re-seed/plant grass over this area.

If I were to grind the stump all the way to below ground level, will it permanently kill the tree? I hate the sapplings that grow around the tree stump now. Appreciate all comments/suggestions/ideas!

April 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm
(17) BKnowsBest says:

After you cut down a tree, use Tordon (available online and maybe at a local feed or nursery store). Put a thin bead of this stuff around the outer/live ring of the tree stump and a dap in the core of the stump. This will kill the tree and prevent any new tree growth…..forever. Will not kill your grass, either, which is nice.
This stuff will not rot the tree away for future removal, but does DEFINATELY kill the tree!

August 23, 2011 at 11:01 am
(18) faith4ever says:

I know this is someone’s old comment, but for future readers……I had a tree cut down professionally. They ground it down under the grass. This was back in Nov 2007 and it is now Aug 2011 and there has not been any new growth what so ever. It does leave about a 2″ deep hole which will need some top soil to level the ground out. I haven’t even leveled it out yet.

September 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm
(19) BKT says:

The neighbor had a very obnoxious tree cut down professionally right on the edge of my property. They ground it down and said they removed the roots. Now the obnoxious tree is sprouting up all over my yard and theirs. This was back in June 2011. I’ve sprayed Round-up on the new shoots, but more keep popping up. I did some pick-axe excavating at the site of some shoots and found a root bigger around than my thigh. The roots were part of the problem with the tree, affecting my foundation. How the heck do I kill this thing once and for all and get those roots to quit growing into my foundation?

August 17, 2007 at 11:53 am
(20) landscaping says:

Yes, stump-grinding would provide a quick solution for your problem.

November 15, 2007 at 8:32 pm
(21) Penny says:

Slice into the tree/stump and stick a penny or two inside, it will kill any tree or stump.

September 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm
(22) BKT says:

Maybe so, but if the object is to use copper, be sure to use a penny from before 1982. Those pennies are about 98% copper. The newer ones are only about 2.5% copper; they are mainly zinc.

November 15, 2007 at 8:37 pm
(23) landscaping says:


Thanks for adding your two cents (sorry, I couldn’t resist!).

January 5, 2008 at 10:19 pm
(24) Anthony Falgiano says:

So check this out. I had 2 olive tree stumps that I had to remove and I discovered a great tool to do it!!! Came to me to day as I was thinking, “man I wish I had a Backhoe”. SO, I was thinking what is the next best thing to use that is nearly as powerful as a vehicle and not as strong as a backhoe…. Hmmm.. I know MY AUTOMOTIVE FLOOR JACK. Since I could not afford a backhoe. I dug under one sideof the stump about 18 inches then jammed the jack under it. I places a board under the jack a 2×6 will do initially. this prevents the jack from digging into the earth. Then I jacked it up! When the jack reached full extension I put blocks under the side of the jack to hold it up. THen I put some block under the 2×6 to get it up higher again. tehn jacked again. In two hours I got a monster 2′ deep by 5′ square stump out of the hole and tipped it over with my truck… This was awesome!!!! FYI this should work with taprooted trees too. BE VERY CAREFUL as this techniquecan be VERY DANGEROUS if you dont understand some basic physics. Hey it works!

September 19, 2011 at 10:31 am
(25) james says:

that sounds like alot of work and time though? if its dangerous it becomes even less worth it. why dont you just pay some 60, 70 dollors and not have to worry about all that. you dont really need a backhoe, just a tree company with a stump grinder

January 6, 2008 at 10:20 am
(26) landscaping says:

Wow, I definitely have to try out that method this summer. I may end up blogging about your discovery! Thanks.

March 15, 2008 at 9:56 am
(27) Betty Stiller says:

COMMENT 15 VERY DANGEROUS. Your eyesight is more precious than you think. It may be worth it to rent a backhoe.

April 3, 2008 at 3:38 pm
(28) Glenn Ayala says:

I am doing an overhaul and a beautification at the V.A.Medical Center grounds north campus, between the Domiciliary Bldgs 214 and 217 Quad Area where the Veterans hangout and relax. My Question is there are 3 Coral tree Stump to be removed, what is the best way to do this?

April 3, 2008 at 7:35 pm
(29) landscaping says:

There is a tree stump removal product called, “Stump Remover” that breaks down the wood fiber of stumps, leaving them porous. That’s the easiest way, short of having a professional come in with a stump grinder.

July 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm
(30) Jim says:

How big of a root and stump with this work for?

April 26, 2008 at 11:22 pm
(31) Maureen says:

I have a tree stump to remove. It is close to a house and rooted very deep. I was considering digging as far as I could just so that I could get a chain underneath it. My plan is to then hitch the chain to the back of my van and pull out the root. It sounds easy, but I am wondering if it is a good idea. I am not good with basic physics:) Please advise.

April 27, 2008 at 10:19 am
(32) landscaping says:


You have the right idea, but you’re also right to be concerned about pulling a tree stump so close to a home. Without being there, I’d never “give the OK” to such a project. It may sound good over the Internet, but a person’s home is too valuable a possession for me to make such a call. I’d have a pro come over and take a look at it, if you want to be on the safe side.

May 13, 2008 at 2:41 am
(33) Dan says:

tree stump can vary in size. From couple inches to several feet so different method may be advised for different stump. I’ve removed stumps from pine trees with stump around 6-8 inches by digging around and cutting secondary roots off with shears or an ax. Cut off main roots usually with an ax and us a long 5 foot or so pry bar to loosen the stump. Eventually it comes out, no easy task but works. Right now I’m working on a 14 inch stump but I use a chain saw on the roots which I dig out dirt from underneath so it’s nice and clean so the saw doesn’t hit any dirt or rocks, I use water to clean around it. Power washer will help remove dirt around the roots which is helpful – I don’t have one so I use power tip water nozzle.

May 29, 2008 at 4:43 am
(34) arb man says:

Regarding comment 14, tree don’t actually have tap roots, its a myth. they might start off with one, but it dies off pretty quickly.

August 11, 2011 at 1:12 am
(35) Ahajustsde says:

With the exception of a cedar tree! I nearly tripped over an old stump while stringing a new clothes line. So I started rocking the silly thing with my shoe till it came out. Low & behold there was that dang tap root hanging in there!

September 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm
(36) sandy says:

would you estimate the cost of just removing roots after tree stump is ground down to a flat surface.I want to expand my driveway and wonder if the roots need to go and about hoe much

June 3, 2008 at 4:00 am
(37) Jon Williams says:

Cost saving tip!

Tree Stump remover is repackaged Nitrate of Potash, (aka Potassium Nitrate, Salt Petre, Salt Peter). It’s a high nitrate fertiliser that works wonders on your Strawberries and tomatoes (plus a lot of other soft fruit). You can get Pot.Nitrate a *lot* cheaper than branded “Tree Stump Remover”

A word of caution. Pot.Nitrate is an oxidising agent (used as the oxidiser in Gunpowder!) and can increase the risk of fire in dry areas.

July 31, 2011 at 10:07 pm
(38) Barbara says:

how do you apply the Pot. nitrate/salt peter and do you need to dsrill holes in the tree stump to put this in or what?
I have a very large 12 inch diameter tree stump to get rid of . its right nest to my house.
thank you Barbara

June 4, 2008 at 3:51 pm
(39) stumped says:

thanks for the information on stump removal. I have a young tree that has been killed and now I think I need to get rid of the stump and roots. the cirmcumferance of the tree is small, about 4 inches in diameter. Since it is so small, can I just cut it down to the grass and leave it? If I do, can I plant another tree close to the left over stump?

June 4, 2008 at 10:03 pm
(40) landscaping says:

There are different strokes for different strokes here, but in my own approach to tree stump removal, I use a mattock for stumps this small. It’s more work initially, but perhaps means less trouble in the long run. Using the mattock, I cut through all the big roots; eventually, the stump will be loosened enough to be broken out (or you can make a final cut just underneath it to remove it).

June 13, 2008 at 10:36 am
(41) Margie says:

I have roots from a huge maple tree left in my (dirt) driveway. Why do they smell so bad? How can I remove them? The stump grinder guy did the best he could with his machine, but the smell is the big problem. What could I use to nutralize the smell? THanks for any help.

June 13, 2008 at 11:25 am
(42) Notatreehugger says:

I have new tree sprouts growing from the large tree i had removed in my front yard. There are many partially exposed roots, some extending up to 15 feet away. I am in the process of remving the stump, without the grinding. While the tree stump decays will the new sprouts die off too? What a pain! Thanks for help!

June 13, 2008 at 11:39 am
(43) Notatreehugger says:

correction – new sprouts from the partially exposed tree roots, not tree stump itself as of yet. I trim down any sprouts, by the way.

June 16, 2008 at 1:00 pm
(44) landscaping says:


I’ve heard a lot of issues surrounding tree stump removal, but bad-smelling roots is a new one on me. As far as I know, short of bringing in the heavy equipment to just scoop everything out and haul it away, all you can do to remove the offending maple roots is to dig them out with a mattock. As a temporary “neutralization” of the smell, I suppose you could set up Tikki torches when you’re working and/or relaxing outside.

June 16, 2008 at 1:08 pm
(45) landscaping says:

No, if the sprouts are coming “from the partially exposed tree roots,” then removing the tree stump won’t stop the sprouts. You’ll need to remove those tree roots, too. After doing so, in case you miss a few rootlets, you might want to lay down a tarp (light deprivation will stymie any more sprouting). You can apply mulch over the tarp to hold it down and dress up the area. Eventually, everything underneath will rot — but you need lots of patience!

July 4, 2008 at 1:29 am
(46) HJC says:

We had a walnut tree removed a while back and are trying the “holes in the trunk, nitrogen in the holes, etc.” method to break down the trunk. Can you give me an idea of how long this might take? The article we read says this method “speeds up” the natural process, but does not offer any time estimates. Thanks for your help.

July 4, 2008 at 9:44 am
(47) landscaping says:


There are too many variables to consider to provide solid estimates: where you live, the weather you’ll be having, your soil, the girth of the tree stump, etc. But this much is safe to say, as a general rule: with tree stump removal using the nitrogen method, time is counted in years, not months!

July 27, 2008 at 11:12 pm
(48) Tom Dowling says:

I just removed a 3 foot diameter red oak stump myself, in about 2-1/2 hours using simple tools. The stump was within a yard of the house, so I decided not to attempt to remove all the roots, just remove the surface remains. The tree was hollow and the stump rotted out about 1 foot inside, leaving walls about a foot thick. I dug a a shallow trench around the stump, about 8 inches deep and one shovel wide. I then took a one inch auger and bored closely spaced holes all around the circumference of the stump, angled about 20 degrees down. This took the most time, and 2 heavy duty 1/2 drills, alternating them to avoid overheating! After that, I drilled vertical and horizontal holes in one section (selected for weakest wood while I was drilling), almost freeing it. Then I chopped out that section using a sharp mattock and a splitting maul. I worked back from that part using wedges, a large sledge hammer and a 60 inch pry bar. Each chunk broke off at the drill-holes. The last piece I simply cracked off with a hammer blow. I filled in the hole; all woody remains are 8 inches or more below the surface. I used the copious drilling for wood chip mulch, covering about 10 square feet!

August 1, 2008 at 12:32 pm
(49) sarah says:

i need to remove a dying tree that is near my inground sprinkler system. is there any danger of damaging water lines w/stump grinder? should i use chemical remover instead?

August 1, 2008 at 2:38 pm
(50) landscaping says:

You’re right to be concerned that tree stump removal via stump grinding could spell damage to your in-ground sprinkler system. So yes, I think the way to go here is to apply an herbicide to the stump (ask at your hardware store), after cutting the tree down.

August 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm
(51) John says:

A chap I worked with during my time at a tree care company showed me a (very rare) tool that was designed specifically for stump removal -known simply as a “stump axe”. It’s a double-bladed axe, with one blade moulded at a 90 degree-angle difference from the standard blade. The use is simple: the user, standing in one position, can rotate the axe on the back swing and strike the target with either blade angle. Gradually, the user works his way around the tree and is able to cut each spreading root regardless of the root’s position/angle to the user. The trick? Try to find this tool. They’re out there but they’re extremely rare. Find it? Please let the rest of us know! Thanks!

August 12, 2008 at 1:50 am
(52) Tom Dowling says:

That tool is also called a Pulaski axe. It is used by wildland firefighters. It is made by Council Tool, Ames Tru-Temper, Collins and a few other heavy hand tool companies. Forestry Supply should sell at least one brand; costs is about $50. I have seen import versions at some, but not all Home Depot stores, and the real deal at hardware stores in areas where logging is an active industry.

August 19, 2008 at 2:04 pm
(53) Hrishi says:

Thanks for all the previous comments. I just hired a contractor from ServiceMagic.com. He came within hours and finished the job on the same day. Cost me $125 for the stump removal and another $25 to chop off some other pieces of log into smaller blocks. But, I am happy the job got done very fast. Now I am using the tons of mulch, this stump grinding created in my garden.

September 27, 2008 at 2:01 am
(54) Darrin says:

Hi, I grind stumps. For those of you that wondered, the average price for my service is $2.25 per inch of grind IF it is accessable by truck. If it is only accessable by use of a 36″ gate and I have to use my small machine, meaning a lot more time on site and hours on equipment, then the price goes up accordingly. That is usually around $3.45 per inch. A large machine should grind 6-10″ deep and small self propelled ones 4-6″ deep should be average. Something else that you should understand is that measuremnets should start from where the stump comes out of the ground (after all you want that part ground out too, right?)across to where it goes back into the ground. Commonly known as the diameter of the stump. I hope this helps to educate alot of people sothey understand how most stump prices are figured.

October 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm
(55) robert higgins says:

Darrin, just to let you Guy’s n girl,s no their are alot of 100 plus stump grinders out their that will go threw a 36 inch gate so with that said look out small grinder guys thinking you got the one n only grinder make it. Threw a gate,. Also cost up to 100.000 them little 20,000 grinders look out, they will kick your butt.

September 30, 2008 at 6:13 pm
(56) RJ says:

Here is the best and the cheapest way.

First dig about 6 inches down around the stump.

Take a circular saw and cut a grid about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Take a hammer and chisel and remove the cubes.

Continue till you are at about 2 inches below the ground level.

If you want further removel drill 1/2 inch holes about 3 inches apart.

If you can get any kind of alkaline (read the ingredients it must say hydroxide) drain opener pour on liberally make sure it goes in to the holes. If you cant get it use the cheapest oven cleaner from the dollar store.

Cover the remains with dirt.

2 to 4 weeks later put about 5 lbs of 10-10-10 fertilizer on the remains and cover back up with dirt.

October 5, 2008 at 11:23 pm
(57) John says:

Well I tryed one of the solutions someone sayed about using a floor jack and it really works.It at least gives you the chance to get up under it to cut the roots to free the tree stump from the ground.But you have to dig a little but it was worth the trouble.And yes I did that job today 10/5/2008.

October 6, 2008 at 8:51 am
(58) joe says:

Metal trash can or 55 gallon drum. Cut out bottom, set over stump, Start a fire inside with whatever and enjoy a campfire for the night/day.

October 8, 2008 at 6:11 pm
(59) glo says:

really joe (42)… are you ‘stumping’ ?
I don’t know why burning the silly thing can’t work. It seems I’ve seen stumps doing a slow burn, what do they use in there (I was thinking it was tar or something similar)

October 12, 2008 at 8:14 pm
(60) Super-D says:

Glo, burning the stump does work, but if it is green, it can be a pain to get the fire started. Try drilling a 1″ to 1.5″ hole in the middle of the stump maybe 5″ deep and put a lit road flare in the hole with the burning end facing up. It will take a few minutes for the burning section to get to the stump surface, but once it does it won’t take long to start burning. To make the stump burn faster, once the road flare is in the hole, start building smaller sticks around the stump like a tee-pee to start a campfire, then put the barrel over the fire to keep it from spreading too much. Safety first and keep a water hose on hand!

October 27, 2008 at 4:13 pm
(61) david says:

I’ve got 3 trees i wish to get rid of- 2 apple trees and one ‘shrubbery’ type tree. Firstly, what would be the best way to remove them?

How long would it take to kill a tree with a copper nail/ penny, and hope the council remove them?

And how about the stumps? And roots?

November 1, 2008 at 8:56 am
(62) landscaping says:


“Best” is one of those tricky words: my “best” way might not be yours, because your situation may be different. The cheapest way to do it (“cheapest” is one interpretation of “best”) is to do it yourself.

I can’t comment on the “copper nail” approach, but removing a tree yourself usually starts either with poisoning it (which you may reject as an option, if you’re environmentally sensitive) or cutting it down with a chainsaw. I’ll warn you, though: apple trees have notoriously tough wood, so chainsawing may be difficult.

As for removing tree stumps and roots afterwards, that’s precisely what the article is about that this blog post links to! Just click the link!

Of course, if money isn’t an issue, the “best” way could be simply to hire a tree service. While my article on the topic focuses on limbing, you can find professionals who will remove a tree for you, in toto.

November 5, 2008 at 8:51 pm
(63) SWEDE says:


November 5, 2008 at 8:55 pm
(64) SWEDE says:


November 8, 2008 at 9:34 pm
(65) badwezel says:

started to remove a salt cedar with a litte digging and hooked up the ol’ jeep to what I thought was good rigging.bent my bumper{didn’t have d-rings or a good spot on the jeep to rig to }read about someone using a jack,used a screw type jack,digging bar,cribbing,shovel,and a very strong sawzall.GOT’ER OUT N 2HOURS ,MOVED THE SCEW JACK IN ABOUT 4 TIMES PUTTING THE CRIBING BETWEEN THE SPACES OPENED TILL I GOT IN THE FINAL CUT

November 26, 2008 at 4:14 am
(66) Dweezil says:

I have several live Salt Cedar stumps. Stump killer was used to No Effect. And the re-sprouts and stumps have been sprayed repeatedly with Roundup to no effect – as the cut was healed over.

I was told to re-cut the stumps and immediately apply Round-up to the fresh cut. This is not possible on some as they are too close to the ground.

Salt Cedars are notoriously difficult to kill. Does anyone have any specific advice on them?

One huge one can be dug out, if that is effective. The other could be ground and painted with Roundup, but the application would not be entirely immediate… several minutes later at least. I could also try covering them with plastic as suggested.

They are like cockroaches. Do any of you have some knowledgable advice?

December 12, 2008 at 10:07 am
(67) Wade says:

30% of a tree is a material called lignin. Sodium Metabisulfate destroys lignin.

January 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm
(68) Wayne Wallace says:

Purchased a house with two tree stumps exposed, one about 5 inches, another about 8 inches, both sprouting and have been for a period of time. Trim the shoots.
I went out about 6-8 inches from the stumps, dug a moat with my grub hoe, axe on one side, blade on the other for digging. Filled it with water and let disappear. Took my post hold diggers and started going around the moat, roots, I used the axe part. When I had gone down about a foot, I brought my GMC Sonoma pickup around and hooked a nylon rope (inch) around the stump with a good grip and pulled the rope tight as I could attached to the pickup. Then I went back to the stump and proceed to go down the sides with the post hole digger and grub axe on the side opposite the P/U. When the rope loosen, I move the pickup a little more. As the stump came up it was easy to cut the feeder roots and soon I had both stumps out on the lawn. Make sure rope is secure, keep your wife in the house.

January 24, 2009 at 7:40 am
(69) pyromaniac says:

Actually, you could fetch a real monster wood drill and drill a deep hole or two in the middle. Then fill these holes with gunpowder or dynamite and give it a try.

Or, you could place the dynamite underneath. This would automatically take care of the disposal too, since if you use enough explosive, you’ll probably never come across this stump any more.

March 9, 2009 at 2:38 pm
(70) KIM says:

i’ve been doing stump removal for 12 years alot of things you are talking about are funny. the best way is to call someone that knows what they are doing . we have the machines to do the job right . but get estimates from more than 1 person. I have jobs that only cost 15.00 if they’re in the area . prices go up from there. As far as i’m concerned there is no set price THANKS

March 20, 2009 at 9:02 pm
(71) shannon Tyrel says:

Regarding comment 22, ”tree donít actually have tap roots, its a myth. they might start off with one, but it dies off pretty quickly” I just got done digging up a post oak stump that was 14′and it has a 3 foot root that grows strait down……hmmm…..TAP ROOT

April 16, 2009 at 2:35 pm
(72) Grinder Gal says:

So. Simple question… Why would you PULL a stump out when you can GRIND er out!?

Takes about 5 mins (depending on the size of stump) and makes for a way better show than fighting with a big dirty tap root… AND THE GRINDERS COME WITH REMOTE CONTROL BABY!!

August 13, 2011 at 8:39 pm
(73) brian says:

cost.. and depending on stump, it may take 5 minutes too.

April 16, 2009 at 5:36 pm
(74) landscaping says:


April 17, 2009 at 12:48 pm
(75) Chief Frank Ross says:

Before you decide to burn a stump out contact your fire dept. In a lot of places it is illegal to burn out stumps because they can burn for days. Most laws reguire that fires be attended all the time they are burning. Meaning you might be standing there watching it a long time. Lye – (drain cleaner) or potassium nitrate (stump out/etc) poured over the stump are much safer

April 17, 2009 at 1:45 pm
(76) Brad says:

I have a small stump about 6″ across. A bradford pear. I cut it very low almost at the ground level. But one problem I face is it is close to my fence, which is plastic so I can’t burn it. I have been using rock salt but not working to fast. I would like to get this out so I could replant another one. Any one have any ideas to remove this. HELP Thanks

April 20, 2009 at 10:40 am
(77) Ginia says:

Does the stump remover that treats the stump with chemicals work? The one like Four Seasons Nursery sells for $4.99 each?

April 27, 2009 at 10:10 am
(78) Joe says:

If you have the time and do not want to spend money to remove a tree/stump, first make sure you have the clearance. Then simply start digging around the base of the tree and chop at the roots. Use the weight of the tree to pull the stump from the ground.Patients and frequent trips to the lazy-boy are all it takes.

May 3, 2009 at 11:01 am
(79) Nancy says:

Response to Comment 19: Be very carefull close to the house. Pulling out a stump with a truck & chain is very easy. I know, we pulled out 4 that way. On the fourth stump a root was caught on a water pipe and broke it. We lost water to the house until the pipe was fixed. Luckily, it was above ground and easy to fix.

May 13, 2009 at 4:06 am
(80) Alice says:

I have a hard wood double stump that was pulled out of the ground two years ago and is quite large – 5′ square. I have cut off the roots with a chain saw which of course dulled the blades quickly. Apparently grinders wont work beacause it is sitting on the ground and would move with the vibration. I have estimates of 300 to remove it :( . I would rather not wait a year or two for stump removal products to rot it. Someone has suggested a reciprocating saw with wood blades to try and cut it up. Any suggestions?

May 16, 2009 at 10:33 am
(81) joe home owner says:

If you’re dealing with pine, digging down 1 foot on all sides to remove surface roots, and fastening with a chain to a trailer hitch may do the trick. If you can’t move the stump at all, don’t even bother, since you’re likely to damage your vehicle or your driveway.

Waiting a year before you do this and pouring rock salt around the stump will weaken the roots.

May 17, 2009 at 12:02 pm
(82) Brae says:

I just moved into a new home. There is a lilac tree with another vine type tree that was left to grow in the middle of it. The lilac tree is not blooming very well and some of it looks to be dyeing. What would be the most effective and environmentally friendly way to get rid of the vine tree and save the lilac tree?

May 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm
(83) vicki says:

I have an Acacia tree, and want to kill them, they are sprouting all over the place, i cut them down and sprayed them with roundup and ortho, nothing seems to kill these lil guys..any ideas?…

April 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm
(84) Paul says:

I have the same problem, but I have thousands of them. I removed them all last fall with a tractor mounted mulcher and now they are sprouting up by the tens of thousands. Did anyone respond to your problem?

June 1, 2009 at 1:59 pm
(85) Dano says:

The rock salt ideas concern me as it would seem if you used too much nothing would ever grow there for many years. The high-nitrogen treatments and oven cleaner (active ingredient is lye) also concern me, though not as much. I had three elm stumps in the backyard I removed by digging around them with the bucket on my tractor. It took about 3 hrs. each. The stumps were between 18 and 24 inches across. The resulting holes were easily ten feet in diameter and three feet deep. Paying a stump-grinder $100 a stump would have been a fair enough deal. I have one stump left. I let it rot for two years–to little effect. Then, I cut a grid pattern in the top of the stump with the chainsaw, poured in last year’s boat gas (which I had to get rid of anyway) and lit ‘er off using a VERY long flaming stick. It burned for about two hours. With a partially-rotten stump, it is retaining water, which makes it difficult to burn. I have repeated this procedure three times now. I have also tried the charcoal. Although I am winning, it’s a long, slow battle. I have also pulled stumps with my tractor and pickup. Basically, you better be very good at prayer, ‘cuz if that chain breaks, no good can come of it. If your are dealing with something 6-8 inches or smaller, a mattock, a shovel, a floor jack, a strong back, and an afternoon will be fine. If it’s a foot across, keep in mind that most stump grinders charge an honest wage for honest work and you could easily be money ahead paying them rather than paying for broken equipment or medical bills. Or, if you want stump removal as an amusing hobby for a couple of years, do it yourself.

June 12, 2009 at 9:50 am
(86) Judy says:

I have a huge mimosa stump which grew up underneath a fence and now is on both sides of and grown into the fence and the shoots come back every year growing really fast. I have to keep the yard mowed frequently because mimosa shoots pop up all over the yard like dandelions. Will concentrated Roundup do the trick of eradicating this aggravating stump?

June 12, 2009 at 10:48 am
(87) landscaping says:

My guess would be that concentrated Roundup would work (more than one application would be needed). Another herbicide choice would be Ortho’s product geared to woody plants.

June 15, 2009 at 1:22 pm
(88) TreeRoomHelp says:

I just bought a house that has a shop/garage in back.There is a room with windows and sliding glass doors,cement floor around a huge rotten tree trunk.Prob 1.5 ft tall,about 2 ft across.It has fungus and snail trails all over it.Any ideas to get rid of it?Can a stump grinder be used indoors?

June 15, 2009 at 6:40 pm
(89) Dave says:

Admittedly only on a rumor that it was long-term effective, I have drilled several 3/4″ holes in the many stumps we have on our property, and pored “Rid-X” in them. This is the bacteria mix for septic tanks. We are patient, and do not expect these stumps to decay for a year or two. Has anyone tried this with success? Although it may be effective, I am somewhet leery of potassium nitrate, as we are in a heavily wooded area, and when dry, impregnated wood might constitute a fire hazard. Anyone have experience or definite knowledge about the “Rid-X” approach?

June 23, 2009 at 1:46 am
(90) trevor says:

I have used both stump remover and the “copper trick” They both work , but take patience . As stump remover is not available in Canada anymore , I tried the copper trick by cutting several pieces of 1/2 inch copper pipe about 6″ long , and pounding them into the top of the stump . It took about 2 years to rot a 36 inch diameter stump .
I am now in the process of removing 4 more , and was going to try potassium permaginate . Any thoughts on that?

July 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm
(91) Cass says:

try stump remover you put the powder on the stump pour some kerosene and light it its safe and burns it down to the roots!

July 20, 2009 at 12:11 am
(92) j says:

i had two stumps I was going to pay to have removed then when I looked at them closer I realized I could make a bench out of them, do a little landscaping around them and presto it looks a thousand times better for about 50 bucks.

July 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm
(93) Lonnie says:

I have a small maple ~2″ diameter that I’ve cut down to the ground. What’s the best and/or cheapest way to ensure the roots are killed?

July 30, 2009 at 7:03 pm
(94) David Beaulieu says:

Hi Lonnie,

Let me field your stump removal question in two ways, since I’m not sure whether you mean the maple is 2 inches or 2 feet in diameter.

If it’s really just 2 inches, I would dig under and around it, sifting the dirt as you go through a screen to catch all the roots — and remove them.

But if you mean 2 feet, the best way is not the cheapest way. The best way would be to have someone come in with a backhoe and dig out all the roots.

August 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm
(95) Jamie Haslage says:

I have two small kind of bushes but the roots and stump is more like a tree that is left. I guess do I just dig and dig and cut through it the best I can? It’s really two smaller type stumps. What can you suggest without killing the lillies and my new magnolia tree near them? Thanks

August 7, 2009 at 11:29 am
(96) Bill Arnold says:

Do you know any Firms in the Bradford / Leeds Area that remove Tree Stumps? Thanking you.

August 7, 2009 at 12:57 pm
(97) landscaping says:


If you check out the article on stump removal linked to from this blog post, you’ll see a picture of a tool called a “mattock.” You’ll want to buy a mattock if you wish to remove a tree stump by digging. One of the advantages of digging (as opposed to using chemicals) is that it’s safer for surrounding plants — as long as you’re careful digging.

September 1, 2009 at 11:28 pm
(98) N says:

I had a 50yr old Honey Locust Tree removed (cut/stump & roots grinded)in Aug 07. I know have root suckers everywhere and it is killing my lawn. The landscape co said that they have to strip lawn and grind roots again. Should they be doing something else to prevent re-growth so I do not have to do this again. Thanks

September 2, 2009 at 8:39 am
(99) landscaping says:


While they’re stripping the lawn, it wouldn’t hurt to ask them to make sure they dig down far enough to get the roots those suckers are emerging from. For you to have such widespread suckers, it’s obvious the locust tree’s root system is pretty extensive (and, of course, tree stump removal does not, per se, address such roots).

September 12, 2009 at 2:05 pm
(100) Retired Army Pair says:

Anyone have any idea how much it would cost to have about 20 – 30 tree stumps pushed up in Alabama? Want to make sure we are getting a good deal.

September 25, 2009 at 1:20 pm
(101) Freddy says:

I had a tree removed from my yard 2 years ago. About 1 month ago, my water line broke. Per the plumber, the cause was the roots. I sent a claim to the city and they advised that the roots should of been dead by now. Roots should die within a year or so. Is this true…

October 3, 2009 at 12:50 am
(102) Dean says:

I have been grinding stumps for more than 10 years. In my area the going rate is $1.50″. I see were some are saying the price they have for a 24″ is a $100. For a $100 I cam grind 3 stumps that size and be gone in less than 2 hrs. Sure wish I lived in an area the would pay $4.00″

October 6, 2009 at 1:51 pm
(103) joe dirt says:

if i stick pennies in the stump will it effect the tall standing timber next to it

August 20, 2011 at 6:08 pm
(104) Jay says:

Copper was used in pennies only 1909-1982. Copper rod or pipe really is copper. But it is soft, so you’d have to drill a hole the diameter of your rod or pipe.

October 15, 2009 at 2:45 pm
(105) KC says:

I have a siberian elm stump, it actually had three leads and is more like three stumps. The roots are quite extensive under the lawn. My question is . . . how do I kill the roots and when they are dead, will they rott and deteriorate. I am planning on building a fence in front of the stump, but am concerned that the ground will shift or drop and leave a gap under the fence in years to come.

October 25, 2009 at 10:17 pm
(106) Isy says:

In a square foot soil, the ex-owner planted a WISTERIA 30 years ago. I trimmed it down to a stump but it still shoots up. I was adviced to use rock salt (but the store doesn’t carry it ). I got a stump remover instead. Any cheap, safe, and easy way to get rid of it before the raining season starts? Would the stump remover work before winter?

November 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm
(107) Mimi says:

Help! we just had a 12 yr. old oak tree taken down from our front yard-however, they were unable to grind the stump because a piece of rebar had been stuck in the ground to keep the tree straight. Well, the trunk grew around the rebar! It is cut to about ground level, but there is still a stump & large roots–what next? We are in a subdivision & the HOA is not going to wait months for us to fill this hole!

November 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm
(108) A ELEY says:

These are all great tips. Any ideas for removing the small twisted stumps and roots of a cut down ficus hedge?

November 19, 2009 at 12:47 pm
(109) sondra says:

I live in a townhouse complex and have a very large tree in my patio area that must be cut down. I cannot get a stump grinder to it and want to get rid of the stump. Afraid to use fire. What is the quickest and easiest way to clear the stumps and roots?

November 27, 2009 at 8:33 pm
(110) Mad says:

My recently widowed sister lives on 60 acres of pines and hardwood. Her neighbor has a firewood business that is just starting to take off. He says he can’t keep up with request. He suggested he ‘clean up’ her property a bit by removing ‘just the dead’ trees. He proposed giving her one tree for every three he clears. By giving it to her, he means leaving the downed tree stacked near her house, not cut, not split. This doesn’t seem like a good deal? I figure 50/50 is fair. What say you?

November 28, 2009 at 1:10 pm
(111) landscaping says:


Unless your sister burns wood and can wield a chainsaw and split wood (or knows someone who will do it for her for free/barter), it does not sound like a good deal.

November 29, 2009 at 1:20 pm
(112) Kellie says:

I plan to have a magnolia tree removed and the stump ground. Will grinding the stump kill the root system? Or, will I need to apply some sort of herbicide after the grinding is done? It’s important that the roots be killed because they are destroying the plumbing in our yard.

November 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm
(113) landscaping says:


I can tell you about my own experience with stump grinding a silver maple. The stump grinder apparently when down far enough to kill the tree: i.e., nothing is sprouting from the root system, nor does it continue to grow. In that sense, proper stump grinding kills the roots. However, to this day — and the stump grinding in question was done 6 years ago — I still find roots in that area when I dig into the ground.

December 3, 2009 at 3:37 pm
(114) Diana Burns says:

Has anyone ever heard of grape jelly for stump rotting?

December 16, 2009 at 1:42 am
(115) ROGER says:

There is a product called Torodon that will completely kill the roots when applied to the stump as directed on the label.

You spread a line of the liquid on the cambium which is located just under the bark. If done right the tree will not regrow or sprout.

Electric utilities use it as pellets which they just throw on the ground. You would not want to do this in your yard.

As a farmer we cut all the trees between the fence and the road. When treated with Torodon, that is end of the story. When roots and stump are dead, then use other methods to get the stump out.

December 22, 2009 at 11:44 am
(116) bobske says:

I planted a Redbud last winter in a hollowed out in-ground pine stump, watered, fertilized, etc and while the branches are still viable, there were no leaves produced. I took care to thin/trim the roots prior to planting (it was a potted tree). The remaining pine stump is decomposing as the above ground fungal activity will attest to but should I move the tree anyway? My hope was that the remainder of the pine stump and roots would decompose on a timeline that would allow plenty of room for root development of the transplanted tree.

December 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm
(117) landscaping says:


I’d remove it from the tree stump. There’s a problem with planting around decomposing tree stumps, called “nitrogen depletion.” You could counteract it by fertilizing with nitrogen, but my own preference would be to choose a more suitable spot for your redbud to grow in.

December 23, 2009 at 8:33 am
(118) bobske says:

Land…thanks for the advice. I’ll switch sites w/the one my “solar” clothes dryer is located. At least it is pre-limed from the concrete leached from the the backfill.

December 27, 2009 at 9:53 pm
(119) Greg from Louisiana says:

Paint cut stumps with brush killer not Round-up, they are different, Round-up is for grasses. Brush killer should keep them from growing suckers.

January 2, 2010 at 10:19 pm
(120) Tree Service Guy says:

The cheap and easy way is to call a professional. Rates are really good now, you don’t have to get dirty and be around dangerous equipment you know nothing about and you don’t have to be sore in the back, arms and legs the next week.AND…. You get to the beach. Only hire insured pros though as you don’t want to support someone the rest of their life if something gos wrong and they are not insured. Just ask the Tree Service Company to supply you with their agents phone or fax number for an insurance certificate check. A reputable firm or person will be more than happy to supply this and you really want to do this to ensure they really are covered. They can show you a piece of paper but if they haven’t paid their premium, they are not insured. Also, make sure they are insured for the particular service you are hiring them for as some simply purchase landscape insurance at a lot lower rate but if there is a need to file a claim, they are not covered.

January 29, 2010 at 6:13 pm
(121) Paul says:

I am doing my tree removal the old fashion way! I found a good way is by leaving about 4 feet of the stump standing and digging around all sides of the stump to find the roots. I bought a Dewalt Reciprocating saw and I can do more than one strump with one blade, which does not cost that much. The saw does a good job on the roots and with some of the stump still standing, it then can be rocked back and forth to find and cut the last roots.

January 31, 2010 at 1:03 pm
(122) don says:

I had SDG&E ,telephone company,cable and water come out and marked lines going into the property . We found all lines go under our tree stump. Any suggestions.

February 10, 2010 at 6:56 pm
(123) Robert says:

I’m surprised there hasn’t been a single comment about leaving the stump in place. Make it decorative! Put plant pots on it. turn it into seating. heck, even paint it pretty colours!

February 10, 2010 at 8:05 pm
(124) landscaping says:

Nice point, Robert. I’ve seen many examples of tree stumps effectively incorporated into a landscape design.

March 3, 2010 at 6:32 pm
(125) Stacey says:

Hurricane Ike knocked down the pine tree in my front yard. The tree was removed but the stump is left. Can the stump remain without affecting my home? I would love to just decorate around it and avoid having to get it dug up or grinded out. Someone told me to be careful with grinding as parts of the tree can be left to die which will cause rot and then possibly termites. Can I leave my stump in place and not have to worry about rot and termites? I always frown when going in the front yard and I see that stump, I don’t want it to rot and cause termites. Wondering what happens if I just leave it alone.

March 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm
(126) John Maes says:

Hey, your method in my professional opinion is not the best and cheapest way to remove a tree stump. Here in Bakersfield, California, we have a better method and you can save your back too! Paying me is usually less than renting a stump grinder yourself and you don’t have to tow it back and forth.

February 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm
(127) David Chlidress says:

I am 817-343-7754. I may have a stump to be removed at my house in Bakersfield. Call me. Thanks. Davd

March 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm
(128) reesie1228 says:

What is the problem with tree stumps? Is it just aesthetics? I live in a condo complex and ask to have a tree removed so that I can get more sunlight in my area, but I don’t think they would pay for the removal of the stump. Will it invite termites if I don’t have the stump removed?

March 5, 2010 at 11:09 am
(129) landscaping says:


I’ve seen people incorporate a tree stump in such a way that it adds to, rather than detracting from a landscape (in a quirky way, at least). In fact, I believe there’s a comment above to that effect.

As for termites, termite control is something to keep in mind, especially in areas prone to this problem. However, as with anything else, you always have to weigh the possible risks (and how likely you are to experience that problem) vs. the upside. And there’s no doubt that saving yourself money and/or time on tree stump removal is “upside.”

March 5, 2010 at 11:27 am
(130) landscaping says:


See my comment on tree stump removal to Reesie, above, regarding termites. As for elements of the tree being left behind after stump grinding, note that there’s really no alternative: whether the stump grinding is done or not, a certain amount of rotting is going to take place. It’s just a question of how much: there will be less rotting if you have the stump grinding work done. I had a stump grinded several years ago and find roots from that tree in the soil to this day (so they’re obviously not rotting very quickly!).

March 31, 2010 at 10:23 am
(131) Bill Branner says:

Had a tremendous oak removed, $2,000 included removal of all debris and grinding the stump. Everything okay even though this was in my front yard and their trucks left ruts it will take me years to repair…but question is, how low is satisfactory to grind a stump? They ground it only to a depth of a couple of inches below ground level, and I want to grow grass over it.

March 31, 2010 at 11:38 am
(132) landscaping says:


You are correct in being concerned, as you will have trouble growing grass in that area for quite some time. Your best bet will be to try Stump Out or other methods for removing the part of the stump that remains underground. Only afterwards should you try to grow grass there. The yardstick to use to see if it’s time to try to start grass there: If you can’t easily work the soil down to a depth of a couple of feet or so, you won’t be able to grow grass very successfully.

April 4, 2010 at 2:30 pm
(133) Paula says:

Just bought a house and have about 6 crepe myrtle trees that are growing right up against the foundation. A couple were cut to ground level but are sprouting all over. Ideas on best way to remove these? Can’t dig all around them.

April 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm
(134) landscaping says:


I’m assuming you wish to keep the crape myrtle trees but just move them to another spot in the yard.

If so, I recommend letting them grow this year right where they are. As they grow, take cuttings from them. If the cuttings root, fine; if not, wait for seed and collect it.

This way, either through cuttings (preferred, because it’s faster) or seed, you’ll have fresh crape myrtle trees to plant somewhere else. You can then tackle the removal of the old ones. You could spray them, for example, with an herbicide meant for use on woody plants (Ortho sells such a product).

April 25, 2010 at 7:46 pm
(135) jean says:

I have a japense maple tree in a large pot. It sits on the patio which has bricks on it. I noticed it was not draining. Looks like the roots had grown real thick in the drain holes. I turned it over and saw a large root going into the brick work. How do I get his out with out digging up all the brick work? Can I pour something on it to kill it?

April 25, 2010 at 11:42 pm
(136) Paul Bunyan says:

I took a metal sawhorse. Attached wench. Wrapped chain around and under root system. Slowly just pulled it out of ground.

April 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm
(137) landscaping says:


Roundup or an Ortho herbicide intend for woody plants should kill your tree, without you having to move a single brick. Re-apply if the first application doesn’t “take.”

April 27, 2010 at 11:06 pm
(138) Dan says:

i had a cherry tree in the middle of my yard which is now a stump adout 12″ in diameter and about 2′ deep what i’ve been doing works pretty good dig a hole around the stump about a foot away all the way around and about 2 feet down chop the roots with an axe, (the ones you can get to) relieve some frustration out on the stump with te axe the get acouple of 1inch wood sapde drill bits drill as many hole as you can into the stump (feel free to do this over the course of a few day, or weeks your choice) get fire pit bricks (they look kind of like ceder blocks) make a fire pit around the stump and large hole, pour a bout 1/2 a cup to a whole cup (depending on the size of the stump and location eg. city vs. coutry)of gasoline on/in/around the stump, and toss in a match. then as the flames die down add fire wood and have a fire pit for the summer. IMPORTANT!!!!!this is free advice only given with the understanding that you will act in a safe and carefull manner, have checked with local fire codes/fire regulations and any and all stipulations regarding and unrestricted to and of the manner/matter of fire, fire pits, safety, trash burning, use of accelerant for unintended purposes and any other safety, federal, provincial, state, city, couty, country by-laws/regulations pertaning to and not restricted to open fires, supervision have been consulted, followed and abieded to/by and an all class fire exstinguisher on hand during the procedure,
-footnote- once all possible/reasonable safety measures have been considered/followed enjoy your temperary “fire pit”

August 31, 2011 at 10:48 pm
(139) Mike says:

Stupid! Never use gasoline! If you try to pour gasoline on an open flame, the fire will travel right up the liquid and ignite the container (that you’re still holding). It’s the vapors that burn, and it can be very explosive.

If you’re going to try to burn it, use diesel fuel. It’s much less flammable, and will not explode in your face. To tell the truth, from what I’ve read here, charcoal will burn longer and do a better job. The best suggestion I’ve seen is to put a metal bucket, tub, or garbage can over the stump and keep adding charcoal until it’s done.

May 3, 2010 at 12:21 am
(140) Sam says:

I hate recommending this as a lot of common sense and a grasp of simple physics is needed but the easiest way to get rid of a stump is not to cut the tree down and create the stump in the first place. Tie a chain up about 3/4th the way up the tree and pull the tree over. It pulls over amazingly easy and then you just have to fill the hole in. But here’s where the common sense comes in, you need the room to do it and the chain needs to be long enough so you don’t pull the tree over on you and you’ll probly need something a little bigger than a pickup. (Payloader works best). This I think is the safest way to fall a tree and remove a stump cause its controlled and the tree only falls as fast as you pull it. But be careful of dead trees which may snap off which again falls under commom sense. So seek some professional advice before hooking a tow rope to your S-10 pickup and giving it a go.

May 9, 2010 at 7:56 pm
(141) Patsy says:

i have a tree we cut down . it was about 8″in diameter.the stump is about 3 or 4 inches below the ground. We are going to pour concrete over it . do we need to get it out of the ground first ? The tree was a sweet gum tree

May 10, 2010 at 8:11 am
(142) landscaping says:


I think tree stump removal is advisable here. As the wood rots underground, you’ll get some sinking. You really don’t want the ground under your concrete to be sinking.

May 16, 2010 at 8:23 pm
(143) Really old Stump says:

I have a stump that is from an old walnut tree I had the tree cut down over 15 years ago, the stump is close to the ground but it hasnt rotted away, and I personally dont have the time to dig it out or I would have already. Is there a way to completely “dissolve” it short of acid?

May 23, 2010 at 10:04 am
(144) mike says:

Copper nails or heavy wall copper tubeing hammered in to the stomp will kill it over time.

May 23, 2010 at 3:50 pm
(145) jbattye says:

I have two poplar trees next to my house the roots are huge and cracking my patio, after they are cut down, if I grind them out will that kill the roots or do I need to let the stump stay and do the round-up or stump killer stuff? I do not want suckers in my yard. Thanks

May 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm
(146) landscaping says:


Yes, you do need to use an herbicide to truly kill the poplar. Poplar trees are notorious for having extensive root systems. Unless you kill the root system, you’ll have suckers sprouting up all over the place, indefinitely. Tree stump removal won’t solve your problem.

May 23, 2010 at 8:49 pm
(147) Mike Marker says:

I have a dogwood stump about 3′ high and 12″ dia. that has roots into my septic drain field. It continues to leach water from the top of the stump for the last month. Will the commercial “Stump Remover” kill off the root system and solve the problem? Appreciate any advise.

May 23, 2010 at 9:42 pm
(148) landscaping says:


Please see comment #125 above. Although dogwood isn’t in a class with poplar when it comes to having roots problematic for septic systems, you seem to be indicating that the dogwood is still alive and drawing water out of your septic drain field; and if that’s the case, you need to be looking into killing the root system, as opposed to a straight stump removal.

May 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm
(149) trav says:

If Pine tree stumps, including very large diameter ones, can be cut off at ground level, cover the stump with mulch like grass and leaves and keep moist (water if necessary). The stump will rot in a year or two. I have done this successfully many times on pine stumps because pine is a soft wood. One time I had a pine stump 10-12 in high out of the ground. I built a mound over it and planted flowers there for 2-3 years and it rotted. I then removed the mound and planted grass.

May 28, 2010 at 2:16 pm
(150) aletheia says:

I have a ligustrum tree stump about 6 x10 inches which is cut to within 6 inches to the ground. I would like to get it completely out as the root system is so much it stifles anything in its path. How can I accomplish this without engaging professional help?

May 29, 2010 at 11:03 am
(151) landscaping says:


Tree stump removal won’t be sufficient in your case. Use a tool called a “mattock” to dig the roots out. The beauty of a mattock is that the “business end” is a digging tool on one side and a cutting tool on the other. Use the two sides to compliment each other (i.e., cut the roots first to loosen things up, then dig).

May 30, 2010 at 11:51 pm
(152) Addison Gast says:

Remove dirt from one side of stump. Lay bag of nitrate fertilizer in hole and punch hole. Pour i/2 gallon of diesel into nitrate bag. Insert wired detonator into bag, pull wires ( connect wire to detonator -FIRST) back 150 feet and push detonator. If the stump can not be found, look on your roof. You can also use a 22 rifle to detonate. forget the wire detonator and just shoot the bag from about 50 yeards back.

June 1, 2010 at 11:49 am
(153) Nana Stone says:

My grandsons just cut down a very large pine tree, about 1-1/2 foot around, that had been struck by lightening last year and was dead at the top. The tree sat at the corner of the house, quite close. I now have a 3 to 4 foot high stump. We were thinking of renting a stump grinder to get rid of the stump. I don’t have much money as I am on disability, so I was wondering if this was the best way to go. We were thinking of grinding it down and placing black weed control meshing over the area and covering it with mulch or stones after planting a variety of flowers in the surrounding area. From what I have been reading above this sounds like it might work. If you can advise me of other options, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

June 7, 2010 at 12:35 pm
(154) Val in Indy says:

I just bought a house in Indianapolis. The idiot who owned the home before me allowed eight trees to grow in between the chain link fence and the retaining wall. The trees were destrying the fence and pushing the retaining wall over! We had a company come out and cut the trees down and spray “stump poison” on the stumps. The poison hasn’t worked, however, and now there’s crazy plant growth all over the place. I just spent two days cutting all the new growth out of the fence!

I know that we wont be able to pull the stumps out because their burried under the fence, but we’ve got to stop the growth! Please help!

June 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm
(155) landscaping says:

Hi Val,

I know you’re frustrated (and I feel for you!), but this isn’t really an unusual problem. Poisons often have to be re-applied. I’d re-apply the poison to the tree stumps, even maybe trying different types.

June 11, 2010 at 2:32 pm
(156) Helen says:

I have a tree/plant growing into the wall of my house. I am worried as the same plant grew into the garden wall and brought it down. How do I get rid of it and is there a chance the same will happen to my house wall?

June 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm
(157) landscaping says:


Poison sounds like your best bet. Damage to the wall from this tree is certainly possible (whether you leave it or pull it), so do be careful.

June 28, 2010 at 12:07 pm
(158) Russ says:

I’ve hired a local bobcat operator to pull out stumps on my build site by using the forklift attachment of all things. In about 2 hours time he was able to remove nearly ten 8″-20″ diameter stumps. Cost around $200. Most of these were 15″-20″ pine. This is best done with moist soil (after or during a rain) and with stumps that still have some height to them for leverage. Cost per stump = excellent.

July 3, 2010 at 12:56 am
(159) drew kessler says:

we had a cottonwood takin down and put salt on the stump then had the stump ground down 6″ below grade. I’m starting to notice new grouth starting to pop up along the root lines. I have started to dig and cut the roots out of the lawn. Is there a better way??

July 7, 2010 at 10:32 am
(160) Tim Stephens says:

A freak windstorm following several weeks of rain felled six of my 100′+ cottonwoods, tearing the rootballs straight up out of the ground. I was able to remove the trunks so that most of the rootballs (with stumps attached) fell back toward the holes and settled at odd angles. Do I need to poison the stumps to prevent them from sprouting? If so, where do I drive copper nails (heart, sap, cambium, etc.)? Also, large sections of root were severed as they were torn up, leaving long pieces in the ground. How should I treat these? I’m thinking about removing the remaining trees (which were heavily damaged in the same and a subsequent storm), grinding all the stumps at once with a rental, and turning the whole area into a vegetable garden. Doing anything I can now to keep those big roots from being a problem in the future seems wise.

July 16, 2010 at 1:53 pm
(161) Penny G. says:

My husband always poors Coca-cola around the edges and lets it sit overnight. The carbonic acid eats through the roots and you can then pull it out in a few minutes!

June 19, 2011 at 12:17 am
(162) LARRY says:


July 18, 2010 at 11:47 am
(163) Elaine says:

I had a gigantic cotton wood removed and was told to apply round up to inner ring just inside the bark within half a hour of the tree being cut. I had a couple small shoots the next year, which I painted with round up and have had no problems since.

July 27, 2010 at 11:54 am
(164) Robert says:

Answer to John’s ( #36 ) comment go to: https://www.mainemilitary.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=129&idproduct=966

You will find the Axe I think you were talking about. It’s a bit
pricey but built to Pro standards. Cost is $95.00

July 31, 2010 at 11:41 am
(165) marcia says:

I just had 8 pine trees cut down on July 26 the tree stump were all grind. Can I used it for mulch right away or I’ve have to wait. I want to put it in my flower garden at the front of the house.

July 31, 2010 at 12:56 pm
(166) landscaping says:


It’s best to wait, because of the issue of nitrogen depletion.

July 31, 2010 at 5:56 pm
(167) Rich Lyddane says:

I have 12 or more trees I want to remove from my back yard. I live in a wooded yard with houses spread far apart. I was told many years ago that if you cut the trees and leave about 4 feet above ground, a tractor can pull the stumps pretty easily. Is this valid and does it go for fresh trees?

August 1, 2010 at 12:52 pm
(168) Reg says:

I live in Boulder, Colo. and last year I had a large tree removed because it had grown to a size where it’s roots raised a concrete patio slab as well as starting to lean on the patio over-hang. Now I have the ugly stump that I was told is too close to the concrete patio for grinding, they poured gasoline on it after cutting the tree down but the concrete patio slab looks worse.

I’ve read both positive & negative comments about products to used to kill tree roots, is there ONE product that seems to work more often than not ?

August 1, 2010 at 9:18 pm
(169) Rich says:

Can you use a trencher to cut the roots around a felled tree that you left 4 ft. high and then pull it out with a backhoe or facsimile with relative ease? I heard that if you uproot a larger (12-15 in.) the roots might uproot or damage tree roots to trees close by the one you are trying to remove. What do you think?

August 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm
(170) Zaichick says:

I have a honey locust tree that was ground down, but still puts up shoots. I’ve tried roundup, stump killers (applied two or three times to the main stump), and I still get shoots. Any suggestions?

August 10, 2010 at 7:57 pm
(171) henry says:

Potassium Nitrate saltpeter for stump removal you can find it on eBay. just drill holes in the stump and add Potassium Nitrate. Be sure to read all caution and warning info. for handling

August 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm
(172) Evan Lawrence says:

THough admittedly this is not a practical solution for many situations, my father and I came upon a great method for getting rid of tree stumps after we cut down several hedge (Osage Orange) trees, and had tried unsuccessfully everything from salt peter to kerosene, etc: we cut the stump to ground level and covered the remainder with soil, sometimes planting flowers, ground cover, or other plants on it. The plantings kept it moist, and in a couple of years natural processes had rotted it well below ground level. It works, and in the meantime an attractive planter or flowers thrive!

September 6, 2010 at 5:19 pm
(173) verna says:

I’ve had a red maple cut down. I was told to cross cut the top of the stump and pour about a gallon of used motor oil over it. Does this work?

May 16, 2011 at 1:34 pm
(174) Richard says:

This should work great … if you’re aiming to contaminate your soil. Oil companies get in big expensive trouble when they do this.

September 8, 2010 at 12:17 am
(175) Patti says:

I have elm trees popping up all over my yard. I cut them down but they grow better. How can I get rid of these nasty trees.

September 19, 2010 at 11:09 am
(176) nelson owen says:

so what is the cheap and easy alternative that just requires a little patience…. ?

September 19, 2010 at 2:33 pm
(177) landscaping says:


The cheap and easy way to remove stumps is covered in the article, to which this blog post links in the title. I have repeated the link in this comment, for your convenience.

September 19, 2010 at 9:44 pm
(178) Matt the rat says:

Bought this old house with 2 huge Maple trees right next to the brick driveway and the house. Last fall (09) my Dad and I cut them down. 4 weeks ago I bought “stump remover”, 5 pounds of it. They are big stumps, I drilled 3 holes straight down then into the sides as directed. Filled the holes and added water. these stumps don’t seem to be “softening up”. Am I being too impatient?
I don’t want to use a stumpgrinder or backhoe due to the old brick driveway and the stumps are within 12 feet of the house.

October 5, 2010 at 9:45 pm
(179) spockmckoy says:

I was going to rent a stump grinder to remove the trunk remains of a silver maple I cut down a yr ago. It is over 36″ across. $90/4hr rental. I called someone and he will do the job/clean up/8″ below grade for $100. Come and do it! :>

October 14, 2010 at 4:10 pm
(180) Marc says:

I’ve done it a little different, I dig all the way around the stump cut the small roots with loppers and then cut the big roots with a sawsall with a long blade, and then hook to the truck and pull.

October 16, 2010 at 6:29 pm
(181) Susan Harris says:

I have a young willow type tree. It’s about 3 or so years old, with a trunk about 3″ in diameter. I can easily cut it down myself, but I’m not sure how to get the root part out. I’m a 60 year women and digging is not easy for me, especially since the soil is clay. Other than hiring a root service to come remove the damn thing, is there another easier and cheaper way to get rid of it?

October 25, 2010 at 11:27 pm
(182) Abigale says:

Will all the clumps of green leaves coming from the Hackberry tree that was cut down and ground. Now I have six areas that are growing what looks like bushes.
I can’t imagine this will be a tree.
Do I leave alone or nuke them?

November 30, 2010 at 7:30 am
(183) Paul says:

I had a tree that was resting right up my bedroom windows. It had become a nuisance. I took a chain saw and sawed the tree down. Then after getting the stump as close to the ground as I could I took an Auger and drilled holes down through the Stump. After drilling as many holes as possible I picked up some Kerosene. I soaked it in Kerosene. After soaking it in Kerosene within a matter of a few days I was able to take the stump out of the ground. I poured more Kerosene on it and it has not come back. I have not seen it reappear at all.

December 6, 2010 at 9:20 am
(184) Jhon says:

I got a tree sitting righ ton the other side of the side walk (stump now) removed by the City program they dubbed MEWS, they left the stump there after I told them it was eating into my Sewage line and would eventually eat into the main sewer not 2ft from it in the road.

Now I haven’t been able to use any facilities in this house for 6 months, if I want to do anything water related (involving my drainage system) I have to take it to my sisters house.

I’d like to know since the tree stump was removed by the City and is no more then 9 inches from the road and has already destroyed the side walk, is it my problem to remove or the Cities?

January 20, 2011 at 7:46 pm
(185) John says:

Cheap way to do it- Drill holes in the stump and fill with rock salt or even faster fill the holes with diesel Fuel ( diesel method plug the top of the holes) Takes about 1.5 years to get rid of a 30 inch around oak stump.

February 21, 2011 at 9:36 am
(186) Chris Wolcott says:

When I had to take out a tree (about 8-10 inches across) I topped it, leaving about 10 feet of the base remaining. I then dug around the root ball with a mattok and cut as many surface roots as I could get to. (Particularly those on the back side.) Then I hooked a come-along to the top of the ‘stump’ and to the base of another tree nearby. This gave me leverage to pull the remaining rootball right out of the ground.

February 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm
(187) Cindy says:

Once you have the stump ground, can the resulting chips and dirt be used in the yard? Can it be used for anything or is that mixture a killer of vegetation?

February 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm
(188) landscaping says:


I would compost the chips first. Otherwise, you may have a problem with nitrogen depletion.

March 3, 2011 at 1:59 pm
(189) charlie says:

Copper nails work great the more you use the faster it will start to decay. I used about 20 or 30 and I was able to pull out with my bare hands and the stump was about the size of a beachball and the extended root was about 4 feet long and under ground about 3 ft. It worked it may have taken sometime 1.5 years but it was right up against my house and I couldn’t use a stump grinder. I am also a 50 year female and I was able to do this by myself.

April 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm
(190) Fran says:

I’ve heard of a variation on the rock salt treatment. Drill holes in the stump, fill with salt, cover with heavy plastic such as a black trash bag. Tie the plastic down so it will stay on. This both keeps the salt from washing away and blocks sunlight which may help. I’m told this will rot out a stump in about a year. BTW if you can’t fine rock salt just buy ice-cream salt or the salt used in water softners.

April 11, 2011 at 7:59 pm
(191) Alex says:

All you need to remove a root is a spade, an axe, and bit of bloody minded determination. After three hours of no movement I nearly gave up, but I kept digging and chopping and eventually it started to wobble just a tiny bit. Two hours later I was stood on top of the vanquished stump looking at an empty hole where once it stood. It was a big stump, 20 inches across and way too heavy for one man to lift, but two of us wrestled it out with a few basic tools and a bit of brute force. It’s not for the feint hearted, but plenty of people said I’d never get it out, and everything I read said I needed chemical or mechanical help. So this is a word of encouragement for those who like a challenge and who want their stump out today, and for free. Good luck!

May 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm
(192) sandra says:

We have a 8 foot tall cedar hedge that is about 30 ft long that I would like to cut down and replace with a fence. The bushes are planted about 10″ apart, so there are a lot of them. If I cut them down to the ground, and did the covering with black plastic and lots of water option, any idea of how long it would take to rot them enough to be able to auger fence post holes?

May 10, 2011 at 11:59 am
(193) Daniel says:

Since moving in, my wife and I have had over forty 50-100 foot tall volunteer “junk” trees removed from the creek bank in back. I had heard about the potassium nitrate in the drilled holes solution to facilitate the rotting away process. The cheapest potassium nitrate that I could find was $3.95 a pound at a small Chinese grocery (used for meat preservation) and it contained only the standard %14 nitrogen. I then went to a milling and feed farm supply store out in the country and bought a 50 pound bag of urea fertilizer (46% nitrogen) for $18 and filled all of my quite numerous 1″ X 7″ deep holes in the stumps. The urea fertilizer is pretty chemically “hot” stuff so please use normal breathing mask and rubber glove precautions when pouring and loading up the holes. Also, urea is highly hydroscopic so seal any remaining fertilizer in the original plastic bag with lots of tape or it will be a huge unusable solid block the next time you go to use it.

May 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm
(194) Chris Grimes says:

Save your hard earned dollars when it comes to those special chemicals. You will have the same results if you drill lots of holes in it. Have a beer with your friends, and when you have to go; use the “root bathroom”. This will work just as fast as products on the market.During the Civil war, why do you think the south had the ladies save their urine? Charcoal,sulfer and saltpeter make gunpowder.They saved their urine to make saltpeter;Potassium Nitrate. Urine is also very high in Ammonia, attracting neighborhood animals! So sit back, have another beer, use the root bathroom; and see what kind of animals are attracted to it.

May 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm
(195) Gail says:

I have 15 bushes that grew too large I had cut down but now have about a 3″ stump for each one. How much would it cost to get these removed, the bushes were there for over thirty years.

June 14, 2011 at 1:10 am
(196) David says:

I have found a way to remove the stump NOW! Instead of
drilling several holes in the stump COVER the stump in holes
usingn the biggest bit you can and as deep as you can.
Be carefull as sometimes there can be rocks or other debris
embedded in the stump that could cause “kickback”, so
go slow. after you have covered the entire surface of the stump with holes use a circular saw starting @ a thin setting
and run across top of stump until it is a bowl shape, then
increase depth in small increments untill you litterally saw
it away! “Again be carefull of kickback, go slow” An old
blade is preferable, who wants to ruin a good one? Finally
use a pickaxe to break away any leftover pieces, fill the
resulting hole with soil and replant grass, flowers, ect.
STUMP GONE! This may take an hour for small trees to all
day for large ones but I guarantee it works, most circular
saws will reach a depth of 3-4″ below level, any new
regrowth will be small enough to mow down until the root
dies. I had to remove 12 silver maples this way as they
were about to invade my septic system, an expense I
couldn’t afford. 2 years and they havent returned!

June 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm
(197) Lee says:

I have a giant stump from a poplar tree that I just cut down it’s about 9 feet around does anybody happen to know the best way to get rid of it? If it is there for a year or two it’s not a big deal.It was already dead so just have to get rid of the stump

June 16, 2011 at 7:22 am
(198) Darren says:

Save your cash, a method that works!
when cutting down the tree leave as long a stump as possible

did around the base with a shovel and axe
tie a winch around the top of the tree connect to another tree or something secure.
fill the hole with water
keep tighening the winch over a couple of days be patient
eventually it will pop out.

June 21, 2011 at 10:58 am
(199) Benjamin O'Neill says:

the simplest method is drilling several 1cm wide hole and a deep as you can go pouring desiel or battery acid the plug the holes up with cork or wooden dowels and let it rot.
Benjamin O’Neill

July 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm
(200) jax says:

People of course all will say it cost so much but,, hey do your homework…Heck, buy you own stump grinder and save the money and the hassle of listening to someone tell you that it will cost hundreds of dollars. I laugh at this, for people have no idea they are getting screwed. I had pine tree stumps and checked around: it went from 100 down to 40. Then I just said, “Well guess they will be there for a while till I get a grinder and have them all to get ground.” Then they will grind the stump and wait till you show up and play the dumb and start asking “Oh did you want this cleaned up? Oh now that will cost another 100 dollars.” So I said how much to put them back and leave the property. Altercation was in full mode: leave and go. What a scam!

July 28, 2011 at 11:36 am
(201) Cary says:

I have 2 big stumps on the front corner of my home, any suggestions on removal ? i do not want termit damage when these stumps start to rot!!

August 11, 2011 at 5:46 pm
(202) Benjamin O'Neill says:

The simplest method is drilling several 1cm wide holes as deep as you can go then pour desiel or battery acid in the holes then plug the holes up with cork or wooden dowels and let it rot.
If you require a faster approach you have two options, hire a stump grinder and carry the tack out yourself or hire a professional company to carry out the work for you.

Benjamin OíNeill

August 19, 2011 at 10:51 am
(203) Dorothy says:

My father used to pour gasoline on the stump and set it on fire.

August 31, 2011 at 11:08 pm
(204) mike says:

Again, not a good idea… Gasoline is extremely flammable and will blow up in your face! Use diesel fuel, kerosene, or pile charcoal on it and burn that.

September 3, 2011 at 7:55 am
(205) BP3 says:

I have a tree down from Irene, a very large tree on its side. I cant afford to have the stump removed and I don’t think I have enough emergy to roll it on it back. How will I be able to KILL the stump while its vertical?

September 27, 2011 at 10:52 am
(206) Rick says:

You can also rent a stump grinder from most tool rental stores.

September 29, 2011 at 9:51 am
(207) Gary says:

Not after a hurricane, they will all be out for repair!

October 8, 2011 at 10:02 am
(208) John Kohler says:

I’ve removed numerous stumps the “cheap” way with a mattock,
small shovel and axe. Here’s my tip: When cutting down the tree leave about 6 feet of trunk above the ground. Then expose as much of the root system as possible by removing dirt until you can rock the remaining tree by hand. This long portion can be used as a lever. You’ll then be able to pull the remaining tree over with a come-a-long or a vehicle. the remaining roots and tap root will be exposed and can be cut via the axe. You can then pull the stump out of the hole to be cut up.

November 26, 2011 at 10:28 am
(209) bboT says:

I do that with smaller trees but the larger ones only something similar. I leave the 6-7ft lever but then I burrow my chainsaw into the base of the stump, taking care not to ruin my blade with dirt, making a star pattern around the stump. A 12″ stump maybe only 4 points but larger ones will have many. Then I use patience. The base of the stump will rot out much quicker now. May need to stripe the tall stump with the chain saw to kill the bark if the species insists on new branches, willow for instance try growing while stacked in the log pile. I have the advantage of snow and ice thawing-freezing-thawing-freezing several times in the Spring so that speeds things up too. I’ve heard of people putting old fashion drain cleaner or acid from expended car batteries (both sulfuric acid) in to speed things up as well but I’ve never tried it. I can tell you, don’t put used oil on a stump and burn that! Some of the oil will soak into the stump preserving it ;)

November 2, 2011 at 3:36 pm
(210) Gandalf da Grey says:

Ammonium Nitrate, Booster Charge, Det Cord. Removes all including windows :)

November 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm
(211) Donald Kerstetter says:

We have a 1 acre pond which has been unindated with shrub like willow trees. We cut own these bush-like trees last year and painted the small stumps with roundup but they came back thicker than ever. What can we use on these small stumps to kill the tree?
Don Kerstetter

November 26, 2011 at 10:13 am
(212) bboT says:

Get those stumps cut as close to the ground as you can and then buy or rent yourself a brushhog and hit them with that a few times a year. Or like I did, a junk riding mower I kept the deck patched up and then later turned it into a riding welder. Don’t let anything get over 8-10″s. After about five years they’ll start to give up due to not being able to produce glucose with the small amount of leaves they manage. Supposedly Roundup will work on the new sprouts but that’ll look like crap and you don’t want that runoff in your pond I’m guessing. Growing your own wild rice?

December 20, 2011 at 12:30 am
(213) Helio says:

BURN THE STUMP!!!! :-) (if you have flammable stuff around, forget this comment)

January 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm
(214) George Lawrence says:

For those wishing to stop re-sprouting of a stump, be aware that RoundUp is not very effective. The active ingredient in RoundUp is glyposate which is good for leafy weeds but is only weakly effective against woody plants such as shrubs and trees. To kill a tree cheaply and effectively you need triclopyr using the “cut stump” method. Apply undiluted triclpyr promptly to the cut face of the stump–ideally within a half hour or so of cutting. Paint or squirt onto the freshly cut surface. If you have an old stump that is re-sprouting, cut into the stump again to get at least a partial face of green wood and apply the undiluted triclopyr to the surface of the new cut. Garlon 4 has triclopyr as its main ingredient. I use a generic version called Element 4. CrossBow, Ortho Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer, and similar products that are readily found in hardware or gardening stores have diluted triclopyr (about 8%) but will work if used liberally. When clearing land, I chainsaw the tree and then wet the fresh stump with undiluted Element 4 using a squirt bottle that I carry on my belt. This takes just a few seconds, and I estimate the cost to treat a 12″ diameter stump at less than $1. The stumps do not re-sprout and the decomposition process begins with the death of the stump.

January 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm
(215) swamper says:
January 17, 2012 at 5:48 am
(216) kevin says:

cut the stump as low as possible and put a raised flower bed over it.

March 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm
(217) Tom Petroff Sr. says:

Austrailian Pine (Horse Tail) these are trees that are unwanted in Florida. My kids have them on their property along a fresh water lake. These trees grow wild, each about 60ft tall. They can grow 5 to 15 feet in one year. My wife and I visit yearly with the intention of cutting them down. To date we have cut down 8 or 9 with probably 16 more to go. The roots are everywhere. I expect to drill holes as deep as possible and ignite sulpher which has been used in the past to remove stumps, Yes, my wife works with me to cut said trees down

April 20, 2012 at 11:24 am
(218) joe says:

Burn it ,

it will only cost you like $2.50 for lighter fluid.

April 24, 2012 at 10:26 pm
(219) ken says:

Had two medium size stumps, about 20 to 24 inches in diameter. Called a pro stump remover from Clear Lake, IA to come in and give me an estimate. Was expecting to pay upwards of $150. When he showed up he said he’d take them out for $80. i asked him when he could take them out, he said “right now if you want to”. When I gathered my senses and picked up my false teeth off the gournd, I saiD “DO IT….DO IT!!!!”

April 28, 2012 at 1:53 am
(220) CB says:

Battery acid to kill persistent growth from stump. Jam a pipe in the ground around the stump, dump some in. Don’t get the acid on yoruself. Give it environmental reconsideration if near a water well or garden vegetables, etc. Repeat procedure if necessary. My Dad wiped out a silver maple clogging his sanitary sewer this way. Silvers are hard to destroy.

May 7, 2012 at 11:47 pm
(221) Tornado Betty says:

I just had a tornado tip a giant hackberry.. We are left with a FOUR FOOT DIAMETER stump. It righted itself, but that spot in the yard is a mess!!

After reading all the comments, I’m leaning :) towards getting the stump as close to the ground as possible and hiding it with other plants, possibly a creeping ground cover. (we have had several quotes for stump grinding for this, and nothing was even close to $150.00, so I’ll happily let the stump stay!!)

But I want to know if the roots are going to re-sprout? Does it happen with hackberry? I saw one hackberry question but i didn’t see an answer.

Thanks for all the advice, a lot of the suggestions had me giggling.

May 8, 2012 at 7:34 am
(222) landscaping says:

Tornado Betty,

I’ve heard of hackberry producing suckers, so it’s quite possible you’ll get some re-sprouting. You might have to keep spraying these for a while (stay ahead of them, so they don’t get out of hand).

May 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm
(223) Blake says:

I cut down a fifteen year old oak tree that had died from some foreign bug infestation an the base. I then hammered in an eight inch copper nail. The following spring it came out like mush. Cheap and effortlessly with a little patience of course.

May 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm
(224) Kyle says:

I just cut down a very large dieing willow tree, it grew overtop of the buried utility lines so i wanted to carefully take the three ft diameter stump down to ground level and put a new garden shed over it supported on blocks with raised flowerbeds to blend it in. Question being how bad might it shift after the big roots start rotting away beneath it?

June 3, 2012 at 10:52 am
(225) Crystal says:

So my tree stumps are old so there are cracks in the stump all over-what i did was saturate it with gas and then lit it on fire. It will slowly smolder on the inside then i hit with a hammer and it came out of the ground!!

July 29, 2012 at 12:21 am
(226) finrod3791 says:

An earlier commenter mentioned using a car jack for stump removal, and I think that really is a great way (no cost, minimal work). Here’s a video of how that looks in case anyone is interested.:


July 30, 2012 at 7:22 am
(227) Carolynn says:

Last year I had a Honey Locust cut down in my back yard. I also had the stump chewed up and removed. the roots of these kinds of trees span all over the yard and now I have many many shoots coming up all over the yard. can you give me any suggestions. thanks

August 7, 2012 at 3:31 am
(228) Adelaide Stump Grinders says:

Coming from the industry I have had clients tell me some of their quotes from other companies… WOW!!!

I did a stump for $370 (you may think this is steep, it was a huge stump – 220cm in diameter) the next cheapest quote was $500.

Generally we do $2 per cm but trees don’t always grow in easy access positions :)

Hope that helps give a guide for you.

August 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm
(229) Peter says:

Such an old thread.. but I found it so maybe this will help someone else… the ULTIMATE killer of any tree that grows is Ammonium Sulphamate (make sure you read this right – it is spealt correctly)

Make sure you have a fresh cut/surface in the stump and put loads of Ammonium Suplhamate on.. and cover with a plastic sheet or similar to stop the rain washing it off… this will kill the stump fast… weeks rather than months… and I took out 7 stumps all approx 4ft in diameter in 2 months.. they just broke up into bits…. nice ;-)

August 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm
(230) landscaping says:

An oldie but a goodie, Peter. Even though the original post appeared in 2003, no one should make the mistake of assuming that these comments are irrelevant. For one thing, it’s not time-sensitive material: stumps are stumps, and the need to remove them won’t change over time. Secondly, people continue to post new thoughts all the time, as you just have done. Thank you!

August 25, 2012 at 8:11 pm
(231) Debbie says:

We removed 60 very old beaten up cedar hedges from our yard. Each were cut down with a chain saw. Each stump left behind is sitting at ground level and about 8″ across the diameter. How best to remove that quantity of stumps? I am looking for a cheap method preferably.

August 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm
(232) Dave says:

Find a nice umbrella and some outdoor chairs. Drill a hole in the center of the stump the size of the post for the umbrella. If it’s a wide enough stump, you have a rustic table also!

August 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm
(233) Bill says:
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October 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm
(235) Stump Grinding says:

Stump removal really is a difficult task. Fortunately there are many methods of stump removal out there including stump grinding, natural decomposition, the dig-and-yank method, and I am sure many more creative ways. Thanks for the great article on removing stumps Nature’s way (with a little boost).

October 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm
(236) miller says:

stump grinding is about 150 and hour mininum fee around 50.these machines are very expensive and high maintance.other wise try digging it out .lol

October 16, 2012 at 9:10 am
(237) stump grinding says:

When you have a tree stump in the ground and you want to get rid of it, the most obvious place to call is your local stump grinder. They have the right machines and equipment to deal with the taste in the most efficient manner.

November 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm
(238) farmboy nova scotia says:

I cut out about an acre of alder bushes 2 years ago and still have clusters of small stumps sticking out . I cut most of them with my chainsaw low enough to get my ride-on over them . There are still some sticking up , on which I have broken my spindles a few times because they were hard to see. I went down today with my 6 pound chopping mall and hacked away at them . I found by chopping at an angle around the edges I was able to chip them away. More stubborn ones I just cracked them with the axe a few time hoping they will soon rot .

Chopping is hard work , I have more to do but progress is good . And being cheap I like that it costs me nothing.

January 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm
(239) Gene Erwin says:

When I was a kid back on the homestead we used syrup made from the cane we grew to soak the stumps and the fire ants would attack the stump and that is how we handled the tree stumps

April 24, 2013 at 10:12 am
(240) Amber says:

I grew up in a very rural area and this was something my grandfather has told us time and time again. (keep in mind, we were surrounded by farms. so this may not work for people that live in a suburban neighborhood) What you will need is some fencing, a decent drill, two or three hogs, and corn cobs. Drill several holes near the base of the trunk and close to the roots. Place the corn cobs in the holes. Put a fence to contain the hogs and let them in the containment area. He said he has seen hogs tear up a large tree stump in no time ( a few days). The most he did have to do was cut one or two roots but he said he was able to do that with a simple ax.

June 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm
(241) no chain says:

Don’t use a chain for fear of it snapping… hate for the tension to shoot a suddenly untethered chain through the back window of a pickup and into the head of the driver…

November 2, 2013 at 10:34 am
(242) Rogurtz says:

We have row of wax myrtles that are about 20′ tall. It’s comprised of 14 plants whose trunks are about 9″-12″ in diameter. We’ve been trimming them for 15 years, and now it’s time for something new. We’ve cut them down to the stumps, and are trying to figure the best way to get rid of them. Digging will take too much effort. Is there a particular brand of rot accelerant that works best for wax myrtles?

February 4, 2014 at 11:01 am
(243) Brian says:

Yeah…where’s the article for cripes sake? I read the lead in and can’t find the article that tells how to do it. Am I blind in one eye and can’t see outa the other?

February 4, 2014 at 12:57 pm
(244) landscaping says:

Brian, are you not seeing a link above with the text, “Getting rid of tree stumps”?

February 26, 2014 at 2:21 am
(245) elaine says:

On # 41′s comment about the smell from the tree that was cut down, and her dirt driveway had roots etc. I’m wondering if in trying to get rid of that tree, they might have disturbed an old septic tank, or something of that nature.

March 9, 2014 at 1:29 am
(246) linda says:

My husband is into landscapeing,
to rot stumps out, drill holes into the stumps and pour fertilizer in the holes.

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