How to Remove Small Tree Stumps: Step by Step Guide

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Imagine cutting down a whole tree, only to leave behind an ugly-looking stump that not only is an eyesore but a huge tripping hazard!

Sounds horrible, right?

And although getting rid of large stumps is more of a dreadful task, removing smaller stumps is relatively easy to do on a DIY basis.

With the right tools for sharpening the blades and removing a stump, the correct approach, and adequate patience, you can completely get rid of those tree stumps that are taking valuable space in your lawn.

So how can we do that? Let’s find out.

How to Remove Small Tree Stumps

While there are various methods that you can adopt to remove small tree stumps, the below-mentioned alternatives are some of the most widely used and tried-and-tested solutions that get the work done!

METHOD 1: By Using Chemicals

Using chemicals to get rid of a stump is the least cumbersome and effortless way to remove it.

That being said, it can take a couple of months for a stump to be entirely removed. This is because we are completely rotting that stump which can be time-consuming and sometimes may lead to lawn grub.

However, it is the most inexpensive method for stump and tree removal, provided that you have the essential tools like a drill and a chainsaw.

There are various stumps removing chemicals available in the market that will help you get the work done without any difficulty.

Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) is also one of the most commonly recommended solutions for this process of getting rid of a tree stump.

However, please remember that there will definitely be an environmental impact while using these chemical stump removers in your garden.

These chemical agents are likely to get absorbed into the ground in case of overuse and might even risk the surrounding plants and trees in your lawn.

Additionally, even humans can put themselves at risk if proper precautions are not taken.

Therefore if you plan to use stump removing chemicals, make sure to take adequate precautions for yourself, your loved ones, and the surrounding trees and plants in your yard.

How to remove tree stumps

METHOD 2: By Using Your Hands

 Removing tree stumps with your own hands might sound like a lot of work, but it is, again, extremely inexpensive and quicker, especially if you are dealing with smaller stumps.

If you don’t want to use chemicals or wait for it to rot, then grubbing it out and pulling the stump manually is a very feasible solution.

However, many times people who try removing the stumps manually usually do it the wrong way.

There is a process on how you should approach pulling the stumps using one’s hand.

You need to ensure that you have the right equipment for removing the tree stumps- like a chainsaw, an ax, a pick mattock, a shovel, a digging bar, etc.

You need to know where to dig and how to sever the stump’s roots so that you can easily dislodge it and ultimately remove the stump out.

If done correctly, it will take you about half a day to finish the project and eliminate that unsightly stump in your lawn.

Also, make sure to wear your safety gear like work gloves, protective goggles, and steel-toe shoes for this DIY stump removal project.

 METHOD 3: By Burning It

Another standard stump removal method is burning it out; it is less labor-intensive, less expensive, and a lot quicker than stump rotting.

However, this process is only suitable if your stump isn’t located close to your other trees and plants, which could be at the risk of getting burned as well.

Also, you need to check if burning a tree stump is legal in your area, depending on the local ordinances.

In many areas, burning tree stumps is entirely illegal, whereas many places require you to take permission from the government before attempting to do so.

So make sure to double-check before you go ahead and light a fire to that stump in your lawn.

This stump removal process can usually take up to two weeks of daily burning, which again means plenty of air pollution.

This is not only harmful to the environment, but it also poses a risk for your loved ones and the people around you.

So make sure to weigh the pros and cons before choosing a DIY stump removal solution for yourself.

Burning a stump is a good option, provided that the stump is small and rotting, making it easier and quicker to burn and clear out.

METHOD 4: By Rotting it

Finally, you can get rid of a stump in your backyard by simply letting it rot and break down in a couple of years.

Give it adequate time, and the stump will break down just enough for you to remove it with an ax.

To rot a tree stump fast, you can also bury it in organic compost or add chemicals to accelerate the process.

The stump rotting process is undoubtedly time-consuming, but it definitely gets the work done.

The entire procedure of the tree roots and fibers rotting and breaking down before it gets soft, spongy, and easier to remove will surely take its own sweet time.

That’s why many people choose to use the combination of chemicals along with the rotting to get rid of the tree stump faster.

By drilling holes in the stump and applying chemicals, you invariably speed up the decay process, which will allow it to rot quicker and ultimately get rid of it.

However, as mentioned above, certain environmental impacts of using chemicals could pose a risk for you and your nearby trees and plants.

So make sure you assess all your prospects and choose wisely your DIY stump removal solution.

Ways to get rid of tree stumps

Final Words

Now, whatever stump removal method you adopt, make sure that you check for any insects or animals lurking around or in the stumps.

From spiders to snakes and rats, many animals tend to make these stumps as their homes.

So ensure that you have given a careful lookout before you pour that chemical or burn those roots.

You can also rent out a stump grinder or hire professional services if you have too many of these stumps to remove and you don’t want to get your hands dirty.

Whatever you choose, make sure that the stump is completely removed because we wouldn’t want undesirable ugly tree stumps lingering in your beautiful yard! 

About Tom Reynolds

My name is Tom Reynolds, and I like lawn mowing. When I was a kid, I used to help my dad in cutting grass using a reel mower, now, I have my own 6 different lawn mowers. Keeping my lawn healthy and beautiful gives me satisfaction, and I still enjoy working in my lawn.