This article shows you how to remove a tree stump without breaking your back. This method is safe and effective, and doesn't require a lot of manual labor. But you have to be patient. The process can take several weeks.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine
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How to remove a tree stump
Drill holes in the stump
Cut off as much of the top of the stump as possible. Using a 1-in. spade bit with a spade bit extension, drill 1-in. holes around the perimeter of the stump about 12 in. deep and 3 to 4 in. back from the edge. Drill more holes 3 to 4 in. down from the rim at a 45-degree angle to connect with the other holes. They’ll provide vent holes for burning or help the rotting process.
You can remove a stump by renting a power stump grinder (learn how to use a stump grinder here), which is an option for what kills trees quickly. But another way is to buy a can of tree stump removal (available at most garden or home centers). Most tree stump killer brands are made of powdered potassium nitrate, which speeds up the rotting process. You simply pour the granules into drilled holes and fill the holes with water. The stump will become pretty spongy after four to six weeks. Keep kids and pets away. Then you can break out the rotten wood with an ax.
Watch this video tutorial to learn how to remove a tree stump the best way:
For a completely labor-free removal, the manufacturers of tree stump removal suggest burning out what’s left of the stump by pouring kerosene or fuel oil (never gasoline) into the holes. Wait until the liquid completely penetrates the wood (this could take a few weeks). Then drop a match into the holes to start the burning process. The stump removal will smolder for days, eventually leaving a charcoal-filled hole. It’s dangerous having a giant, smoldering ember in your yard, so some precautions are in order. Envelop the stump in chicken wire, remove all leaves from the vicinity before ignition and keep an eye on it!
We suggest the ax method for finishing the job. Tree stump removal works only on seasoned (older) stumps that have been dead for a year or so, not freshly cut tree stumps.
Next, watch a video tutorial for how to cut down a tree yourself safely:
Required Tools for this Tree Stump Removal Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start – you’ll save time and frustration.
12 in. bit extension
You can use a drill/driver instead of a corded drill. A 1 in. spade bit is recommended, but you can use a slightly larger or smaller one, if that’s all you have
Required Materials for this Tree Stump Removal Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
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