How to Remove a Tree Stump and Roots (Steps)

If you have a garden with trees, you understand how tricky and expensive removing a tree from your yard can be. But do you know how to remove a tree stump and roots?

Even after cutting down a tree and removing it safely, you’re still left with a constant reminder: a stubborn tree stump.

Mostly, when it has a deep root system, it continues to release leafy shoots, and the stump may continue to grow instead of decomposing.

If there is a tree stump you’ve been itching to remove, there are some techniques you can use to get rid of it.

Reasons to Remove a Tree Stump

After cutting down the tree, it’s necessary to get rid of the irritating stump. Here’s why you should remove stumps from your yard:

  • They pose a hazard– While most stumps are visible, others, especially tiny ones, maybe camouflaged in your yard and can be a tripping hazard. Nothing hurts more than hitting your toe on a protruding tree stump.
  • They take up space– If like a clear and wide yard, stumps will get in the way and make it hard to maintain your landscape.
  • They are unsightly– No wants to look around and see old tree stumps all over the yard. They even give a worse look when other plants and weeds start growing on them or when they start producing new shoots.

How to Remove a Tree Stump and Roots

Here are some common solutions that will help you get rid of the annoying tree stumps.

Digging it Out

Pay attention if you want to know how to remove a tree stump without a grinder…

If your tree stump isn’t too big, the easiest method of stump removal is digging the whole thing out. If the roots are not too deep, you will handle the problem using some basic tools and plenty of elbow grease.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dig out a stump.

  • Dig around the area surrounding the tree stump. The aim is to expose the root system as deep as you can, mostly the large roots.
  • Break the roots into smaller pieces using a root saw which will give you full control when cutting.
  • After loosening the roots, pull them out of the soil. This will loosen the stump, which allows you to use a shovel to remove it.

Using a Stump Grinder

If your stump is deep-rooted, you may require a stump grinder. This powerful machine is specially designed for grinding tree stumps down to the roots.  This makes it easier to remove even the most stubborn tree stumps. Although these machines are available for personal rental, most people hire professionals to operate the stump grinder. Whether you are operating the machine or hiring a professional, a stump grinder is an effective method of stump removal.

When working with a heavy machine, safety should be a top priority, and a stump grinder is no exception. Before you start working, clear any debris or rocks in your working area. Also, wear proper ear and eye gear and have a sturdy pair of boots and gloves.

With all safety measures in place, you can start working on your stump. Ensure that you grind not only the visible stump but also the root system surrounding the stump. If you cover a wide circumference, you’ll be able to remove the stump debris easily.

Burn the Tree Stump

If your stump is completely dried up, burning will be a great solution. Although this method may be time-consuming than digging and doesn’t reach the deep roots, it may offer better results with less physical work. Before lighting the stump, you should consult your local fire department for more information on the available regulations. Remove any flammable object around the stump.

Additionally, keep a connected water hose nearby to help extinguish any flames that may spread outside the burning stump radius. Check the fire the entire time it’s burning, which may take a day or more, depending on the type of wood, size, weather conditions, moisture content, and other variables.

Using Epsom Salt Kill a Trump Stump and Roots

Epsom salt contains sulfur and magnesium. Although these are crucial nutrients needed for plants’ survival, they can eliminate weeds and plants when used in excess. When poured on a tree stump, it dries out the root system, preventing it from absorbing nutrients and moisture. It also dries the tree stump itself, leading to rotting and breaking down, making it easy to remove manually.

How to Remove a Tree Stump with Epsom Salt (Steps)

  • Using a one-inch drill bit, drill holes into the tree stump and leave spaces between each hole. Drill holes with a minimum depth of 8-inches.
  • Pour Epsom salt into the holes and fill them completely.
  • Add water directly to the holes to dissolve the salt.
  • During a rainy season, cover the stump with a tarp to prevent rainwater from filling the holes.
  • Repeat this process after three weeks until the stump is dead. Once dead, it will decompose naturally, which helps you to dig the rotten stump with ease.
  • Fill the hole with fresh soil and create a new flower bed or lawn seed.
How to Remove a Tree Stump and Roots


If left to rot naturally, a tree stump can take years to decompose. In the meantime, it can cause several problems, from trip hazards to unsightly suckering and more.

To solve this problem, the above steps on how to remove a tree stump and roots will offer fast and easy solutions.