If you’ve been busy cutting down trees, you might have a yard of tree stumps that need to be removed. We’re going to share some different options for the best way to remove a small tree stump from your yard.

Some of these stump remover methods are easier than others, but all of them will require some time and patience on your part. They can also be dangerous, so be sure to use caution when trying any of them. 

5 Different Methods to Remove a Tree Stump 

There are a few different methods you can try yourself to remove a small tree stump:

  • Drilling
  • Burning
  • Potassium Nitrate or Epsom Salts
  • Chemical Removal Products 
  • Digging 

tree stumpThese manual tree stump removal techniques work best on stumps that have been cut for a while – usually a year or more. They won’t work as well on freshly cut tree trunks.

If you don’t feel confident or if you need to remove a large tree stump, we recommend hiring a professional. Our tree removal experts have all the proper equipment and expertise necessary to remove a tree stump with no hassle and no mess.

Drilling Method

This method to remove your tree stump will require you to use a power drill to drill large holes into the top and sides of the tree trunk. After you drill the holes, follow the directions on the chemicals you’re using. Put the chemicals into the holes you’ve drilled and wait. 

Burning Method

Using this method when removing tree stumps can be a dangerous one and also takes some time. You’ll still drill holes into the stump, but instead of using chemicals, you’re going to pour kerosene down the holes as the stump remover. Do not use gasoline to do this. Once the kerosene is in the holes, wait for the stump to absorb all of the liquid. After a few weeks when the kerosene has absorbed into the stump, drop a match in the holes. The entire stump is going to smolder and this can take several days. Keep your hose nearby in case the fire spreads beyond the stump. It’s best to check with your local fire department before you start burning anything to make sure there are no burn bans or anything in place.

Potassium Nitrate or Epsom Salt Method

Start out by using a chainsaw to cut the tree trunk down as close to the ground as possible. Then drill holes into the top of the stump. Use your hose or a bucket to fill the holes and areas around the tree with water. Add the potassium nitrate or epsom salt to the holes. 

Once the tree stump and ground are saturated, cover the area with a plastic tarp. This will help keep the area and tree stump moist which will help to break down the stump faster. Check on the tree stump periodically to see if you need to add more water, potassium nitrate, or epsom salt.

Epsom salts can speed the decay process up by 6-12 months. This is because epsom salts have magnesium and sulfur. Magnesium and sulfur can be beneficial for plants, but when used in high quantities, it pulls all the moisture out of your tree.

This is a great, more natural method than using a tree stump removal product. It still helps move the rotting process along, but some products can be harmful to your yard. If you do decide to purchase a stump removal product when trying to remove a stump manually, keep an eye out for harmful chemicals. You can definitely use these to remove tree stumps, but just make sure to avoid getting it on your other plants.

Tree Stump Removal Products Method 

You can purchase products that use chemicals to kick the decay process into high gear. Normally, it takes three to seven years for a tree stump to rot. However, many of these chemical stump remover products will help make a tree stump rot within about four weeks. You’ll still need some patience, but it’s definitely much faster.

First, you’ll want to use a chainsaw to cut the stump down to as low to ground level as you possibly can when you’re removing a tree stump. Make sure you’re wearing plenty of safety gear, including goggles, gloves and protective clothing! 

Next, you’ll drill holes into the top of the tree stump. This is where you can put the chemicals. 

Using chemicals to remove the small tree trunks and stumps in your yard is a popular option. It’s best to use this method in an area where children and animals won’t have access to be sure they don’t come in contact with the chemicals. 

Digging Up the Stump Method

This method won’t take weeks to work, but it can take hours and is labor intensive. Start by digging a circle around the remaining tree stump to expose roots of the tree you removed.  Use a digging bar and an axe to cut the stump from the tree roots in the ground. Work your way around the stump, cutting as many roots as possible – especially focusing on the major roots. Continue digging and cutting until you’re able to remove the stump from the ground.

Stump Grinding for Small Tree Stumps

When you’re trying to remove just one small tree stump, renting a stump grinder might not be your best choice. But if you’ve got multiple tree stumps to remove, grinding the tree stumps will probably be the quickest way to get rid of them. 

tree cutting

Stump grinding works well on both small and large tree stumps. It’s a popular way to remove an unsightly stump from your yard and can be one of the fastest ways to remove stumps.A stump grinder is similar to a saw that you use to grind up the tree stump that’s still sticking out of the ground. It can be a loud and messy but effective way to remove your small tree stump. 

Contact your local home improvement store to look into the cost and options for renting a stump grinder. You may also need to rent a truck to get the grinder home and back to the store if you don’t have a vehicle that can transport it.

Start out by clearing out the area around the stump before you start grinding. Use your chainsaw to remove as much of the trunk as possible that’s above the ground. Move your stump grinder so the grinder wheel is directly over the stump. Turn the grinder on and continue to grind the stump down until it’s three to four inches below ground if possible. 

Fill the hole back in with the sawdust from grinding the tree stump. You can also add additional dirt to help cover the tree stump and fill the hole. 

When Should I Call a Professional for Help? 

If you’re looking to get rid of your small tree stumps quickly and grinding the stumps yourself isn’t an option, it’s time to call a tree removal specialist to remove the stumps for you. 

A professional will also be able to remove the stumps in your yard as carefully as possible. Our team of tree experts will use our years of experience to leave your landscaping intact as much as possible. 

Have an idea of the size of the stumps you’re trying to remove. You don’t need to go measure the stumps in your yard, but knowing if they’re 6 inches in diameter or 24 inches in diameter will be helpful when getting quotes. 

Knowing approximately how many stumps you’re wanting to remove will also be helpful information. The price may vary depending on how many pesky stumps you’ve got to remove. 

Benefits of Hiring a Professional to Remove a Tree Stump

You can save both time and money when working with a professional to remove a tree stump. Our crew uses top-of-the-line equipment, so you don’t have to worry about renting or buying expensive stump grinders. 

Our team can remove both small and large stumps from your property, plus make sure that everything is properly disposed of so you don’t have to worry about rotting stumps attracting pests to your home.  Our team also cleans up any wood chips left behind so your garden looks as good as new!

David Tree Service can help you remove all of those pesky stumps in your yard. We can also help with the tree removal. Contact us today for a free estimate on your project. 

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