Having a tree stump around your house can make the environment look unattractive. It can also cause hazards for your house as the root can cause some damage to it. It can even break through your sewage.

Sometimes, it may grow back even when it is not wanted in that position. If a stump has sprouted, you may want to cut off the sprouts and transplant them elsewhere. After that, you can go ahead to take out the stump. A tree stump will not be removed or killed if you do nothing about it. There are several methods for killing or removing a dead tree stump.

Burning the Stump

After the stump has decayed, you can burn it off to remove it. To do this, you need to drill many holes into the dead stump. Make these holes very deep. Let them be about 1 inch wide and 8 inches deep. Drilling deep holes will let the roots burn off too. This will make it much easy to remove.

Put kerosene fuel into the holes and let them saturate the stump. This will make the heat of the fire penetrate the stump well. You can also put burning coals on the stump and allow it to burn off gradually.

This will prevent other plants around the stump from getting burnt too. Make sure that there are no other things that can get affected by fire around the stump. Also ensure that when you are burning the stump, you use a lot of control measures.

After drilling and adding fuel to the stump, you can get small sticks and place them on them. Put as many sticks or dry wood on the stump so that it can burn for a long time. Then you can light a fire on the stump.

You need to hang around as the stump burns so that the fire can be controlled. The stump can take so many hours to burn. After the stump has burnt into the ground, you can take out the ash and cover the hole with sand or debris.

Using Rock Salt or Epsom Salt

Rock salt can be used to easily and cheaply get rid of a tree stump. Epsom salt does not kill the stump immediately. You will have to give it a long time, say, some months, as it will die gradually.

The Epsom salt has to be of 100 percent grade with no other ingredients included. If there are other valuable plants or crops around the tree stump, they may get affected by the salt. So you have to avoid them. If the tree stump still remains after using the salt, you can spray it with glyphosate or triclopry. This is sure to kill the tree stump. But you have to avoid getting the spray onto other plants around the tree so that they don’t get affected also.

Making Holes in the Stump

With your drill, you can make holes across the tree stump so that when you apply the chemical sprays, they will penetrate deeply into the stump. Make each hole about ½ to 1 inch wide and 8-12 inches deep.

If you have no drill to make deep holes, you can just use your axe to make cuts across the stump. These cuts will ensure that the salt solution or chemical spray reaches deeply into the stump. If you can see the roots spread around, also make drills or cuts on them before applying the solution. A hard tree can, however, be difficult to hack using an axe.

Fill up the Holes

Pour some salt into the holes, then seal them using wax. The salt does not have to fill the holes completely. Even the holes filled at the roots should have some salt in them. You can use candles to hold in the salt and prevent them from scattering.

Cover the Stump

You can use a tarpaulin or wide polythene bag to cover the top of the stump. If it is not exposed to sunlight and rain, it will die off early. But it will take up to six weeks or more for this effect to be seen.

Since it is not getting any nourishment, it will begin to come apart on its own. You can keep checking it to see how it is degenerating gradually. If any cracks appear in the stump, you can put some Epsom salt in them, or you drill holes around the cracks before putting in the salt. This will make the stump degenerate faster.

Chopping off the Stump

Another method of removing the stump is by using a stump grinder. This grinder can drill into the stump and chop it into bits with its rotary cutter. This method can be used to take care of stubborn stumps.

When using this method, you need to wear protective equipment and a mask as sawdust, and other wood chips will be flying around. A stump grinder can feel a bit heavy to handle; so, you may wish to get someone to assist you with it.

You can chop off the stumps as close to the ground level as possible. As you do this, you need to make sure that you are well protected. A stump grinder can be a dangerous machine, so you have to handle it very carefully. Otherwise, it may cause you injuries.

Ensure that there are no children around you when you use the grinder to prevent accidents. Before you use it, make sure that you read the manufacturer’s instructions.

After chipping off the stumps, you need to rake all the chippings and dispose of them properly. Otherwise, they may cause injuries to children and even adults. You should also fill up the hoe made from the chippings to prevent accidents.

Note that you can use glyphosate herbicides to kill a stump. But, you have to do it as soon as the tree is cut down before the top dries out. Then you spray the herbicide on the stump, especially on the outer rings.


After a tree is chopped down, the stump can become unattractive and even cause accidents in the environment. It can also begin to grow back at that spot it is not desired. So, you may want to take out the tree stump completely. There are several ways that you can do this. You can kill it using Epsom or rock salt and allow it to rot away gradually.

You can also use herbicide chemicals on it. Or you burn it deeply into its roots. You can look up the most suitable method for you to get rid of it but make sure that you are careful so that there will be no accidents resulting from getting rid of it.