While tree stumps can sometimes be used to enhance the look of your property, they are more often in the way and can become dangerous tripping hazards.
Grinding out tree stumps requires a costly stump grinder, and burning a stump may be against the law or require a burn permit, depending on where you live. While fungi and other organisms will break down the stump over time, if you want it removed quickly your best bet may be to dig it out yourself. Digging out a stump is physically demanding but ensures that the stump is completely gone.
“Before you get started, you may want to hire Global Outdoor Services to remove the stump or tree for you, because it is seriously hard work.”
1 – Cut It
Cut the stump, if necessary, so a portion of it remains above ground. If you were trying to rot the stump out or use chemical stump removers, you would cut it close to the ground. But you will get better results with manual stump removal if you leave part of the stump above the ground to give yourself more leverage.
2 – Trench It
Dig a trench around the stump approximately 2 to 2 1/2 feet away. The trench should be approximately 1 foot wide and 2 feet deep. Large stumps may require a trench that is wider or deeper to ensure that you can get underneath the roots to remove it.
3 – Cut It Again
Cut through any roots that you encounter while digging the trench around the stump. Use either the edge of the shovel or a hatchet. Pour small amounts of water into the trench or dig around with a hand trowel to better expose the roots, if necessary.
4 – Pry It
Insert a landscaping bar or other pry bar into the trench, working the end of it under the roots of the stump. Lift the bar to place pressure on the stump from underneath, beginning the process of pulling its roots free from the ground below.
5 – Pry It Some More
Work your way around the stump, inserting the landscaping bar under the roots and lifting. The roots will gradually loosen, allowing the stump to rock and move as you attempt to pry it free. Cut stubborn roots with a hatchet or saw to speed up the process.
6 – Pull It Up
Pull the stump out of the hole once you’ve successfully pried it free. Chop, grind or otherwise cut up the stump as necessary to make disposal easier.
7 – Cut Some More
Cut any large roots remaining in the hole as deep down as possible. This helps to ensure that the roots will die and also prevents them from getting in the way of new plants that you place where the stump used to be.
8 – Fill It
Fill in the hole left by the stump with soil. Sow grass seed, plant a new tree, create a flower bed or otherwise place new plants in the area to remove the last traces of the stump.