DIY Stump Removal Tips and Tricks


A storm, natural disaster or infestation may have forced you to remove a tree from your yard. Tree stumps can become a nuisance. You can save money on stump removal services if you have the time and are willing to work hard.

There are many ways to remove stumps. The following guide will show you how to do it yourself. Make sure you are wearing the right safety gear and clothing before you start cutting wood. Safety glasses, safety gloves and earplugs are all required. If you are unsure about safety and proper operation of your chainsaw, consult a local home-improvement expert.

8 steps for DIY stump removal

Step 1: Remove as much tree stumps as possible

Reduce the stump as much as possible. A chainsaw is the only way to do this efficiently. While using a chainsaw, we recommend steel-toed boots and work gloves.

Step 2: Make holes in the stump.

From the top, drill holes about 2 to 3 inches apart. Each hole should be 8 to 10 inches in depth. You should also drill holes along the stump’s sides, trying to connect with the holes coming from the top. Use a drill bit with a diameter of 3/8 inch.

Step 3: Apply the chemicals

After drilling the holes, pour the stump-removal chemicals into the top holes. Fine granules make it easier to choose a tree stump-removal chemical. Powdered products tend to clog the top of the holes while fine granules roll down to the bottom.

Step 4: Pour water in the holes

Add water to each hole after it has been filled with a stump-removal chemical. Follow the instructions on the chemical package.

Tip: Too much water can cause the stump chemicals to become diluted, which can have a negative effect on the product’s performance. Make sure you measure the water accurately and read the instructions carefully.

Step 5: Cover the stump

Depending on the chemical used, stump removal can take several weeks. Children and animals should be protected by covering the stump at all times. It is possible to be injured if the stump is exposed without taking safety precautions. You can cover the stump with a tarp, scrap wood, stones, or bricks. Check the stump periodically to make sure the chemicals are not affecting it. Also, ensure that the cover is still on the stump.

Step 6: Soak the stump in kerosene

When the stump is more like a sponge, mulch, and easily breaks down, it’s time for you to start using kerosene. Let the stump sit for a few weeks before soaking it. You will not be able manually remove the stump in its current condition if you use kerosene.

Step 7: Light the stump

First, make sure to check with your local municipality about restrictions on open fires. Once everything is in order, you can set the stump ablaze. After a few weeks you can uncover the stump and remove all debris. Then, create a ring with bricks or rocks around it. If necessary, add some kindling to the stump and light it. In case of a spreading fire, keep a hose, a fire extinguisher, and baking soda close by.

When the stump is gone completely, the fire should be out. It can take several days for the embers of the fire to go out. Do not leave the fire unattended. Also, ensure that there aren’t any animals or people around who could be hurt.

Step 8: Fill the hole

After the fire has been extinguished, remove any roots from the stump and fill it with sod. As a precaution, pack the sod tightly and keep the area closed for a week.