How To Remove A Tree Stump Painlessly

Looking to tackle tree stump removal? Follow this step-by-step strategy to simplify the process and make it painless.


In this guide, we’ll demonstrate how to remove a tree stump without exerting excessive physical effort. This safe and effective method minimizes manual labor but requires patience, as the process may span several weeks.

Tools Required

  • 12 in. bit extension
  • Ax
  • Corded drill
  • Extension cord
  • Safety glasses
  • Stump remover (optional)

Materials Required

  • Stump remover chemicals
  • Water

Below are four steps that can help you remove tree stump

STEP 1 – Drill Holes in the Stump

First, use your chainsaw to cut off as much of the top of the stump as possible. Next, equip a 1-inch spade bit with a spade bit extension and drill evenly spaced holes approximately every 6 to 8 inches around the perimeter of the stump.

Ensure these holes are about 12 inches deep and positioned three to four inches back from the edge. Then, drill additional holes three to four inches down from the rim at a 45-degree angle to intersect with the first holes.

Ensure that the angle of the lower intersecting holes is above horizontal and they meet the vertical holes at a point well above 12 inches. This prevents the chemicals you’ll pour in from dribbling out onto the ground.

Pro tip: The bottom angled holes will serve as vents for burning or aid in the rotting process.

STEP 2 – Pour Tree Stump Removal Chemicals into the Holes

Pour 3 to 4 ounces of tree stump removal chemicals into each of the holes in granule form, then fill the holes with water to allow the chemicals to soak in.

Wait 4 to 6 weeks for the chemicals to accelerate the rotting process in the stump. You’ll notice this has occurred when the stump becomes soft and spongey.

Pro tip: Alternatively, you could experiment with a more natural method using epsom salt for stump removal.

Break apart the softened wood using a sharpened felling ax.

STEP 3 – Try a Power Stump Grinder

Consider renting a power stump grinder for a faster stump removal process.

STEP 4 – Get Rid Of The Tree Roots

For a labor-free removal, certain manufacturers of tree stump removal chemicals recommend burning out the remaining stump by pouring kerosene or fuel oil (never gasoline) into the holes. Allow the liquid to fully penetrate the wood, which may take a few weeks. Then, ignite the stump by dropping a match into the holes.

The stump will smolder for several days, eventually resulting in a hole filled with charcoal. It’s crucial to take precautions when dealing with a large, smoldering ember in your yard. Enclose the stump in chicken wire, remove any nearby leaves before ignition, and monitor the area closely. If the stump is within reach of a garden hose, stand by to spray it down if the fire begins to spread.

For added safety, finish the job with an ax. Keep in mind that manual tree stump removal is only effective for seasoned (older) stumps that have been dead for approximately a year, not freshly cut ones.

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