Clayton Blog

Do it Yourself Tree Stump Removal Tips

As you begin making your list of outdoor chores for this spring, you may find removing a tree stump on your list. There are a few different reasons why you might need to remove a pesky stump in your yard.


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Reasons to Remove a Tree Stump:

  • You’re having a tree cut down for the placement of your manufactured or modular home.
  • A tree needed to come down for safety reasons.
  • A tree was dying, or you just wanted it out of your yard.


No matter the reason you removed a tree from your yard, you’re likely left with a decaying stump to deal with. Of course, you can opt to hire a professional to remove it but hiring a professional can be costly.


So, if you’re trying to decide whether to go that route or if that’s not even an option for you and you’re going to do it yourself, then these tips are exactly what you need!



Should I remove this tree stump?

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To decide if you should remove an unwanted tree stump in your yard, consider some of the following:


  • First and foremost, a stump is not very appealing to look at, so it could have a negative effect on your landscape.
  • Tree stumps can be a pain to have to work around when landscaping or mowing and can take up yard space.
  • They often attract pests and unwanted insects.
  • If you have children, a tree stump could be another obstacle or danger that you have to worry about.
  • If you do decide to remove the tree stump, some of your options could be costly or take an extended amount of time. 



Options for removing an unwanted tree stump:

You have a couple different methods that you can choose from if you're ready to get rid of that stump.


  • Rent/buy a stump grinder from your local home improvement store.
  • Dig the stump out with a shovel.
  • Drill a few holes in the stump and fill those holes with chemicals and water.
  • Burn the stump.



Pro and cons of each option:

If you're ready to remove that pesky leftover stump and you're definitely going to do it yourself, make sure you consider the pros and cons of each option!


  • Renting or buying a stump grinder could be expensive. However, if you’re able to do either of these, it could the smart and convenient choice for you because a stump grinder is one of the quicker options!


  • Pulling out a shovel and digging out a stump seems fairly easy, but it could lead to a lot more work than you expected. If the tree was small, this might be the smart option, but keep in mind that you’ll also have to dig out the roots too.


  • By pouring chemical tree rot solution, which is commonly made of potassium nitrate, into the stump, the stump will slowly start to become squishy enough  to break off chunks of it. To do this, you’ll drill some holes in the tree stump, pour down the chemical solution, fill the holes with water and then wait for the tree stump to rot and soften. This process can take a couple of weeks.


  • Burning a stump can be simple, but like the chemical method, it can take some time. You must let fuel completely soak the stump and even after you start burning it, it may burn with embers for days, so you must keep an eye on it as a safety precaution. Make sure that burning your tree stump doesn’t violate any regulations in your area.


Child Enjoying Open Yard Landscape


If you’ve compared these options and none of them seem appealing to you, then try planting something inside the stump to hide the fact that it is a tree stump. By doing this, you can personalize your landscaping and over time, the tree stump will still rot and could eventually be removed.


Hopefully these tips are helpful as you start doing your yard work this spring. For more homeownership advice, check out our seasonal home maintenance tips!


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