How to Remove Tree Stumps and Roots Safely and Easily

Stand next to a tree with your legs wide open, hold the tree with both hands and pull until the roots come out. Sounds Easy, right? No, it’s not, what might happen is, your back might give out oh and you are not superman meaning this option will only work if the plant doesn’t have deep roots.

There are a number of ways to eliminate stumps from the landscape. If you don’t have the energy to dig out the roots what you can do is cut the stump level low so as to allow mowers to drive over. You can also decide to leave the stump as is and use it as a table or seat i.e. stump seat or stump table.

Here is the truth, removing a stump from the ground is hard work, it is also dangerous. It should be done by someone who knows what he or she is doing in which case you may have to give that person money. But you want to avoid that right?

Why not leave it as is?

You could do that but remember that someone might trip over the stump and sue you; also stumps are an excellent food source for pests and diseases when left untreated.  If the stump is out of the way, there is no harm in leaving it there. On the other hand, if it is an eyesore, tripping hazard or if it generally causes butthurt. This is what you should do:

Buy a hoe

Get your mind out of the gutter I am talking about a long hand-held gardening tool with a thin metal blade that is used to dig the earth. This is hard work depending on how deep the roots are. You can remove roots while digging around the stump using a level bar, chain or hand winch.

For those of you who don’t have the energy to do this manually you can use:

  • Backhoe
  • Loader
  • Excavator

The problem with this option is you will destroy an established landscape. That’s because machines require good access to the site, the amount of damage done to your yard may be more than you intended. So weigh your options or simply tell your kids to do it, a little manual labor never hurt anyone, haha, don’t do that.

Generally, you have eight options the best one being hiring expert removers to do the job.

  • Eat a sandwich and do nothing
  • Mechanically push or pull: this involves soaking the soil with lots of water and using grapple or chains to pull out the stump.
  • Use chippers or grinders: you can use self-propelled machines, stump grinders, or tow behind machines etc.
  • Accelerate ecological decay: enrich the soils around the stump.
  • Water and air excavation
  • Use soil saws or trenching
  • Burning: set it on fire using a petroleum-based accelerant
  • Accelerate chemical degradation: infuse the stump with potassium nitrate.