tree stumps in garden

A tree stump is the remaining part of a tree that is left after the tree has been cut down. Tree stumps can be unsightly and may interfere with landscaping or other activities in a yard. If you want to remove a tree stump, there are several methods you can use to kill it.

Methods for Killing Tree Stumps

Chemical Method

Chemicals can be used as one method of killing a tree stump. There are a number of items on the market made expressly to kill tree stumps. The chemicals in these products, including potassium nitrate or glyphosate, act to destroy the stump by obstructing the absorption of water and nutrients.

Use this technique by applying the chemical to the stump in accordance with the suggested dosage, as per the directions on the product package. Be patient as it could take weeks or even months for the chemical to completely kill the stump.

Mechanical Method

tree stump grinder used by Burbank Tree Pros

Another way to kill a tree stump is by physically removing it. This can be done by digging the stump out using a shovel or other gardening tools, or by grinding it down using a stump grinder.

The first step in the digging technique is to create a trench all the way around the stump, being careful not to disturb any subterranean services. After that, dislodge the roots by digging beneath the stump with a shovel or other tool. You can remove the stump out of the ground with a pry bar once the roots are freed.

To use a stump grinder, you will need to rent or purchase a machine specifically designed for grinding stumps or to hire a professional to do stump removal and stump grinding for you. These machines have blades that spin at high speeds, allowing them to grind the stump down to a few inches below the surface of the ground.

Biological Method

Using decomposers, such as fungi or bacteria, to break down the wood of the stump and kill it is a third technique to get rid of a tree stump. The most environmentally friendly approach is typically thought to be this one.

You must buy a product with live decomposers if you want to apply this technique. For application, adhere to the directions on the product label. Be patient as it can take the decomposers several weeks or even months to completely decomposition the stump.


The chemical method, the mechanical method, and the biological method are just a few of the ways you can get rid of a tree stump. Every technique has advantages and disadvantages, and the ideal choice will depend on your particular circumstances.

When choosing a method for killing a tree stump, it is important to consider factors such as the size and location of the stump, as well as your personal preferences and environmental concerns.

Methods to Avoid

While there are several effective methods for killing a tree stump, there are also some methods that should be avoided due to their hazard. These include:

Overall, it is best to use one of the safer and more effective methods for killing a tree stump, such as the chemical method or the mechanical method, rather than taking unnecessary risks.

Check out our other blog posts for more useful tree care tips and information.