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How to Kill a Tree Stump With Some Lesser-known But Able Methods

How to Kill a Tree Stump
Did you know that salt can be used for killing a tree stump? There are many such lesser known methods to get rid of tree stumps.
Ujwal Deshmukh
Last Updated: Jan 29, 2018
Killing a tree stump may sometimes prove much more difficult than cutting the tree itself. Those stumps with a live root system might sprout and grow again. You may get frustrated, every time you see the vigor in which they spring back to life, despite your consistent efforts to remove the sprouts. There are various methods to get rid of tree stumps. You may either resort to natural methods or else use chemicals.
Apply Salt
apply salt on the tree stump
This is one of the inexpensive ways to kill a tree stump. Cut the tree trunk close to the ground and apply a generous amount of rock salt or Epsom salt over the stump. Cover with dirt and leave the stump to rot. Another method is to drill holes (must have at least ten inches depth) all over the stump and fill them with rock salt. Cover the holes with duct tape. Though it is an easy and natural method, it may take a few months to kill the tree stump.
Burn It Up
burn up the tree stump
Fire is one of the best solutions for killing a tree stump. All you have to do is to cut it down to the ground level and set on fire. You may add inflammable items such as rubber and dry wood to the fire, till the stump is completely burnt. You may also drill holes in the stump and fill them with diesel or kerosene, before setting it on fire. If a fire permit is required in your locality, make sure that you get it beforehand.
Block Sunlight
block sunlight to the tree stump
It is a common fact that trees need sunlight for proper growth. So if you want to curb their growth, deprive them of sunlight. This can be done with a plastic bucket or metal sheet that can be used to cover the tree stump. Even a dark plastic garbage bag will do. Ensure that the cover stays in place for some time, so that the stump stops growing and eventually die.
Use Fertilizer
This may sound absurd, as fertilizers are usually used to accelerate the growth of trees. But here, fertilizer is used in a different way. You have to drill holes all over the tree stump and stuff them with a high nitrogen fertilizer. The fungi in the stump feed on the nitrogen, if the stump remains moist. This would result in decomposition of the wood. If you wish to see the stump decaying at a faster rate, then building a compost pile (over it) would serve the purpose well.
Hollow it Out
hollow out the tree stump
This method can be applied only when you are not too concerned about the tree stump and are not in a hurry to kill it. This method involves hollowing of stumps and stuffing them with potting soil. These holes can then be used as planters. The stump will remain alive for some years only till the time the plants are watered and fertilized. Further, absence of water and fertilizers would lead to the decomposition of the stump.
Dig it Out
dig out the tree stump
If the stump is relatively smaller with a shallow root system, it is always better to remove it in whole. Dig the soil around the stump. Once you reach a depth of around twenty inches, try to shake the stump (in between) so that the soil around the roots loosens up. Cut and remove the large roots, before digging out the stump.
Chemical Stump Remover
A solution of caustic soda would be helpful to kill a tree stump. The procedure is to prepare a solution of one part caustic soda and two parts water. The next step is to pour the solution on the tree stump. You have to repeat this 3 to 4 times so as to kill the tree stump. You may also use chemical tree stump removers that are available in the market. In that case, strictly follow the instructions of the manufacturer.
Professional Way - Stump Grinding
You can call up a person who has a stump grinder. These tree stump grinders will grind the tree stump into saw dust. The hole thus formed needs to be filled in with some soil. The saw dust can be used as mulch for agricultural and gardening purposes.
These are the best methods that can be used in killing a tree stump. After going through all of them, you just need to choose the appropriate method; the one that suits your purpose, surrounding, time and budget the best.