Firstly, a stump grinder, a specialized power tool, can efficiently grind down stumps below ground level, ensuring complete removal. Another option is using a chainsaw with precise techniques, cutting from various angles to eliminate protruding wood. For smaller stumps, employing an axe or hatchet can be effective, especially on softer wood, by striking the stump’s sides to chip it away. Renting a stump cutter, which uses a rotating cutting disc to sever roots and grind the stump, is a convenient DIY approach.
Removing a tree stump using a chainsaw means digging around the stump, and cutting it as low as possible.
It is followed by cutting the slices as criss-cross into the stump below ground level to 4-6 inches.
Remember, this may break or damage the chain, so do a careful job.
Remember, you cannot remove the stump completely.
How to take out a tree stump
Taking out a tree stump from the root or the ground level is impossible. It is simple to dig up a tree stump.
All you need is a little perseverance and patience.
Removing stumps of trees using a hand is possible. However, there is the need to dig bit by bit, cut, and bring to levering.
It means to loosen the grip of the stump from the ground and take it out.
The stump removing process is the same and is easy to remove a tiny tree stump.
On the other hand, removing larger tree stumps requires using the same techniques but other tools.
A spade, loppers to cut thick branches, hand shears, or petrol hedge trimmer to cut adjacent bushes around the tree base.
Spade to dig soil around the roots and to cut small roots, Axe to cut roots, Pick-axe to break any stony soil around the roots and to lever the stump up, Bow saw to cut roots, and Steel bar for levering.
Steps to Removing a Tree Stump
- Clearing the adjacent bushes, briers, and the area so that there is enough room to maneuver and work near the tree stump.
- Remove the top and leave enough trunk space to act as leverage.
- Use a spade to slice off any ivy or sod on the ground.
- Dig around the trunk to have a view of the roots. If it is stony or hard-caked, use a pickaxe, it will be useful to break.
- Remove soil on finding a root and it becomes easier to cut using a bow saw.
- Cut with a bow saw the root or use an axe.
The root will lose some grip at this stage, and rocking it a little will identify the place it holds.
It will expose roots to cut and rocking the trunk after cutting each root will help smaller stumps to snap the roots.
Safety precautions in removing a stump
- Wear PPE ( personal protective equipment) while operating hedge trimmers such as gloves, ear muffs, and protective glasses. Do not forget to wear safety footwear keeping your soles and toes safe from injury.
- Swing your axe always downwards, or ensure to move it perpendicular to your body, so that it does not strike you in the ankles or legs.
- Safety glasses to safeguard your eyes from stones, soil, or wood fragments hurting your face or eyes as you chop, snap roots, or lever the ground.
Best ways to cut a stump close to the ground
Avoid trying to cut flush using a chainsaw. It may blunt it easily or destroy the chain by using soil grit and hitting off stones.
Method 1 – Use a stump grinder
Stump grinders are power tools specifically designed to remove tree stumps by grinding them down below ground level. This method allows you to remove the entire stump easily and efficiently.
They are large angle grinders on wheels and are useful to grind stumps below the ground level.
The procedure is to use a chainsaw and cut the stump within 4” of the ground surface.
The grinder is over the stump, powered up and the blade is swung forwards and backward over the stump, grinding away the top, and reducing it in size.
Method 2 – Burn it Out
- Drill ¾” holes around a dozen in the stump using a wood flat bit and a power drill. Try to dig deeper.
- Fill the holes using cooking oil.
- On the holes, top place barbecue charcoal lumps or stuff rags into the holes, allowing the oil to soak for a few minutes.
- Ensure they do not catch fire, as you cannot spread it to other vegetation.
- Light charcoal and ensure the fire burns and the oil is used up.
- Let overnight the stump and repeat the process for the stump to burn away.
Method 3 – Use a chainsaw
With the right chainsaw techniques, you can saw a stump very close to the ground. Cut from multiple angles and directions to remove all of the protruding wood. Be careful not to hit dirt which will dull the chain.
Method 4 – Use an axe
For small stumps, using an axe or hatchet can allow you to chop very close to the ground. Strike the stump with the edge of the axe blade to chip away all sides. This works best on softwoods.
Method 5 – Rent a stump cutter
Stump cutters use a powered rotating cutting disc that you can lower to ground level, severing roots and grinding away the stump. Easy for DIY removal.
Method 6- Drilling holes in the stump and use chemicals
- Cut off the stump top with your chainsaw to the best. Use a spade. Or a chainsaw
Use a spade bit in 1-inch with a spade bit extension and evenly drill the spaced holes roughly every 6 to 8 inches around the stump perimeter.
Make the holes 12 inches deep and keep from the edge around three to four inches.
Drill three to four inches down more holes from the rim at a 45-degree angle and connect with the first holes.
Angle the lower intersecting holes horizontal to meet the vertical holes above 12-inches at a point.
Ensure the chemicals pour from the top. Be careful to keep the chemicals from dribbling out on the ground.
Pro tip: The bottom-angled holes act as vents for burning, and help the rotting process.
Pour 3 to 4 ounces of the chemicals in the tree stump to reach into each of the holes in granule form, and fill the holes with water for the chemicals to soak in.
Wait for 4 to 6 weeks for the stump to become spongey and soft.
Pro tip: Try using Epsom salt stump removal, a more natural method.
- Finally, break out the rotten wood using a sharpened felling axe. Pour chemicals into the tree stump and rent some power stump grinder to help in quickly removing a stump.
For a completely labor-free removal of the tree stump removal, chemicals is recommended for burning out the stump remaining by pouring fuel oil or kerosene into the holes.
Wait for the liquid to penetrate the wood and drop a match into the holes to trigger the burning process.
Complete the job using an axe, if you are highly concerned about safety.
However, remember that removal of tree stumps manually works on seasoned stumps that are old and are dead for over a year and more, and are not suitable for freshly cut tree stumps.