How To Remove A Tree Stump Without Chemicals Or A Grinder

The stump that is left behind after felling a tree can be not only an eyesore, but also a tripping hazard. Mowing around it can get annoying, too. If you leave the stump alone for long enough, it will eventually rot away -- but who wants to wait for five or more years for that to happen? Thankfully, there is a way to get rid of the stump without purchasing a stump grinder or exposing yourself to the chemicals in stump remover. Here's how to burn away your tree stump.

Step 1: Drilling holes

If you just try to light the stump on fire, it may not catch since it's such a large piece of wood -- and probably still somewhat green. It's best to wait at least a month or two after felling the tree to start this process since this will give the stump time to dry out. Pick a dry day after it has not rained in a few days, too.

Drilling holes into the stump will increase its surface area, making it more likely to catch fire faster. You can use any large drill bit. Just start drilling holes straight down into the trunk. Try to make a hole every inch or two, and make them as deep as your drill will reach.

Step 2: Lighting the fire.

Essentially, you will be building a campfire on top of the stump. As the fire burns above the stump, the stump itself will eventually catch fire. Create a tipi-shaped pile of small, split logs. Add some kindling sticks to the pile, and then some newspaper or cardboard. Light the cardboard on fire, and be prepared to add a bit more as the fire begins burning. The kindling should soon catch -- and then the logs -- and then, after a few hours, the stump.

Watch the fire burn, and let it go out on its own. The stump should now be burn to the ground with just a pile of coals in its place. Let these cool for at least two days before proceeding.

Step 3: Filling in the hole.

Use a shovel to remove the coals left from the burned stump. Then, fill in the hole with topsoil. Scatter some grass seed over the area, water it, and cover it with straw. Keep it well watered until it germinates. Within a few weeks, nobody will know there was ever a tree in that spot.

For more information on what to do what a stump in your yard and how to landscape the remaining space after you remove the stump, contact a landscaping firm, such as Pace Inc, Landscape & Design.