How to Remove Large Tree Stumps


While digging out stumps by hand with an axe or shovel is a viable option in removing small tree stumps, larger tree stumps require more drastic measures. More expensive and labor-intensive, although still effective methods, include renting a stump grinder or backhoe. Two other alternate, inexpensive methods provide an easy, virtually labor-free way to remove large stumps.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • 1-inch spade bit with a spade bit extension
  • Stump remover chemical
  • Axe
  • Lighter or match
  • Wood
  • Small twigs or weeds

Chemical Removal

  • Drill 1-inch holes with a 1-inch spade bit with a spade bit extension around the stump's perimeter. Drill to about 12 inches deep and 3 to 4 inches from the edge. Drill holes 3 to 4 inches down from the rim on the side of the stump at a 45-degree angles to help with venting.

  • Pour 3 to 4 oz. of stump remover chemical granules into each hole and then fill the holes with water.

  • Wait four to six weeks for the stump to completely decompose.

  • Break apart the spongy, rotten wood with an axe and dispose of in an outdoor trash container.


  • Set scrap pieces of wood on top of the stump.

  • Light the pile with a lighter or match when you have a thick pile collected on top of the stump. Mix some brush, such as smaller sticks and weeds, into the wood pile to heat up the fire.

  • Place pieces of wood on top of the stump as needed to keep the fire burning. Allow the fire to burn until it burns through the stump.

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  • Photo Credit stump image by Henryk Olszewski from
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