How can I quickly rot out a tree stump?

by Diane

How do I kill a tree stump? It has been years and it still there...

  11 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Mar 19, 2017

    drill several holes and throw rock salt inside or use stomp out.

  • Teresa Teresa on Mar 19, 2017


    1 lb. Stump Remover

    Accelerates tree stump decomposition

    Safe for use around surrounding vegetation

    Granules are easy to pour and to apply

    You can get it at Home depot

    • See 1 previous
    • Jennifer Jennifer on Mar 21, 2017

      I used that and seems to work like a charm!

  • Tam 15076171 Tam 15076171 on Mar 20, 2017
    Where we live it's not that expensive to have a stump ground then if you garden you can use it for mulch. Then the stump will be gone in a few minutes. The other ways all though good ways do take some time (I've done both). Good luck!!!
    • Diane Diane on Mar 21, 2017

      I will check out the cost and see if I can afford that thank you.

  • Sandy Sandy on Mar 21, 2017

    tried all the tricks - ended up calling our tree-cutting man back who had purchased a "neat & clean" stump remover machine instead of renting one [rental was messy - used it here b4 and chips went everywhere]

  • Jeanie Jeanie on Mar 28, 2017

    the BEST way to get rid of a tree stump is to sprinkle dry powder milk over stump, cover the stump completely sprinkle a little water over dry powder milk

    it will take time but no real expense or chemicals the stump will slowly start to rot this step will need to repeated as needed.

  • Dennis Lee Dennis Lee on Aug 02, 2021

    The sure fire eventual way of naturally accelerating the decomposition of ones potential tree stump is to buy a 40 lb. bag of lime for less than $5.00 and then simply take a one half inch wood auger bit to drill numerous holes directly into the tree stump using a strong heavy duty rated hammer drill and the half inch wood auger bit holes themselves should be at least 12 inches deep to about 17 inches deep.

    Then simply spread a paste made of lime moistened with water to fill all the many deep half inch wood auger bit holes on the surface of the exposed tree stump and also spread a generous lime mixture paste on the tree stump surface; then also make sure to cover it with a plastic tarp material to prevent it from being washed away; sprinkle the lime paste covered tree stump with water every day to further accelerate the natural garden lime decomposition mixture; once every week apply new lime paste to the half inch wood auger bit holes drilled into the tree stump and also on the entire tree stump surface to continue the all natural tree stump composition; as it is gradually and progressively absorbed into the tree root system.

    This naturally will take as long as six months months time so its quite slow of course but it is an all natural solution and will not harm or effect any other plants in ones surrounding environment at all. The tree stump will eventually be transformed gradually and progressively into a soft and spongy mass over time that can be simply dug out and broken up by using a pick axe.

    Ones long patience will eventually be rewarded with the eventual removal of ones tree stump no thanks to the all natural decomposition process when using lime. The tree stump will definitely kill the tree stump and tree stump roots in about three to four weeks time; and the rest of the time the lime will continue to naturally decompose ones tree stump and tree stump root system.

    Now one can also add potassium nitrate in the form of garden fertilizer to one's lime mixture to form a paste to further aid and accelerate in the all natural decomposition process to break down ones tree stump and tree stump root system on a once weekly basis as this definitely encourages and nourishes the all natural fungi to continue the process of the decomposition of the tree stump and its tree stump root system on an accelerated basis.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Sep 06, 2023

    Use this product and you should have success. Bonide

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Sep 06, 2023

    Use this product and you should have success. Bonide

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Nov 07, 2023

    Begin by gathering a few supplies: a drill with a large bit or an ax, Epsom salt, water, wax, a tarp, and a shovel. Proceed to drill several 1-inch-wide holes in the stump's surface, including its aerial roots, ensuring each hole is placed at a distance of at least three to four inches. While six holes are sufficient, bigger stumps may require more. Ensure you drill down to around eight inches to allow for deeper salt penetration. Alternatively, you may use an ax to make hollows in the tree stump. Next, directly pour Epsom salt ¾ of the way up in the drilled holes and fill the rest with water to keep the salt moist. Then, plug the holes with wax. Additionally, cover the trunk remnant with a non-porous tarp to minimize rain and sun exposure so that the roots do not sprout again and the salt does its job of rotting the stump. Repeat the procedure every three weeks until the stump is dead, and dig it out using a shovel.

    If you don't wish to strain yourself by drilling holes, you can use the soaking method to remove a tree stump. In a bucket, combine Epsom salt and water in a 1:2 ratio. Generally, soaking a single tree base requires two gallons of water and one gallon of salt. Pour this solution all over the tree stump and its largest exposed roots. After drenching the stump, cover it with an opaque tarp or a plastic sheet, and add a layer of mulch on top to weigh it down. You can also sprinkle a nitrogen-rich fertilizer around the tree trunk's base to further boost its breakdown. Repeat this method at least once a week and chip away at the wood as it decomposes. Finally, pull out all the stump remnants, especially the root system, when it completely dries out. After disposing of the stump, you can repurpose the space by adding soil and sowing grass or flower seeds.

  • Deb K Deb K on Nov 11, 2023

    Hi Diane, hope this helps you. Drilling holes into the stump will help the hot water kill deep and exposed roots. After you're finished drilling, carefully pour boiling water over the stump, making sure to cover the entire stump. The hot water will shock the system and begin the decomposition process using heat. Then you could pour some epsom salts in the holes and cover them ( to prevent them getting diluted by rain)to let them break down the stump.