How can I get rid of a tree stump and roots without harse chemicals?

by Diane

How can I kill a tree stump and roots without harse chemicals?

  17 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Mar 30, 2017

    You can either cut a hole and put stump out in it or rock salt.

  • Elizabeth Dion Elizabeth Dion on Mar 30, 2017

    Drill some large holes around the remaining top part of the stump and fill the holes with salt. It will take some time but it works!

  • Drill holes in the stump and fill them with BUTTERMILK. Salt will destroy the soil--nothing will be able to grow. The buttermilk attracts insects that will eat the stump. The only tree stumps I know of that this doesn't work on is Bodark (Bo d'arc?) because it's so hard.

    • See 1 previous
    • Don't worry--it's not going to attract termites. There are thousands of bugs that eat wood, though usually not as their entire diet. Some will be attracted by the buttermilk, and they attract other bugs, etc. The tree died when it was cut, and the insects that will come will be those that would have eaten the tree if it had died a natural death. The buttermilk just helps to speed up the process.

  • Christina Yates Christina Yates on Mar 31, 2017

    This one may be considered rude, but back in the 50s my gran and aunt were advised to wee in a bucket and pour the urine onto the tree stump, they did and it worked not sure why!

  • Charly Charly on Mar 31, 2017

    You can always have the stump ground down by a professional tree removal company.

  • Julia Barlow Owings Julia Barlow Owings on Mar 31, 2017

    cut a hole in middle. Fill with good dirt. Plant tomatoes.

  • Bernadette Staal Bernadette Staal on Mar 31, 2017

    I know some people drill holes into the stump but then I assume they pour chemicals into the holes which is not what you wanted. I would consult with a local landscaper to find out what they recommend.

  • Doug Hardy Doug Hardy on Apr 01, 2017

    Drill some holes -- you really can't have too many -- in the top of the stump. Fill them with vegetable oil and let it sit for a few days. The oil will soak into the wood. Refill with more oil. Let that soak in and then light the holes on fire with a butane lighter. The oil-soaked wood will burn for quite a while -- definitely long enough to get the wood to burn on its own. With no rain, your smoldering stump should burn for a couple of days. You'll be left with mostly ash and what wood does remain can easily be taken out by hand.

    • E_s20306971 E_s20306971 on Apr 01, 2017

      be careful with this, if close to buildings. roots have burned underground under building and caught building on fire.

  • JEWEL C JEWEL C on Apr 03, 2017

    I don't know if it's rock salt but the salt that is used in water softeners will get rid of it but it takes a while. I had one I just put a piece of round plywood on top and use for a table. Treated plywood that I stained and stenciled leaves on.

  • Scott Scott on Apr 03, 2017

    Find a open tire rim or barrel with bottom cut out that will fit over the stump. Place the barrel over stump pour in a 25 lb bag of charcoal, light and let it burn it out. Might burn for 2-3 days used this on about three stumps and works great.

  • Daisy Daisy on Apr 03, 2017

    Pour Epsom salts on it. Depending on size of stump, not sure how long it takes, but apparently works.

  • Carey Carey on Apr 03, 2017

    I am less likely to destroy the stump than to make use of it. My Bro-in-law cut a stump flat so that my Sister could put a flower pot on it and every year that flowerpot with a stump for a resting place it absolutely gorgeous. So maybe that would be a good solution (unless of course it is in the middle of your driveway! : )

  • Kathryn Bushong Kathryn Bushong on Apr 03, 2017

    I bought a house where 4 large trees in a row, had been cut down years before. I loosened what wood I could....Added soil along them.. then planted all my mint in and around them. 1. it hides the stumps. 2. The stumps will break down quicker. 3 . The decaying wood adds nuitreients to the mint. Win win situation.

  • Gloria Overby-Culbertson Gloria Overby-Culbertson on Apr 03, 2017

    I poured cheap bleach on mine, it took a while but it is totally gone.

  • 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.