How To Remove A Tree Stump

After you’ve cut down a tree and disposed of all the waste, you will then be left with the stump, which can often be difficult to remove. The removal of a tree stump can be achieved in three different ways and we show you exactly how below.

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How To Remove A Tree Stump
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Although you can leave tree stumps where they are in the garden, they aren’t the most pleasant feature to look at. It may also stop you laying down new turf or creating a new garden space that’s made available from the trees that have been removed. In some cases it can even contain a number of root diseases such as “Honey Fungus”. Therefore, it’s highly advised that you remove the tree stump correctly and complete the removal of any trees in your garden.

Table of Contents

Size Of The Stump

The size of the tree stump will highly dictate the best method of removing it. As you can imagine, attempting to remove a tree stump by hand is made harder the bigger it is. As a general rule, if the root already has some movement or is less than 6 inches in diameter, you should be able to remove it by hand.

Potential Problems That May Arise

Depending upon how the tree was planted in the first place may determine how problematic it is to remove. For example, the stump may be too close to a fence or building and can cause damage if removed incorrectly.

Another issue that may arise is where trees have been planted around any cabling or hoses such as the below photo that we recently had to deal with. Luckily it was only an old hosepipe, which meant it could simply be cut. However, if you are unsure of the cabling that’s going through the stump roots, we’d advise to seek a professional opinion.

how to remove a tree stump by hand

How To Remove A Tree Stump

1. Removal By Hand

As long as the tree stump isn’t too large, you may be able to remove it by hand using a few tools. Three tools that we would highly recommend is a heavy duty steel digging bar, spade and an axe.

To begin with, we would recommend digging around the stump and locate any of the big roots leading to the stump. Once the roots have been located, use an axe to chop away at the roots.

Once the roots to the stump have been chopped clear, you can then begin to lever the digging bar under the stump. It should eventually begin to move and you can then work your way around the stump with the bar until the stump is able to be pulled out of the ground by hand.

2. Use Epsom Salt or Weed Killer

Using Epsom salt or a strong weed killer is a less physically demanding method of removing a tree stump. In order to use this method, you will need to use a cordless drill and a suitable drill bit to drill holes into the stump. It’s advised that you drill holes a few inches apart for the best results when using this method.

Once you’ve successfully drilled into the stump, simply pour Epsom salt or weed killer into the holes that you’ve created. Although this method won’t instantly remove the tree stump, overtime the stump will breakdown.

3. Hire A Grinder

By far the most efficient and easiest way to remove tree stumps is to hire a stump grinder or get a professional who has a grinder to remove them. This method simply uses a blade to grind the stump down below ground level. As you can see in the below video, they are heavy duty machines and do need careful attention when using them. For this reason alone, it’s often easier and more cost effective to simply hire a professional to grind the stumps.

If you are interested in this method, below is a video of the stump grinder in action as well as before and after photos of the process from our Instagram page.

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Methods To Avoid

Although there are plenty of methods you can use to remove a tree stump, there are some that you should avoid. For example, using a chainsaw is great when cutting down a tree but you should avoid using it close to the ground where the stump is. This is primarily due to the fact that it may touch the ground and cause the chain to become blunt.

How Much Does Tree Stump Removal Cost?

Depending upon the above methods of tree stump removal you choose will determine the cost of removal. If you were to remove a tree stump manually by hand, the cost of the tools will be the only cost (unless you can borrow them from family or friends). Using a Epsom salt or a chemical will cost less than £10 in most cases.

The expensive way to remove tree stumps is when it comes to grinding them down below ground level. If you were to hire a stump grinder for a day, it can cost anywhere between £100 to £200 depending upon where you live. However, we would recommend a professional to grind down the stumps because its often more cost effective.

For relatively small stumps, it can cost between £10 to £20 per stump but there may be a minimum charge rate for a call-out. However, if you are dealing with large stumps i.e. overgrown eucalyptus or oak trees, it may cost a lot more than that due to the length of time it takes to grind the stump.

how much to remove a tree stump


Whether you remove a tree stump yourself or get a professional to do it for you, it’s a worthwhile task that you won’t regret. Not only does it allow you to do more with your garden due to the extra space it creates when removed but it also prevents any root diseases arising in the future.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

author dan darimo

Dan Morgan

As a keen DIY’er, gardener and somebody that loves the latest tech, Dan is someone that brings years of experience in multiple trades. Since buying his first house, he has been obsessed with renovating properties and filling it with the latest products. This has led him down the road of testing hundreds of products and creating in-depth “how-to” and informative guides that offer his first-hand experience. Other interests include working on cars, keeping fit through sports or his home gym, caravanning and drinking great coffee.

If you would like to read more about Darimo and the authors, you can visit our about page. This goes into great detail regarding how we test products, create our guides and everything else.

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