We all like attractive landscaping, especially the components that are functional as well as beautiful, like fruit trees. Unfortunately, they have a finite life span and eventually must come down.
This article explains how to remove a tree stump easily without using a stump grinder. Its simply a
matter of methodically trenching around the stump and cutting out the roots with a nursery digging spade
and a utility bar.
Removing a Tree Stump
Many people find out that that cute tree they planted years ago is now a monster and the spreading
roots are threatening
expensive home foundation repairs.
That problematic tree in the yard has been cut down and youve hauled away all the branches. All
thats left now is that big tree stump sticking up out of the yard like a bad, aching molar.
So howre you going to remove it? For most of us it boils down to three choices.
The first one is that you can call someone that has a stump grinder to take care it out for you.
If this is the case, find local reviews arborists and landscape services at Angies List. Take the Tour!
Secondly, you could go to a local home improvement center and rent a tree grinder to tackle the
job. Thats a superior choice but it involves renting a heavy piece of equipment.
Now this narrows it down to whats behind door number three the DIY way. This is how to
go about removing a tree stump by yourself.
Stump Removal Tools Needed
This DIY project wont break the bank as far as tools are concerned. All homeowners should own a
basic assortment of hand tools.
All purpose utility bar
Heavy duty digging spade
Flat file or bench grinder
Trench Around the Base with a Spade
The first and main operation in the stump removal process is carving out a trench 8 to 12 inches wide
surrounding the radius of the tree stump. Its like a small moat. The inner side of the trench will be at a
minimum of 15 to 20 inches away from your stump.
This will afford you lots of area to work with. Trench the moat downwards and in the direction of the
stumps underside; think of a teacups shape. Use the spade to do this.
This trenching is easier when your dirt is wet, obviously, so tackle this job following a rain if
possible. There are two objectives of this step: to methodically remove the trunk from the dirt and to
expose the stumps roots so that you can cut them out.
Cut Out the Stumps Roots
As your moat becomes deeper, it will begin to expose tree roots. Your utility bar will have a flat
end for hammering on and on the other end a flat blade.
The blade should maintain a sharp edge for root cutting or itll work you like an underfed mule.
If its not sharp, sharpen it using a file or
Youre going to take out sections of your stumps roots as you find them. Slash the sections
inside and outside edges of your trench so that the roots wont get in the way of the digging process.
Drive the bars blade into a root beginning your cut and them slam the opposite end of the bar
hammer to drive it through. If you need to sharpen your blade, do it. In most cases, itll dull up
Give it a Wiggle
As you make progress, the tree trunk will become looser in the ground. Periodically wiggling it in a
back and forth motion will make your trenching, if not more fun, more doable. Also, it will allow
you an easier shot at roots going downward instead of out laterally.
Soon youll be at looking at the final anchor root (the tap root). Cut through it. All youve got to
do now is get rid of the stump. Chop it up if its too large to handle. Youre done!