Archive for Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An afternoon’s hard work gets tree stump out

October 26, 2010


If time is of the essence or you have a fresh tree stump you want to remove, hand-digging the stump out may be your best option.

Step 1: Cut the tree or bush down to a manageable height. Trim away excess foliage and branches. Leave enough height and a few good branch stubs to help create leverage when it comes time to pull or rock the stump out of the ground.

Step 2: Dig a trench around the circumference of the stump, at least 15 inches from its base. The further out the trench is dug, the easier it will be to dig. If the soil is dry, water it some before digging, but not so much as to turn the soil to mud.

Step 3: Use a root saw or a digging bar to sever the roots as you dig. Root saws have multidirectional teeth that can cut roots through the soil. A 5- or 6-foot digging bar with a flat edge on one end works well to break through exposed roots. Thrust the digging bar into the trench at a 45-degree angle toward the stump to cut through each root. When hitting thicker roots with a digging bar, it may be necessary to use a mallet to hammer the bar through the root.

Step 4: Once the trench has been dug and the roots have been severed, rock the stump back and forth to loosen it. It will be difficult to move at first, but as it is rocked it will become easier. Cut away any newly exposed roots as they appear.

Step 5: When the stump begins to loosen, use the digging bar to pry it up out of the ground.

Step 6: Continue cutting the roots as you rock and pry the stump loose. Eventually, the stump will break free from the soil.

Step 7: Once the stump has been removed, fill the hole with loose soil and compost. Sow some seed over the fresh dirt, or cover it with mulch, to prevent weeds and control erosion while you decide what to do with your newly vacated piece of land.

— Linda Cottin can be reached at


bearded_gnome 7 years, 5 months ago

Quicker, easier, and way more fun: use small charges of explosive in drill holes in stump.
detonate at neighbor's dinner time.

done in less than a day!

budwhysir 7 years, 5 months ago

Or,,,,,, call a tree service, pay thousands of dollars, and enjoy the show from your front porch while enjoying a tall cold adult beverage....

parrothead8 7 years, 5 months ago

If you're paying thousands of dollars to get a stump removed, you're getting ripped off. Lawrence Tree Service charged us $75 to grind out two the guy told us about a coupon we could use to get a discount on his service from

kmparish 7 years, 5 months ago

We had Lawrence Tree Service come out and grind ours. Fast and easy.

budwhysir 7 years, 5 months ago

oh... well if we are going to grind out the stump yes dont pay thousands of dollars, hundreds would get the job done. The article is about pulling out the stump but if you want to grind it that works too its a little different process.

If you want to grind the stump instead of pulling it out the might I suggest.... call a tree service, pay close to a couple hundred dollars to have them grind out the stump while you spend the evening on the porch enjoying that nice cold adult beverage.... The key here is the supervisor job... and the enjoyment of that ice cold beverage....

parrothead8 7 years, 5 months ago

Agreed. I did enjoy my ice cold beverage while those stumps were disappearing.

Kawatchi 7 years, 5 months ago

50 feet of chain and a truck should do the trick. If that won't work, a dollar's worth of gasoline will.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 5 months ago

dynamite: quick, no need for that time consuming grinding, probably has a lower carbon footprint for the greenies who believe in that cr@p.

sorry, Bud no time to drink the adult beverage unless you "shotgun it!"

neighbors for blocks around coming out of their homes looking around puzzled: priceless.

destroys, grinds, all in a flash.
or well, a flash-boom.

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