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4 Easy Ways to Kill a Tree Stump Naturally & Unnaturally

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Trees can be fantastic garden additions, but they also cause their fair share of trouble. Even the most striking trees on your property could fall foul to disease or a particularly nasty storm. As simple as that, you’re left with a whole load of clearing up, including a still in-tact tree stump.

This can leave your garden looking scruffy, as well as posing potential problems for unsightly regrowth. If this happens, you may well find yourself asking, ‘how do you kill a tree stump?’ In reality, there are a few different options, including killing, rotting, and eventual removal, and we’re going to talk you through the main options here. 

How to kill a tree stump naturally 

You wouldn’t be alone in seeking natural ways to ill your tree stump. All the better for keeping your soil and outside space as healthy as possible. Top natural options include – 

  • Killing tree stumps with rock salt

Rock salt is a naturally occurring mineral formed from sodium chloride, and it can be used to kill your stump. The main points to note when considering how to kill a tree stump with rock salt are that you’ll first need to cut that stump as close to the ground as you can, as well as drilling into the side at regular intervals. Then, killing tree stumps with rock salt is as simple as packing those holes and securing with soil. Water every 2-3 days to dissolve the salt, and watch as the process depletes the stump’s nutrients and kills it with surprising ease.

  • Killing tree stumps with Epsom salt

The Epsom salt tree stump trick is another popular option and involves the use of this naturally occurring compound of magnesium and sulphate. Ultimately, how to remove a tree stump with Epsom salt isn’t all that different from the rock salt method, with holes drilled into the stump and filled. 

  • Killing tree stumps with copper nails

Killing tree stumps copper nails involves simply hammering copper nails into the stump at an angle close to the ground. Do this one inch apart around the tree, covering each nail with soil to give your copper nails tree stump the best chance of oxidizing. When that happens, the process will poison the stump, thus killing it. Simply make sure you remove nails after this process is complete for safety purposes. 

  • Burning tree stumps

If neither of the above appeals, you always have the option of burning tree stumps in the ground. This may seem like an elusively simplistic choice, yet many of us are still at a loss as to how to remove a tree stump by burning. As much as it would be easiest, just lighting a match and hoping for the best won’t cut it. Instead, making sure this method works involves digging and drilling around the stump a few days ahead of time, then filling those holes with flammable liquid. That way, you can burn your tree stump with charcoal and watch it catch before digging out and removing those charred, and loosened, remains. 

How to get rid of tree stumps unnaturally

Natural options are fantastic, but there’s no denying that they can take time and a fair amount of effort. If you’re interested in how to rot a tree stump fast, unnatural methods may turn out your best bet. Unnatural options to consider include – 

  • Killing tree stumps with bleach

Killing tree stumps with bleach may seem extreme but approached right, there’s no reason this method can’t work. But, can bleach kill a tree stump as efficiently as you need? The simple answer is that it depends on the tree in question. Ultimately, your best way to test the theory is to try exposing the live stump, drilling holes into the outer layers, and painting bleach over the top. Within a few weeks, you should notice signs that your stump is dead. If not, try again with a stronger bleach before attempting removal. 

  • Killing tree stumps with diesel

Killing tree stumps with diesel is another prime consideration with impressive results and doesn’t deviate all that far from the bleach method. What’s more, this option seems to offer much more reliable results. Again, you’ll need to cut that stump as far down as you can and drill for maximum exposure. Then, paint diesel onto the wood to save damaging its surroundings. Keeping the diesel localised on the stump does matter a great deal here given that trace amounts will remain in the soil in case of spillages. Still, this method has the significant benefit of allowing you to burn the stump once it’s died, making removal easier than ever. 

  • Roundup tree stump killer

If you’re after something a little more tree-specific, Roundup tree stump killer is a fantastic option. Even better, the ingredients in this product will kill your stump from the outside in, ensuring minimal damage to its surroundings. All you need to do is mix one cup of your tree stump killer with nine cups of water. Again, it’s worth exposing and drilling your stump for maximum impact before painting Roundup killer across the stump and covering with a plastic bag. The stump should then be dead in around 2-4 weeks. 

Best way to remove a tree stump

Don’t think that you can start celebrating the moment your stump dies. The hard part is yet to come where stump removal is concerned. This can be just as complex as the killing itself, and there’s no one-size-fits-all ‘best’ way to remove a tree stump. Still, we’re here with two top suggestions. 

  • Removing a tree stump with a tree stump grinder

Tree stump removal with a tree stump grinder is the service you’ll get from contacting professionals, and it has to be the best option on the cards. That’s because this handy piece of kit includes a sharp blade that literally cuts your dead stump. Even better, tree stump grinder hire or professional services couldn’t be easier to come by. By moving the grinder side to side, you can then cut through that dead wood until you’re all the way through the stump in question. All without any backbreaking work on your part! 

  • Pulling out a tree stump

The alternative would be to pull your stump out by hand by digging around the roots and putting your back into the process. You may assume a dead stump will be easy work, but you’re in for a shock. Those roots could still be pretty well-bonded, making this an extensive manual task, but one that is still possible if you put the work in.

Valiant Arborist are Specialists in Tree Stump Removal

As you can see from the points listed, killing and removing a tree stump isn’t always a walk in the park (or garden, as it were.) In fact, many individuals find that the easiest way to tackle this task is to turn to specialist tree stump removal services from Valiant Arborist. And, you could benefit from joining them. 

As specialists in quality removals that you can trust, we offer reasonable and tailored quotes for our stump grinding processes across the Essex area. From the moment you contact us, our full-insured and experienced team will inspect your stump to determine the work necessary, and give you a reasonable quote dependent on what they find. Tree stump removal really couldn’t be simpler, and all you need to do is contact us on 01702 910 995 to make it happen today.


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