How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot

Hassle-free Tree Stump Removal Solutions

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Landscaping > Hassle-free Tree Stump Removal Solutions
Hassle-free Tree Stump Removal Solutions

Let’s say a tree falls on your property. Either you sawed it down, a storm blew it down or somebody in a large automobile used their car to smack it down. There it is; a dead or dying former tree, just lying there. After you’ve chopped it into toothpicks, what do you do with the tree stump?

  1. 1.Preparing The Stump

    Keep a casual eye on it and babysit the soon-to-be embers. You want to make sure that the smoldering stump stays under control.

    If the tree has just fallen, the wood is still green. You have a choice: Wait for the stump to dry, which could take a year. Or call a specialist in tree stump removal. Don’t mind waiting? Once the stump is well-dried, the first thing to do is to make sure you cut the stump, parallel to the ground, as close to the surface as possible.


    Take out your drill and put something like a 1" x 16" Extra-Long Flat Bit in the barrel. Grind some holes in the stump, two-to-three inches apart, on 45-degree angles. Pour some kerosene or fuel oil to top-off the holes. Warning: Do not use gasoline!


    It’s now another waiting game. Like a three-week waiting game. You want the flammables to work its way into the stump. Once that happens, put a little more fuel in-and-around the hole. Light the little holes and over the period of the next few weeks the stump should begin to turn to ash. As a precaution, this method is a really bad idea if the ex-tree is too close to your house. Also, it’s a good plan to remove anything else near the stump that could burn.


    Keep a casual eye on it and babysit the soon-to-be embers. You want to make sure that the smoldering stump stays under control.

  2. 2.Digging Out The Remains

    Once a majority of the stump has turned to ash it’s time to grab an axe. A substitute could be to rent a power stump grinder, but if you’re going to do that, then why bother with the first approach?


    Anyway, a power stump grinder is best used when the stump has been sitting there for a long, long time. It works well with really dry wood, but not so good with wood that’s still green around the edges.


    Forgetting the rental option, begin to chip away at the charred remains. With a shovel, move the ashes to a wheelbarrow. After you’ve finished, douse the dead embers to make sure they are truly dead.

  3. 3.Chemicals

    Most Big Box hardware stores have chemicals that claim to eat away at the wood. Applying it, you’ll use pretty much the same process as you would when you burn-out the stump. Follow the directions from the manufacturer. But here’s the catch, you’re still going to have to burn the stump. The difference between using chemicals and not using chemicals is two-fold.


    First the good news, after the chemical process, the holes will be bigger. Second, you’ll weigh about 10-dollars less. The best advice for this project is to have patience. There’s no instant fix, outside of calling a fellow to grind your stump.


    Professionals to this line of work usually do a complete job for around $100-200. And they don’t care whether the stump is green or aged.

Find Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 48 hours or less.