21st September 2021

How to Remove a Tree Stump Without a Grinder

Looking for help with how to remove a tree stump without a grinder? It surprises some people that removing a tree stump can be more difficult than taking down the initial tree.

If you want to try your hand at removing a stump from your garden or plot of land, it will either take a lot of effort or a lot of time.

We will start with one of the quickest ways to remove a stump without a professional grinder.

The chainsaw and wedge method

One of the most effective manual methods of removing most tree stumps involves using a chainsaw, sledge hammer and wedges. Steel wood-splitting wedges are best but wooden wedges will work.

Before you begin, follow all the manufacturer’s safety guidelines for chainsaw use. We particularly recommend full face protection because wedges, especially wooden ones, can rebound and fly up into the air.

First, use the chainsaw to cut the stump as level to the ground as you can.

Next, dig around the stump until you have exposed the main roots coming out from the side of the stump. There are usually four or five of these. The more space you can free up around these roots, the easier you will find it to get your chainsaw to them.

Once you have bared enough of the main root system, use your chainsaw to cut through them where they join the stump. Be careful not to damage the chain by hitting a rock or the ground. You may prefer to use a hand saw instead.

The next step is to quarter the stump with the chainsaw. Cut down through the wood as deep as you can, again without damaging the tool. Drive wedges into the cut and hit them with a sledgehammer. Persist until you can pull out one of the stump quarters (a crowbar can be very useful).

Repeat with the remaining quarters and the backfill the hole.

Alternative methods for removing tree stumps

If the previous method is too labour intensive for you, there are ways you can remove the stump over time using inexpensive materials and products. The catch is that these methods take a lot of time – usually months.

After you’ve levelled the stump and exposed the main roots, use a heavy duty drill with a 12 inch or longer auger bit to drill several holes throughout the stump. Leave three to six inches between each hole and drill into the wood at least a foot.

You can then fill the holes with either vegetable oil or epsom salt (magnesium sulphate). Either way, you will need to leave the stump for a few weeks. Cover with a tarpaulin to keep the rain off.

With the first method, you can then burn the stump. With the second method, you will need to keep adding salts every few weeks until the stump is completely dried out. You should then be able to break it up without too much effort.

Hopefully this has helped with understanding how to remove a tree stump without a grinder. If you just want to get rid of that unsightly stump, leaving the ground beneath as if nothing was ever there? By far the quickest and easiest method is to contact Kneebone for professional stump removal.

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