How to Remove Tree Stumps

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on October 7, 2016

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This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner dig out a stubborn tree stump. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

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Shopping List for How to Remove Tree Stumps:
– Loam, for filling stump hole
– Grass seed, to plant over backfilled stump hole

Tools for How to Remove Tree Stumps:
– Pointed shovel, for digging around stump
– Bypass loppers, to cut small tree roots
– Pruning saw or reciprocating saw with pruning blade, for cutting large roots
– Iron digging bar, to chop through roots
– Gas-powered stump grinder, for power grinding stumps
– Garden and lawn rake, used to smooth loam

Steps for How to Remove Tree Stumps:
1. Use a pointed shovel to dig out the soil around the tree stump. Continue digging until you’ve exposed the roots all the way around the stump.
2. Cut small-diameter tree roots with bypass loppers.
3. Use a pruning saw or reciprocating saw to cut through larger tree roots.
4. Chop through hard-to-reach roots with an iron digging bar.
5. After cutting all the roots, push over the stump, then roll it out of the hole.
6. Backfill the hole with the excavated soil and loam.
7. In the spring, rake grass seed into the soil and water frequently.
8. If you have to remove more than one stump, rent a gas-powered stump grinder.
9. Remove any rocks from the around the stump, then use the stump grinder to slowly chip away at the stump.
10. Stop grinding when the stump is 6 to 8 inches below the surface.
11. Rake away the wood chips, then fill the hole with loam.
12. In the spring, plant grass seed.

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