How to burn out a tree stump

How to Burn Out a Tree Stump

Are you looking to get rid of an old and unsightly tree stump in your garden?

Removing a tree stump can be a difficult procedure. However, a simple and cost effective way to remove a stump is by burning it out.

When you follow the correct steps, burning out an unsightly stump down to the ground is simple to do. Our experts have put together this guide to give you a few pointers about how to properly get rid of a tree stump by burning.

Before you get started

Before you can start burning a stump, make sure you are doing so legally. You need to follow all your local laws and regulations to avoid fines and legal disputes.

Choose a suitable time of the year to burn your tree stump. Preferable you will want the tree stump to be dry and no forecast of rain for a few days prior. Spring and summer is the best time of the year to avoid showers and allow your stump to be fully dry.

Also it should be noted that burning out a tree stump will only remove the visible top portion of the stump. Leaving the roots intact.

How to Burn Out a Tree Stump in 7 Steps:

Step 1: Dig around the stump

Using an ordinary garden spade, dig in the area around the tree stump so as to get more of the stump uncovered. It would be great if you could expose the main roots holding the stump.

Step 2: Drill several holes into the stump top

Attach a 1 inch spade bit or any other type of wood boring bit to your power drill and drill holes all over the tree stump. Make sure you drill into the roots where possible, pushing the drill bit 8 to 10 inches deep or as far as the bit can go. Clear the debris from the holes once you have finished drilling.

Step 3: Soak the stump with petrol or methylated spirits

Pour the petrol or methylated spirits into the holes and top up over 48 hours to ensure it fully penetrates into the tree stump.

Step 4: Use a stump burning chimney (optional but recommended)

Depending on the size of your tree stump, you can use a stump burning chimney that snuggly surrounds the stump preventing fire damage to the surrounding area. The chimney will also allow you to better position the coals needed to burn the stump. You can find a good stump burning chimney on: Amazon.

Step 5: Soak the surrounding area to prevent the fire spreading

Before you ignite the tree stump, soak the surrounding area with water to prevent the fire spreading and causing damage.

Step 6: Ignite the tree stump

After you have soaked the stump with petrol or methylated spirits, place several kilograms of charcoal around it, then pile firewood on top of the charcoal, and light it. Charcoal is the most effective way to burn out a stump due to the tiny particles which can easily fit under the stump to help the fire get to that area.

Step 7: Oversee the stump until It burns to ash

As the stump burns out and turns to ash, keep an eye on it to make sure it stays under control and does not spread or damage the surrounding area. You can add more fuel, if required. If the fire gets out of control, be prepared to extinguish it with soil or water which you should have on hand.

Safety first!

Be vigilant and prepared! Using combustible fuels is dangerous and things can quickly get out of hand. So making sure you have fire extinguishing materials close by is a must. Never pour flammable liquid onto a lit fire.

Burning a tree stump usually takes between 12–24 hours, so plan to be nearby the entire time.

If your tree stump is too big or too rotten for you to handle or you would rather not risk the burning process, then contact Grind My Stump and we will send an expert to come and quickly and efficiently remove your stump.