How to Burn a Tree Stump Out of the Ground (6 Steps to Take)

July 3, 2023

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If you have a tree stump on your property, you may have a severe problem looming that you aren’t aware of. Many people who get tree removal services opt out of stump removal services, hoping they can do something creative instead with the stump that remains on the property. While some people make innovative items out of tree stumps on their property, it isn’t advisable to keep them. Instead, it is ideal to remove them. Read on to learn more about tree stumps on your property and how to burn a tree stump to remove it.

To burn a tree stump, start by wearing protective gear and prepping the stump by removing all the debris. Then, drill holes with a wood boring bit or cut cross hatches. Soak the stump in kerosene or use charcoal briquettes, then ignite the stump and monitor the fire until it turns to ash, which can take 12-24 hours. However, it’s recommended to hire a professional tree company for removal to ensure safety and minimize hazards or damages.

Why There Is an Old Tree Stump On Your Property?


before - burning tree stumps

If you have recently moved to a home and there is a tree stump present, it may be there because the previous owners opted only to get tree removal services but did not have the stump removed. Or perhaps you have recently had tree removal services and opted to let the tree stump remain.

The cost of tree removal is about $1200, with the price going up or down based on several factors, including tree size, proximity to other things on the property, type of tree, and more. Unfortunately, this cost doesn’t include stump removal. To remove a stump, a homeowner may have to pay an additional $100 to $300 to eliminate it. This extra cost is why many opt to let the tree stump remain.

Reasons You Should Get Rid of Tree Stumps On Your Property

While some may allow the stump to remain and opt to get it removed at a later date when they have the cash, some opt to keep it on their property permanently. However, deciding to keep a tree stump on your property could be bad for many reasons.

One reason keeping a tree stump on your property is a bad idea is that depending on the type of tree, it may continue to grow. If this tree had a disease and this is the reason for its removal, its continued growth could infect the surrounding area. The disease could spread and start to harm other vegetation nearby.

Another reason keeping a tree stump is a bad idea is that the roots could continue to grow. As a result, you could have some expensive problems develop on your property. For instance, tree roots may affect underground plumbing. They could also cause damage to the foundation of the home. Additionally, the roots could cause the driveway or sidewalk to start buckling.

One of the worst problems that could arise from keeping a tree stump on your property is that it could become a home for pests. A number of destructive pests could accumulate there, including termites, borers, or carpenter ants. If these pests get into your home, they could cause a substantial amount of costly damage. It will take several hundred dollars to eradicate the problem and another few thousand dollars to fix the damages.

Top Methods For Tree Stump Removal

There are numerous methods for getting rid of a stump on your property. Here are a few of the most common.

Remove It Manually

With the proper tools, getting down below the surface and removing a tree stump from the ground by hand is possible. You may need protective gear, a shovel, a chainsaw, and loppers. The shovel removes as much dirt and rocks away as possible and gets below the surface. Use the chainsaw to get rid of chunks of the tree stump. Loppers help with getting detaching the stump from the roots.

Use a Stump Grinder


best stump grinder in Kansas City

This method of stump removal typically involves using a stump grinder tool that finely chops the stump until it becomes wood chips. This machine usually takes a few hours to remove the stump from the property thoroughly.

Burn It

The final standard option is to burn the stump. Below is a detailed method on how to burn a tree stump.

How to Burn a Tree Stump Out of the Ground

Remember that there may be local community rules preventing you from burning stumps. Be sure to check with the local authorities first before attempting to burn a stump. Here’s how to burn a tree stump.

  1. Start by Putting on Protective Gear

One of the most important things you should do is wear protective gear. Gloves and glasses are critical. But if you can put on a non-flammable suit, that would add greater protection.

  1. Prep the Stump

The next step is to get the stump ready. You can do this by using a shovel to remove the rocks, dirt, and debris impacted around the stump.

  1. Drill Holes or Put Cross Hatches in the Stump

Take a drill and place holes throughout the stump of the tree with a wood boring bit. Or use a chainsaw and cut cross hatches into the stump.

  1. Soak the Stump with Kerosene

After cutting or drilling into the tree, soak it in kerosene or other flammable materials. To have greater control over the fire, it may be a good idea to use a hollow metal barrel to put over the stump. Alternatively, you can use charcoal briquettes that you usually use with a barbecue pit and slowly burn the stump.

  1. Ignite the Stump

Finally, you will light tree stump, allowing it to catch fire and burn the stump.

  1. Monitor the Fire Until the Stump Becomes Ash

Keep the fire going on the stump until it turns into ash. This could take 12-24 hours.

burn tree stumps - how to burn a tree stump out of the ground

Hire a Professional to for Burning Tree Stumps

Removing a tree stump is complex. If you plan to remove it manually, you could strain your back or experience some other type of injury. Removing a stump using a grinder can also be dangerous if you’re not using the proper protective gear. Additionally, burning a stump could cause you to sustain burns and even create a hazard that could burn parts of your yard or house.

To minimize hazards or damages associated with stump removal, hiring a professional tree company to remove the stump is a good idea. They will have the proper equipment and use the best practices to eliminate the stump safely from your property.

Would you like professional help with your tree stump removal? Call today to learn more about your options and get a free quote on this essential service.

*Please note the regulations and requirements for open fires in your state.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does burning tree stumps work?

Yes, burning a tree stump is an effective way to remove it. There are also other methods such as removing the stump mechanically with a grinder or excavator or even using herbicides to kill the roots and accelerate decomposition. However, burning can be easier and more convenient than these other methods.

How long does it take to burn a tree stump?

Typically, it takes anywhere from several hours to a few days for a stump to be completely burned. Many factors can influence how long burning the stump may take; these factors include the size of the tree, the type of wood, and weather conditions. Additionally, you should always use caution when using fire around trees or other combustible materials. Make sure you maintain a safe distance and keep an eye on the fire at all times.

What is the best fuel to burn a stump with?

The most efficient fuel to burn a tree stump is wood. If you don’t have any readily available, an alternative fuel such as charcoal or gasoline can also be used. Both fuels provide a large amount of energy and burn quickly. However, when using these alternatives, you should make sure that the fire is extinguished completely before leaving it unattended.

How do you burn a tree stump efficiently?

The best way to burn a tree stump quickly is by building a fire around it. Start by creating a fire wall using logs, paper, cardboard or other combustible materials that act as fuel and help spread the heat evenly across the stump. Once the fire has been ignited, maintain it with larger pieces of wood to ensure that it continues burning until the stump is completely charred. Be sure also to have a large bucket of water near the fire in case it spreads or gets out of control. Finally, when the stump is sufficiently burned, extinguish all flames with the bucket of water and ensure that no embers remain before leaving the area.

If you require tree services, please contact out team at Kansas City Tree Trimming & Removal Service today.

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