5 Steps to Remove a Tree Stump


Removing a tree from your garden can result in more sunlight, fewer dropped leaves in winter and less risk of falling branches, especially if it is an older tree. Even smaller trees can start to take over an outdoor space.

But tree stumps can be tricky to get out of the ground. If you want to do this yourself to save money - because some tree surgeons will offer it only as an added service - it is possible but will take a bit of work.

Not to worry. Speedy Services has all the tools to get the job done as quickly and painless as possible. Removing tree stumps is likely not a regular occurrence for you, after all. Hire the right tools for the job from Speedy and you will have quality products without the hassle of storing rarely used tools or selling them on again.

A tree stump grinder is the easiest, most efficient method to use. It will chip chunks of the stump away until the stump is below ground level.


What safety equipment do I need to remove a tree stump?

Before we begin, you need to be prepared. Know what you’re doing and protect yourself from injury. This includes getting yourself kitted out with suitable PPE.

You will need:

  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Safety boots
  • Ear protection


What tools do I need to remove a tree stump?

Hiring the tools to remove a tree stump will be much cheaper than hiring a professional to do the job for you. You also need to think about how to get rid of the wood.


How to remove a tree stump


Step 1: Dig around the stump

Once you have got all your safety wear on, dig a furrow around the stump with your spade, which goes down to the desired depth of the tree stump. This will ensure the stump grinder gets full contact with the stump, and you will be able to spot any large stones and remove them, so your grinder doesn’t become damaged.


It will also allow you to remove any small pieces of debris, such as twigs or pebbles, which could be flung in all directions as the grinder gets to work. Keep any children and pets far away from the area just in case.


Step 2: Start the grinder

Ensure your stump grinder has enough petrol and read through your user manual so you know how to start it up. Once you’re ready to go, roll the grinder up to the stump and make any final adjustments to the handlebars to make sure you’re comfortable.


Step 3: Begin to grind

Apply the handbrake to lock the stump grinder in place before pulling the start cord. Swivel the grinder side to side to chip away at the stump. Allow the weight of the grinder to do all the work. Don’t apply any pressure to quicken the process.


Once you have got that section of the stump down to the desired level, turn the machine off and reposition to do the next section. Repeat until your stump is a few inches below ground level. Depending on the size of the stump, this could take a few hours with suitable breaks in between.


Step 4: Collect the wood

Another positive to digging a furrow around the stump is that all your old wood should stop travelling too far. Collect it all up and use your woodchipper to get it all into a manageable size and weight. Use your wheelbarrow to keep it all in one place.


You can use woodchips elsewhere in the garden, such as in flower beds, for paths, or at the bottom of raised beds. If you won’t use them, ask your neighbours or local neighbourhood group to see if anyone can make use of them before disposing of them at your local tip.


Step 5: Cover the stump

Once the stump is below ground level, you can cover the top of the stump with topsoil or any other material as though it was never there. Lightly rake the soil and then sprinkle over grass seed before watering.


Can I use potassium nitrate to remove the stump?

You may have read elsewhere that potassium nitrate can be used as a stump killer. This is done by drilling holes in the stump and filling the holes with the chemical. This can help the stump and root system to decay well below ground, but it is a lengthy process over many months. Using chemicals can also be dangerous for wildlife, and for humans and pets.

Using epsom salt is a slightly more ethical method, but this takes even longer and is lethal to other trees and plants in the area.

Stump grinding is quicker and has a much less detrimental effect to local wildlife and fauna. Plus, the woodchips can be reused. Therefore, hiring a stump grinder is recommended when removing a tree stump.



Yes. Speedy Services, the UK's leading tool hire company, have tree stump grinders for hire nationwide. Speedy has more than 200 service centres across the nation, hire counters in selected B&Qs and nationwide 4-hour delivery. Hiring power tools has never been easier.

You’ll find all the tools you need right here. Why not start planning your next DIY project and open a Speedy account today online and instore.


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