How to Remove a Tree Stump by Hand

How to Remove a Tree Stump by Hand

Removing a tree stump can be a backbreaking task, but it doesn’t have to be.  There are a number of safe and effective ways to remove a tree stump from your yard. Some methods require heavy equipment, while others can be done by hand with the right tools for the job.

With some basic know-how, almost anyone can safely get rid of that unsightly eyesore in their yard. Using the right tools, you’ll find that removing a tree stump can be an easy and straightforward process.

Start by preparing the area around the stump by leveling the ground and clearing any nearby plants or shrubs. You’ll want to dig a perimeter about one foot out from the stump all around.

If you’re digging it out by hand,  be sure to wear protective clothing and eye protection. This article will be going over how to remove a tree stump by hand without using heavy machinery.

What Tools Do You Need?

When removing a tree stump by hand, the right tools will really make all of the difference. 

Without them, you’ll be stuck digging away at that thing for days on end just to get a few feet deep!

  • Hedge trimmer – For trimming the shrubs and bushes around
  • Shovel- For breaking up the dirt
  • Sturdy Axe – For chopping away at the stump
  • Mattock or grubbing hoe – For breaking up the roots
  • Tree stump puller(optional) – For removing and pulling up the stump
  • Protective Gloves – To protect the hands from blisters and callouses
  • Pick-axe – For breaking up the roots

With this hand tools, you are ready to dig out that stump in no time.

Use Epsom salt to remove tree stumps

Step By Step: How to Remove a Tree Stump by Hand

Step 1:   Clear away all nearby plants and shrubs

Prepare the area around the stump by leveling the ground, removing any rocks or debris that might get in your way. 

You’ll want to dig a perimeter about one foot out from the stump all around.

Step Two:  Chop away at the roots of the tree with an axe

Use your sturdy axe and chop away at any visible roots near or under the surface of your dirt.

Get rid of as much woody material in this area, chopping into it until you hit solid roots. It may take some time but be patient; eventually, you will get through that stubborn trunk!

We recommend wearing protective gloves while digging since blisters are never fun.

Also: Covering exposed tree roots with grass

Step Three:  Using Mattock or grubbing hoe for breaking up more deeply rooted portions of trees.

Make sure to use safety equipment like eye protection when using any type of heavy tools.

Most people think that using mattock is easy, but it can be dangerous and tiresome if not done properly.

Step Four: Use Tree Stump Puller(optional) For removing and pulling up the stump

Once your roots are completely removed from all sides, it’s time to break out your tree stump puller (if you have one).

The idea here is simple: attach the puller jaws around the top of your freshly dug hole and start cranking down on those levers until something gives! In most cases, simply breaking apart the roots is enough to get it out of the ground.

How to kill tree stumps with motor oil and diesel

Step Five: Use Shovel For breaking up the dirt if the puller doesn’t work.

If your stump is still in place after trying to remove it by hand, you might need another method for removing the stump completely.

Using an ordinary shovel, start digging around above where your root system was located and cut into that trunk as deep as possible. This will usually do the trick when a puller fails!

Best way to stop tree roots from growing back

Step Six: Fill the hole back up once removed using soil at least one foot thick.

Make sure not to leave any loose debris lying around, so fill the hole back up with soil at least one foot thick. The last thing you want is for pesky weeds to take root there!

Step Seven:  Water down the area where you removed the tree stump.

Finally, water down that area and wait around two weeks before planting any new trees or shrubs.

If done right, this method should have no problem getting rid of even the stubbornest stumps without leaving behind any traces (of course, unless you let it dry out completely).

Use of grinders To Remove A Tree Stump by Hands

1. Using a grinder with a diamond blade to cut up the stump.

If you want something more powerful than an axe, there is one other option available: grinders! Of course, this isn’t the cheapest method out there, but it’s still not as expensive as calling in a professional and will most likely be faster too.

If done right with enough pressure, even that old stumps can turn into sawdust within hours or days, depending on how big it is.

check out this Stump Remover Grinder

Killing tree stumps with motor oil

FAQ’s: Removing Tree Stumps by Hand

What if I’m not able to dig around the entire tree?

If you are unable to remove every root system, it is still possible.

However, this method won’t be as effective and may leave behind some roots that will sprout new growth over time (it’s like waiting for another stump!).

Is it possible to remove a tree stump without removing the roots?

Yes, this is still possible with any method, but just know that you’ll have less chance at long-term success.

The reason why other removal techniques are more effective in comparison is that there’s no way around digging up all surrounding root systems when cutting down trees, after all!

Many people think it’s easy enough with just an axe, but nothing could be further from reality! In most cases, it will require a lot more effort and time than most would think.

Hopefully, this guide has made the process of how to remove a tree stump by hand much easier for you! Good luck out there.

How to fill in tree stump holes


  • Ricky

    Hi, I’m Ricky. I’ve been involved in lawn care and landscaping from when I was 15. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of pushing mowers, collecting grass clippings, and maintaining flowerbeds at the time. But having seem the passion my parents had for gardening and outdoors and the effort they put in maintaining the health and beauty of our landscape, I couldn’t help but not only admire their hard work but also I became a part of it. As someone who loves to spend time with nature’s best, I find myself learning a lot more about gardening and outdoors on a daily basis. Not to mention I love to share the knowledge I’ve gathered over the years with my readers at We Mow Dallas. To be clear, I don’t have a Master’s degree in gardening or anything like that. Everything I’ve learned about gardening, landscaping, and lawn care spring from passion and engagement with my parents. And with a ton of free information out there, plus the ability to run tests and determine what works best for lawn care and landscaping, every day is an opportunity to learn and implement something new. My goal with We Mow Dallas is to teach you exactly how to maintain your lawn and landscape. And since I walk the talk in reality, you shouldn’t hesitate to join me in this wonderful world of landscaping and lawn care. K Beatrice

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *