How Do You Kill Tree Stumps?
blogdetail.jpg 08 Feb

How Do You Kill Tree Stumps?

After a successful tree removal project, you often need an unsightly tree stump that can be challenging to get rid of. Whether you want to clear the space for landscaping or prevent regrowth, Southern Star Stump experts can recommend practical and safe ways to eliminate a tree stump on your premises. Let’s look at practical ways to kill tree stumps without affecting curb appeal or risking property damage. 

Epsom Salt

Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is a common household item that can help kill a tree stump. This stump removal method is safe for the environment and doesn’t involve toxic chemicals. Use a drill to make several holes into the top of the stump. These holes should be deep enough to penetrate the wood so you can fill them with an Epsom salt and water solution. The salt will absorb moisture from the wood with time, drying it out. As the wood weakens, you can break it apart or remove it with the proper tools. While Epsom salt is a natural and less aggressive method, it may take several months for the stump to decay.

Rock Salt

Rock salt, or sodium chloride, is another effective and safe way to kill a tree stump. Like Epsom salt, this method draws out moisture from the stump, causing decay. In addition, you also have to drill holes into the stump’s surface and fill them with salt. Once the solution penetrates the wood, cover the stump with a tarp or plastic sheet to create a barrier and prevent rainwater from diluting the salt. This method takes several months for the stump to rot and becomes more accessible to remove. Remember, the rock salt can harm nearby plants and soil, so use it cautiously and avoid excessive quantities.

Boiling Water

Boiling water is a straightforward and eco-friendly stump removal method. This technique scorches the stump, killing the roots and preventing regrowth. Drill multiple holes into the stump’s surface, just like the previous methods, and pour boiling water into the holes. The hot water will penetrate the wood, weakening the stump with time. This is a safe approach for the environment and doesn’t pose a threat to nearby plants.


Stump grinding is the most efficient way to remove a tree stump. It involves using a specialized stump grinder, a powerful machine that grinds the stump into wood chips. Professionals usually handle stump grinding because of the industry-standard equipment required. This removal technique offers several advantages, including speed and effectiveness. When you schedule a stump grinding project, we remove the visible portion of the stump and grind down the roots below the surface to mitigate regrowth and other problems. While stump grinding is costly, it provides the quickest and most thorough results, making it a preferred choice for many homeowners looking for swift solutions.

There are various methods to kill tree stumps, each with advantages and considerations. Whether you use Epsom salt and rock salt or the efficiency of stump grinding, contact the professionals at the Southern Star Stump and schedule a consultation to determine the way to go. We can help you choose a suitable approach depending on your specific needs, timeline, and budget.