Cleaning tree stumps and remains from your backyard can be a tricky and energy-draining process, especially for a tight budget.
But with a little know-how, you can simplify the task without involving heavy-duty tools. If you have a lot of time, learn how to kill a tree stump in a natural way.
Use Epsom Salt to Weaken the Stump
Epsom salt has been long known as a home remedy that contains essential nutrients for plants. But in high concentrations, it can draw moisture from the plant and kill it slowly. If you are not in a rush to remove the stump, consider pouring a bunch of Epsom salt to the outside edge.
How to kill a tree stump naturally using Epsom salt is simple. Prepare tools and materials like safety glasses, chainsaw, drill, Epsom salt, and water. When you have everything around, cut the stump using a chainsaw. Make it as low as possible.
Drill some holes into the top as deep as you can. Next, pour the salt and add water to saturate. Sprinkle more salt and cover it with a tarp. Wait for a month and see if the stump is dead.
Try Rock Salt
Another method to weaken a tree stump is by using rock salt. How to kill a tree stump using rock salt is relatively similar to the Epsom salt. A high concentration of rock salt can draw moisture and kill the stump, so you need to pour tons of it on the top.
Be careful when using rock salt and any other kind of salt because it can damage the neighboring plants. If you have plants you don’t want to kill near the stump, this method is not recommended. But when the area is clear, you can try rock salt as an effective natural stump killer.
Consider Commercial Stump Killers
Whether natural remedies don’t work or you don’t have much time, using commercial stump killers can be a solution. There is a wide range of chemicals that you can use to kill stumps, such as potassium nitrate to speed up the decay process.
How to kill a tree stump using store-bought chemicals varies depending on which brand or which chemical you use. For instance, if the product contains triclopyr, you can apply the chemical to the top and it will penetrate the trunk and roots.
However, commercial stump killers may kill neighboring plants and even cause damage to animals and people. Use it with caution.
Dig It Manually
Consider this method as your last resort. Digging the stump is the quickest and most practical solution to get rid of it from your yard. When the stump is no larger than 12 inches in diameter, you can dig it without help of heavy machinery.
All you need to prepare is a narrow spade and a mattock. Dig around the stump using a spade and chop through roots using a mattock. If you want to maintain the natural shape of the stump for artwork, digging is highly recommended.
All in all, how to kill a tree stump is not a simple process especially if you deal with the larger one. When it is not possible to dig it manually, consider using salt to weaken the root before you remove it.