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How To Get Rid Of A Tree Stump With Charcoal In 8 Easy Steps

Tree stumps can make your yard look untidy. Getting rid of them can be costly, and it can also create a mess in your landscape. However, removing the stump will be difficult.

It could take weeks or even months for it to vanish. In some instances, it never does. That does not have to be the case. Fortunately, there are a few alternatives to renting a stump grinder or hiring a professional stump removal service to remove a stump.

A tree stump can always be removed with charcoal. If you are looking out for methods to get rid of a tree stump with charcoal, you are at the right place. Give this article a read as we will mention the simple steps on how to get rid of a tree stump with charcoal.

Things You’ll Need

  • Shovel
  • Drill gun
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Face mask
  • Charcoal
  • Oil
  • Gloves

Step-by-Step Process on How To Get Rid of a Tree Stump with Charcoal

Step 1: Take Precautionary Measures

  • If you’re going to burn a stump, make sure it’s at least 15 feet away from your house and other structures. This will keep deadly fires at bay.
  • Plan to keep an eye on the stump while it burns and has a fire extinguisher ready if the flames get out of hand.
  • Choose a windless day with damp soil to control the fire.
  • If your area is facing drought, avoid burning a stump.
  • Check your local laws to see any fire restrictions or burn bans.
  • Check out the laws in your area governing outdoor fires.

Step 2: Dig around the Stump

  • Excavate to a depth of 12–18 inches (30–45 cm) around the stump.
  • The excavation area should stretch 12–24 inches (30–60 cm) away from the stump to expose the tree roots and create a safe fire pit.
  • By exposing as much of the stump and roots as feasible, the stump will burn away.
  • If the space around the stump is not excavated, the fire may struggle to destroy the stump.
  • After all of your hard work, the burn may still leave you with a partial stump.
  • Furthermore, a well-excavated space provides a secure fire pit for your burn, which helps to restrict the flames.

Step 3: Drill Holes in the Stump’s Top

  • Drill multiple holes in the top of the stump using a 1-inch diameter (25 mm) drill bit.
  • The holes should be 12 inches (30 cm) deep and 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
  • To prepare a huge stump, you may need to drill several holes.
  • Drill holes 2 inches apart in a “checkerboard” design on the top of the stump.
  • This may necessitate drilling multiple holes, but the stump must absorb vegetable oil and entirely burn away.

Step 4: Drill Holes in the Stump’s Sides

  • Drill holes downward at an angle of 3–4 inches (7.5–10 cm) along the edge of the stump. The idea is for these angled holes to intersect with the vertical holes drilled earlier in the process. It would be best to have many ‘V’ or “fishhook” shaped holes at the end.
  • This allows more oil to permeate the stump for burning and increased ventilation to help the fire burn hotter.
  • After drilling the holes in the stump, it’s vital to know that your stump is also ready to be treated with stump remover.
  • Before burning, use a potassium nitrate stump remover to help break down the wood and make it simpler to burn.

Step 5: Pour the Vegetable Oil into the holes

  • Fill the holes drilled in the top of the tree stump with vegetable oil.
  • The goal is to fill each hole with vegetable oil until it streams out.
  • It’s also fine to use vegetable oil to coat the top of the stump.
  • The oil will soak into the wood, resulting in a more efficient burn.
  • As the vegetable oil absorbs into the wood, add more oil until the wood is completely saturated.
  • Repeat the oil treatment for many days to get the greatest benefits and prepare the stump for burning.

Step 6: Heap the Charcoal over and Around the Stump

  • On top of the stump, place a full bag of charcoal.
  • In an X-pattern, cut the top of the bag open.
  • In the area you excavated, lay another bag or half-bag of charcoal around the stump, which will get your stump ready to burn.
  • It’s OK to start with a small bit of charcoal to make monitoring and controlling the flame easier.
  • You can add more as needed after the fire is established to get a stump-consuming fire going.

Step 7: Light the Charcoal Up

  • To light, the charcoal, use a small amount of charcoal lighter fluid. In most cases, not much is required.
  • The vegetable oil-soaked stump will fuel the charcoal once it begins going.
  • Following that, it’s critical to keep an eye on the stump.
  • Stumps can burn for days or even weeks.
  • A stump that has been soaked in vegetable oil for several days is extremely hot to the touch.
  • It’s crucial to stay close by during the burn if the flames go out of hand.
  • Moisten the surrounding area and keep a fire extinguisher nearby in an emergency.

Step 8: Clean up the Mess

  • Depending on the stump’s size, it may burn for several hours or smolder and burn away for a few days.
  • You’ll be left with an ashy crater after the burn.
  • Remove any obstinate remaining pieces of the stump with a shovel, then fill the pit with fresh topsoil.
  • Remember that even though a stump fire looks out at first glance, it may still be burning portions of the stump and roots beneath the top layer of ash.
  • Before removing the ash, hose down the area and work carefully to avoid igniting the embers.

Why Use Charcoal to Get Rid of a Stump?

Barbecues and fire pits are commonly lit with charcoal. But putting a tree on fire to get rid of it? It’s feasible, to be sure. Not only is it conceivable, but it is also preferable to many other possibilities. This is why:

It’s quick: While it’s not as quick as grinding or chainsawing the stump, it only takes a few days. This method saves you a lot of time compared to other “natural” methods.

Extremely low-cost: There’s no need to spend a lot of money on tools or equipment. You’re only going to utilize one. All you’ll need is charcoal, a drill, and some oil. It will be a fraction of the expense of employing a professional removalist.

Little to no effort: The procedure is so simple that almost anyone can complete it. There isn’t any strenuous job to be done.

No noise pollution: Charcoal is arguably the safest technique to remove a tree stump if done correctly. While the smoke may be bothersome, you won’t produce any unwanted rackets.


Final Remarks

Always have a bucket of water with you when burning stumps. The pit can be slippery, so being diligent is essential.

Stump fires are best performed away from vehicles and structures due to the risk of fire spreading if left unattended or out of control. If the stump fails to burn down entirely by any chance, you will have to bring in a stump grinder. If you have a jackhammer, it should do the trick.

As we have discussed in detail on how to get rid of a tree stump with charcoal, you’re now sufficiently prepared for the work because you’ve covered every point listed above to ensure the job runs smoothly.

If something goes wrong, don’t be afraid to go back and try again. In any case, we’re confident that a gardener or DIYer will have no trouble with this. To avoid problems, remember to follow each step.