Bob Vila Radio: Removing Tree Stumps

Even a small tree can leave a formidable stump. When it comes to dealing with the landscape challenge presented by one or multiple tree stumps, homeowners have options.

At some point, you may need to remove a tree, whether because it’s too close to the house or because it’s dead or dying. Either way, you’ll have to deal with what remains once the tree is gone: the stump.


Listen to BOB VILA ON TREE STUMPS or read the text below:

Removing Tree Stumps


Even a small tree can leave a formidable stump, making it difficult, if not impossible, to dig it out by hand. You can hire a service to grind the stump or rent a grinder and do it yourself, but how effective that is depends on the location of the stump.

If the tree was close to the house or in a confined space, you’ll need to use a small grinder, which doesn’t go very deep. The remaining stump and roots will remain underground and will continue to decay for years. Not only do you need to top off the area with new soil, you should also add some lime to keep your soil balanced, as the decaying stump turns the soil acidic.

Of course, another alternative is to leave the stump in place and use it as part of your landscaping. Put in vines or other climbing plants next to it and allow them to drape over the stump. Or if the center of the stump is hollow, you can fill it with fresh potting soil and plant annuals in it.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.