While grinding and burning are the most popular methods to kill a stump, there are limitations to both options. For instance, you can’t use large stump grinders near structures like foundation walls, plumbing systems, and outdoor fixtures. Similarly, burning stumps planted beside anything flammable can quickly turn into a disaster.

Fortunately, there are other ways to get rid of stumps. Our experts at Lineage Tree Care created this guide to walk you through how to rot tree stumps quickly without dangerous flammable compounds or invasive stump-grinding tools. However, if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call. 

Rot Tree Stumps

How To Get Rid of Tree Stumps Without Grinding or Burning Them

Step 1: Prepare the Stump

Before attempting to rot a stump, it’s best to cut it as close to the ground as possible. Ideally, opt for a sunny day when it hasn’t rained for a day or two. Once you’re ready, attach the spade and bit extender to your drill, then bore into the stump. Make each hole 8 to 10 inches deep, 4 inches wide, and 1 inch apart. 

Note that large stumps will need more holes. Make sure to get rid of the wood chunks as you bore through the stump as they can prevent your stump-killing formula from spreading.

Step 2: Scoop Potassium Nitrate Into the Holes 

After preparing the stump, scoop potassium nitrate into each hole. The amount needed varies on a case-by-case basis, but each hole should be filled to a depth of at least 5 inches. If you have the resources to add more, feel free to do so. You can also use other high-nitrogen substances, such as fresh manure or blood meal.

Step 3: Dissolve the Powder With Hot Water

Next, pour hot water into each hole to dissolve the potassium nitrate and help it seep into the roots. Then, cover the stump with a tarp. You can also cover the tarp with hay if you like. The goal is to help retain moisture in the stump.

Step 4: Wait For the Tree Stump to Rot

Potassium nitrate is an organic compound that naturally decomposes wood. It will take three to four weeks for your stump to rot but repeating this process as the stump dries out can help speed things along. 

Step 5: Use a Shovel to Break the Rotted Tree Stump

Once the stump has decomposed, you can use a pike or shovel to remove the stump rot and fill the resulting hole with soil. 

Get Rid of Tree Stumps Quickly, Safely, and Efficiently

Need that tree stump gone fast? We can help! While this is the quickest method to rot a stump, as a professional tree and stump removal company, our specialists may be able to get the job done faster.  We can often remove tree stumps in less than a day. Call (425) 800-8015 to schedule a consultation with our friendly experts at Lineage Tree Care. We serve all of King and Snohomish County.