How to Kill a Tree Stump and Roots Without Chemicals

There are many reasons why you may need a tree removed. It’s important during this process to remember that the tree stump and its roots should fully be removed as well. If a tree stump is not removed, it not only looks out of place and is detrimental to the aesthetic of the property, but it can be a liability risk. In addition to these reasons, tree stumps are quite resilient and not the easiest to get rid of. Many tree stumps are deep-rooted and can produce new shoots if they aren’t properly removed.

How to Kill a Tree Stump and Roots

Whereas there are a few different ways for a tree stump and roots to be killed, especially by a professional tree service, some folks may not want all of these chemicals in their yards. We understand this concern, which is why we want to share with you how to kill a tree stump and roots without chemicals. These are more natural ways, and some people may even opt to try to do it themselves. Plus, you may already have some of these items in your home!

how to kill a tree stump and roots
Image credit: pexels

Epsom Salt

If you are confused as to how Epsom salt can kill a tree stump and its roots, we understand. As Epsom salt contains both magnesium and sulfur, many times it’s used in small amounts to help the tree grow, as adding it to the soil can help create a healthy growing environment for the tree. But if you add too much of it to the area, you actually do the opposite and make the growing environment extremely unhealthy, leading to the killing of the tree. Too much Epsom salt will act as a blockade, preventing the roots from being able to absorb necessary nutrients and water.

To properly create this deadly mixture, you will want to combine 100 percent Epsom salt with water. This will create a solution that will decay the root system of the stump. Once you have this mixture created, drill about 12 one-inch-wide holes into the top of the stump, each about 10 inches deep. Then take your mixture and pour it into the holes individually. Be sure to also add the mixture of any exposed roots as well. Once all the holes have a sufficient amount of the mixture in them, cover the stump with a tarp. Make sure that this tarp is tied down, so it doesn’t move in the event of any wind or rain. It will take approximately three months for the Epsom salt to kill the roots of the tree stump.

Rock Salt

This is the same salt that’s used to melt ice from streets and sidewalks during the winter months. It can also kill a tree stump and its roots, as it’s a natural root killer. Rock salt contains sodium chloride. This causes the soil around the stump to retain moisture, in turn, not allowing it to be absorbed by the roots of a tree. Without absorbing moisture, an intense drying effect happens, which will kill the stump of the tree.

To properly dry out the stump using rock salt, you need a drill bit that’s at least 3/8 inch in diameter. Drill a bunch of holes into the top of the tree stump, each about 10 inches deep. Then fill each hole with the rock salt. After this, top each hole with hot water, as this will dissolve the salt crystals. After you have taken care of the top of the tree stump, pour a 2-inch layer of rock salt around the base of the tree stump. Again, add hot water to this so it will dissolve the salt crystals. After this, cover the top of the tree stump with mulch and soil. This should sit like this for at least six weeks. The tree stump will begin to decompose, and you can then more easily begin the process of full removal.

Controlled Burn

This is one of the most cost-effective way for you to kill your tree stump. However, you need to check with your local area before setting fire to the stump, as fire codes may not permit you to set a fire in your yard. If it’s legal in your area, first drill 12-inch-deep holes into the tree stump. These holes should be drilled about one inch from each other. Then pour kerosene in each of the holes, ensuring that the stump of the tree becomes heavily saturated. Put scrap wood on top of the now wet stump and ignite the fire.

Be sure to monitor this fire and do not leave it alone, especially as the fire spreads from the scrap pieces to the stump of the tree. Watch until it smolders and turns into ash.

Forced Darkness

Even more cost-effective than fire, not allowing the tree stump to get any sunlight at all is a cheap and easy way to kill it. By depriving the roots of sunlight and moisture, you’re stopping the development of the roots, causing the stump to gradually die off. You’ll first need to cut the stump as close to the roots as you possibly can. Then cover this area with a heavy-duty black trash bag—something that does not let any light penetrate. If the tree stump area is small, you can use a bucket that’s a dark color.

It is important to make sure that whatever you are covering the area with doesn’t let any sunlight or moisture of any kind get in. Be sure to add some sort of weight to the top of your trash bag/bucket/whatever you are using. This will keep it in place, ensure it’s fully sealed, and further, not let any sunlight or moisture into it. This process usually takes about eight weeks to kill the stump and roots.

The above are some simple ways to kill a tree stump and roots without chemicals. They are quite straightforward but may not be for everyone to do alone. We are happy to help you in your tree stump and root removing process, so please give us a call if you would like assistance.

At Mr. Tree, we know how important it is for folks to kill a tree stump and roots without chemicals, and we want to be there to help to ensure your yard looks beautiful, is safe, and is chemical free.


FAQ’S OF How to Kill a Tree Stump and Roots

Will vinegar kill tree roots?

Yes, vinegar can kill tree roots. To do so, fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar. On a sunny, warm day. Spray vinegar on the leaves of shoots sprouting from the tree roots and stump. This kills the surviving tree roots by destroying the leafy top growth that provides nourishment to the roots.

What kills tree roots quickly?

Once the tree has been cut down, the quickest way to kill the roots is with a chemical herbicide. Because natural methods take time to kill the roots, chemicals may be harmful to the soil and environment.

How to Kill a Tree Stump and Roots?

1- Epsom Salt
2- Rock Salt
3- Controlled Burn
4- Forced Darkness

Does baking soda kill trees?

Yes, Baking soda includes sodium, which is poisonous to plants. So, absolutely, dumping enough salt on a plant will cause it to die.

Jasper is a professional business and startup blogger that writes for a variety of leading sites. He loves content partnerships with advertisement agencies.