How to remove shrub stumps

Written by c.l. rease
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The exact shrub stump removal method that a person uses will vary depending on the diameter of the stump and the amount of the stump extending from the ground. Shrub stumps that are larger than 4 inches in diameter will require professional-grade excavating equipment, stump grinder, or chemical stump remover. Shrub stumps smaller than 4 inches in diameter are easier to remove. Small diameter shrub stumps are still easier to remove, although serious work is involved.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Spade shovel
  • Pick axe
  • Hose
  • Chain
  • Come-along

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  1. 1

    Saturate the ground around the stump with water. Ground saturation loosens the soil, allowing the stub roots to pull from the ground with less force. Soak the stump and surrounding area thoroughly.

  2. 2

    Dig a 24-inch-diameter circle around the stump. The larger roots are closer to the stump. If you find that you are hitting large roots when you dig, expand the hole in 3-inch increments until the spade shovel easily penetrates the majority of the roots.

  3. 3

    Secure the chain to the stump. Keep the chain high on the stump. On low lying stumps, you will need to dig down deeper to connect the chain. Ground level stumps will require you to run a lag bolt through a link of chain and into the stump.

  4. 4

    Attach the come-along to a tree or vehicle bumper. Release line from the come-along until you can attach the come-along to the chain. Hook the come-along to the chain. Apply pressure to the stump by cranking the come-along handle.

  5. 5

    Place the hose at the base of the stump. Leave the water run while you dig. If the water begins to flood the area, turn the water off and let the water soak into the ground. If you encounter large roots as you dig, use the pick axe to cut through the root.

  6. 6

    Apply additional pressure to the stump with the come-along. Continue to apply pressure to the stump as long as the stump is moving. When the stump binds in the ground, add more water and continue to dig. Alternate the processes of watering, digging, and pulling on the stump until it is freed from the ground.

  7. 7

    Fill in the hole left by the stump. Start filling the hole with rocks. When the hole is 50 per cent filled, finish filling the hole with dirt. Hump the dirt over ground level. Pack the dirt into the hole with your shoe or boot. Add additional dirt to the hole. Dispose of the shrub stump.

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