How to Bury Tree Stumps

Written by ericb
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How to Bury Tree Stumps
Chop the tree stump as low to the ground as possible. (tree stump image by Radoslav Lazarov from

Trees sometimes need to be removed to make way for construction or if the tree is dead and poses a threat to an existing structure. Regardless of the reason you need a tree cut down, you will be left with a tree stump. There are a number of ways to remove a stump, but why not make use of it? You can break the stump down into organic compost or incorporate it into the landscape to hide it.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Axe
  • Nitrogen fertiliser
  • Shovel
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Grass or flowers

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  1. 1

    Chop major roots of the tree with an axe. This will ensure plant death and speed decomposition. Cut the tree stump as close to ground level as possible. You will also need to chop out the centre of the stump with an axe. Hack away if you are completely covering the stump. Form a bowl to plant flowers.

  2. 2

    Shovel loamy soil mixed with compost onto the tree stump. Compost with active bacteria will also work to expedite the tree’s break down; so will nitrous fertiliser. Earthworms would make a great addition, as they are excellent workers in the soil, helping to break down matter and aerate the soil. Form a thick layer, at least several inches, of soil over the top.

  3. 3

    Pat down the soil with your hands or the flat side of the shovel. To completely bury the tree stump into the yard, lay sod over the tree stump. Grass will help create a heavy, dark cover for the stump, which is conducive to the breakdown of organic matter. To make it into a flower pot, build the grass up to the rim of the stump, covering the roots. Leave an ample amount of soil atop the stump and plant flowers or a flowering shrub to camouflage the spot.

  4. 4

    Keep the area very moist to keep the compost process going. If you are covering the area with plants, they will also need to love water. Some colourful choices include geraniums, asters, iris, mimulus luteus, and several variety of primula and anemone flowers.

Tips and warnings

  • Burying tree stumps is illegal in many parts of the country, especially if it is a construction site. Check your local laws.
  • Be cautious of burying very large tree stumps; some buried tree stumps have caused sink holes.

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