How to stop a tree stump from growing back

Written by paul ramone
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How to stop a tree stump from growing back
Kill a tree stump with a diluted chemical solution (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A tree's stump is difficult to landscape around. Hack at the stump as you might, and you will find yourself with an ache in the back and a headache. However, removing stumps doesn't have to be hard. In fact, you can chemically break down the stump and its remaining root system with the application of a simple sodium hydroxide and water solution.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Caustic soda (sodium hydroxide)
  • Bucket
  • Wooden stirrer
  • Hand drill
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • Pointed shovel

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  1. 1

    Fix a 1/4-inch drill bit to an electric-powered hand drill.

  2. 2

    Steady the drill against the top of the stump and drill holes spaced 3 inches apart over the entire surface.

  3. 3

    Slip on a pair of rubber gloves and pour one part sodium hydroxide and two parts water into a clean bucket.

  4. 4

    Stir the sodium hydroxide and water to incorporate.

  5. 5

    Immediately pour over the top of the stump so it seeps into the drilled holes. Repeat this process every day for approximately 2 weeks, or until the stump is soft enough to easily chop up with a shovel and remove.

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