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How to Remove a Palm Tree Stump and More

Tree stump removal can be back-breaking work, but leaving a stump in place after tree removal can leave a tripping hazard, and it can also be unsightly. Depending on the type of tree, the tree size, and how deep the root system goes, the process of removing a tree stump can vary. How to remove a palm tree stump specifically can also vary, based on how large the palm tree is. Palm trees all have extensive, deep root systems hidden below the soil that also require removal with the stump. Removing palm tree stumps can be particularly difficult due to their root structures containing long, stringy, intertwining roots that travel into the soil.

Removing the stump and attached roots allows for better soil structure for future planting in that area.

There are several options when looking into how to remove a palm tree stump. Some more natural ways also require a long waiting period, while other methods require a lot of physical strength and may require training on heavy machinery usage.

Chemical Tree Stump Removers

If you’re not in a hurry to remove your palm tree stump, you may find using chemicals to rot the tree stump is the best option. This isn’t an eco-friendly option, and there are other more natural methods, but using a chemical tree stump killer is the most hands-off approach. The majority of stump removing chemicals available today are made with the active ingredient potassium nitrate. Potassium nitrate contains a high level of nitrogen, which aids in the breakdown and decomposition of tree stumps.

There are other chemical options, but potassium nitrate is the most effective option. Most chemical stump removal products are in powder or small granule formulas. This is preferred over liquid form, as liquids can evaporate over time, and granules will stay with the stump during the weeks following application.



To apply the granules, you’ll need to drill holes with a 3/8-inch drill bit in the stump about 2 to 3 inches apart and about 8 to 10 inches deep. Also, drill holes along the side of the stump, parallel to the ground, and they should intersect with the holes drilled down from the top of the stump.

Then pour the chemical powder or granules into the holes from the top of the stump, followed by the amount of water listed on the instructions of your chemical stump remover. It’s important not to dilute the chemicals with too much water, so follow the instructions on the chemical packaging to determine the correct amount of water.

Cover the stump to keep both children and animals away from the chemicals as they decompose the tree stump. These dangerous chemicals will remain active over the next several weeks, so making sure to keep the stump covered and away from children and animals is imperative. Check on the stump over time, and it will change from solid wood to a spongy, mulch-like consistency.

Once the chemicals have completed their job, the stump is still not fully ready to remove. The next step is to coat the stump in kerosene, cover the stump, and let the kerosene soak into the stump for several weeks. Once the stump has fully absorbed the kerosene, uncover the stump and set it on fire. Monitor the fire at all times. Never leave the burning stump unattended. The flames should extinguish on their own once the stump is completely burned up. Some roots will be left sticking up around a black hole where the stump once stood. Just pull up the roots, fill the hole, and plant seeds or lay sod.

Rotting a Tree Stump

As a more natural but similar approach, rotting a tree stump with natural high-nitrogen sources, such as blood meal, fresh manure, or compost, can be a more eco-friendly approach to tree stump removal. The process of rotting a tree stump is similar to the chemical process above. Drill several holes in the top of the stump, each hole should be 8 to 10 inches deep and at a 30-degree angle. Use a trowel or plastic scoop to fill the holes with your high-nitrogen source. Next, fill each hole with warm water by using a funnel or a plastic cup with a spout, until the nitrogen source is dissolved. As the stump softens over time, chip off pieces of the stump with a shovel until the stump is gone. Fill the hole with dirt and seed or sod.

Grinding a Tree Stump

You can remove a stump by using a power stump grinder. Stump grinders are available for rent at your local home improvement store. Tree stump grinders have circular blades that chop the tree stump into woodchips, making its removal much easier. Stump grinders are difficult to handle and can be dangerous to use without the proper know-how. If you’re inexperienced, leave your stump grinding to the experts at Mr. Tree. No matter what the stump size, we’ll remove the stump, grinding 10 to 12 inches below grade. We will remove the grindings or we can use them to fill the hole left behind. As an added bonus, we have years of landscape experience to help guide you in the right direction when choosing what to plant next in place of the removed tree.

There are many options when looking to remove a palm tree stump, or any tree stump for that matter. Some options require more chemicals, while others require more hard manual labor and knowledge in heavy machinery. Whether you choose to remove your stump naturally with high-nitrogen materials, use a stump grinder, or use one of the chemical stump killers on the market, your property will look so much better without the eyesore and tripping hazard. If you prefer to leave that stump grinding to the experts, contact Mr. Tree for an affordable estimate. Our stump grinding service is top-notch, and we’ll have your yard back to looking its best.