How to Rot a Tree Stump Fast?

You maybe imagine a beautiful emerald loan in front of your house: kids are playing around, and you and your friends are chatting while enjoying cocktails! You want to put your plan into practice, but then suddenly realize stump (or even stumps) is ruining this ideal image of friends and family having fun together.  

 We know it is frustrating! Big tree stumps in the yard don’t make a beautiful sight! Besides, they take up plenty of space that you can use in many other ways. If you want to have a lawn, the stump can make mowing way more challenging. Leaving the stumps increases the risk of roots damaging the water pipes or foundation of the house.

Fortunately, though, there is a way to remove them effortlessly. Follow our advice, and your plans about having fun in the yard will become reality. It’s your choice to decide how to remove tree stumps, and our job is to make it possible for you to realize your plans.

Reasons to Remove Tree Stump

There are plenty of reasons why you need to know how to get rid of tree stumps. First of all, anyone can fall and get hurt if the stumps are left lying around the yard. And you certainly want you, your family or anyone around to get injured. Secondly, you may also want to remove the stump because it’s not aesthetical to have a dead tree in front of the house.  Apart from that, abandoned stumps make mowing and weeding pretty challenging. 

And to top it all off, a new tree can actually grow from a stump, and pretty fast. And in other circumstances, it would be fine, but if the stump is near your home, that can become a problem. That is because certain types of trees near house can damage the building with their roots.

How to Rot a Tree Stump

When you see that making a stump rot can be fast and easy, you will be relieved. And there are a couple of ways how to rot a stump:

Use Chemicals

You can use certain chemicals to rot a tree stump. Some of these are:

Potassium Nitrate  

While Potassium Nitrate is used as fertilizer, you can also use it to decompose the tree. But keep in mind that it’s a strong chemical, so if you have kids or pets, it’s best to try another method. 

As an alternative, you can use another way how to rot tree stumps quickly – with high nitrogen fertilizer.

High Nitrogen Fertilizer    

High Nitrogen is a good fertilizer that is responsible for feeding the fungi and bacteria. And that in turn speeds up the time it takes for the tree stump to decompose. But do keep in mind that it is essential to follow the instructions. Because these chemicals can be harmful if not used properly. But other than that, this is probably one of the best products to use when you want to know how to kill tree stumps and roots.


This is another effective chemical to get rid of tree stump. However, the effectiveness of the bleach varies depending on the tree. That is because some tree sorts (like birch, red oak e.t.c) can be resistant to chlorine that’s in this chemical. So naturally, it will do nothing for them. But it can affect the other plants and trees that are sensitive to this component (dandelion, poison ivy, apple tree, aspen e.t.c) So again, be very careful and attentive when using bleach or any chemical with chlorine in it. 

Epsom Salt or Rock Salt    

We highly recommend these salts for removing tree stumps. Epsom salt is Magnesium sulfate, and it’s used to moisture different elements. And while it may take more time for the stump to rot like this, rock salt is also a better and safer method than the chemicals previously mentioned. Moreover, it shouldn’t cause any risk for your children and pets, as long as you follow the instructions.

How to Rot Out a Tree Stump

We already mentioned above that it is easy to rot a stump but to be sure that you have a clear idea of what you should do we will share detailed step-by-step instructions.

Before you start with any action, make sure that you have all the necessary equipment. You will need gloves, a face protection shield, a grinding machine, a plastic cover, and an electric drill.

Safety precaution
  1. Make a couple of holes in a stump with an electric drill. Make sure that holes are 3 -4 inches deep.    
  2. Put a chemical into the holes.
  3. Cover the stump with plastic sheets and tighten them with rope or wire. At least one week is necessary for the chemical to complete the rotting process.
  4. After one week, remove the plastic cover. See in which stadium of rotting is the stump. If you can easily remove small parts of the stump with your hands, you can start with grinding.
  5. If the stump is not rotten yet, repeat the whole process.

Signs of Stump Rot

When the stump is rotten, you will notice it, but only if you know what to look for. Here we will list the signs to make it simpler for you.   

  • Change in the Stump Structure: When you’re done with rotting tree stump, it will be moist and soft, so you can manually remove small parts of the stump. Be careful and wear gloves while discovering in which stadium of rotting is your stump.
  • Presence of the Pests: Pests love rotten stumps, and they usually chose it as a habitat. So if you notice manysmall holes or worms, you can be sure that the stump is rotten.

How Long Will It Take to Rot a Stump Down to Its Roots?

It depends on the method and chemical you choose, but the process of rotting should last more than a couple of days. For precise estimation, read the user’s manual carefully.  One thing is sure if you wait for the stump to decompose naturally, it will take precisely seven years.

Other Methods to Get Rid of Stumps


Burning can also be a good way how to rot tree stumps quickly. But needless to say, this is also a very dangerous method, both for you and the environment. Necessarily follow the fire safety rules and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you’re not sure. Also, avoid this method during hot summer days because the fire can spread around.

An affordable and relatively fast methodNot eco friendly and generally very dangerous


For this method, you will need a grinding electrical machine. But the grinding process can be fast and effective only if you are used to working with a grinding disk. Otherwise, better to ask for professional help to avoid any accidents.

Fast method if you know how to use itThe grinding machine is a little bit pricey, and you have to buy additional gadgets to protect your face and hands


And that’s all we wanted to share on how to kill tree stumps and roots and some effective methods! All and all, be very careful, follow all the safety rules, and don’t hesitate to ask for professional help if you have some difficulties! 

So, have you ever used any of these methods? Or perhaps you know another way how to rot a tree stump fast? Then feel free to share it with us in the comments!

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