In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of how to remove a tree stump with charcoal.

Dealing with a resilient tree stump in your backyard can be quite a challenge. We’ve all been there, scratching our heads and wondering how to tackle that stubborn remnant. While hiring professionals equipped with stump grinders is an option, it can be expensive and time-consuming.

Fortunately, there’s a simple and effective method you can explore: utilizing charcoal to bid farewell to that pesky stump. Yes, you heard it right!

How To Get Rid Of A Tree Stump With Charcoal

Before delving into the exciting world of stump removal, let’s talk about safety. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the fire regulations in your area to ensure that burning the stump is a permissible practice.

Safety should always be the foremost concern, so make sure you adhere to all necessary precautions. Clear the area surrounding the stump of any flammable materials and meticulously remove dried leaves or small sticks with the help of a rake.

Equally important is keeping a readily available water hose and a bucket of water throughout the burn.

Additionally, having a fire extinguisher within arm’s reach will provide an added layer of protection. Constructing a rock barrier around the tree stump will effectively contain the fire, ensuring optimal safety.

Essential Equipment For Stump Removal: Must-Have Tools

how to remove a stump without a grinder

When it comes to removing tree stumps using charcoal, having the right tools is vital.

Here’s a comprehensive list of the essential equipment you’ll need before embarking on the stump removal journey:

  • Drill gun with a 1″ spade drill bit: This tool will enable you to create holes in the top and sides of the stump.
  • Shovel: A reliable shovel is essential for digging around the base of the tree stump and exposing its roots.
  • Charcoal: The key ingredient in the burning process that will aid in stump removal.
  • Gloves: To ensure safety, don a pair of gloves for lighting the match and handling the materials.
  • 2-liter can of vegetable oil: Use this to fill the drilled holes and saturate the stump effectively.
  • Face mask: Wear a face mask during the charcoal burning process to protect yourself.

Burning Tree Stump Removal: Step-by-Step Process

Now that you’ve gathered the necessary tools, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of removing a tree stump using charcoal:

  • Begin by digging around the base of the stump, aiming to expose as much of the roots as possible.
  • Utilize the drill gun with the 1″ spade drill bit to make evenly spaced holes in the top of the stump, around 2″ apart. Ensure the holes are approximately 8″ to 10″ deep and at a 30-degree angle. Don’t forget to drill holes on the sides of the stump as well.
  • Clear any debris from the holes to facilitate proper airflow during the burning process.
  • Fill the holes with vegetable oil, and generously pour oil over the entire stump.
  • Over the course of the next few days, continue filling the holes with oil. Additionally, place charcoal around and on top of the stump, packing it in as tightly as possible.
  • Cover the charcoal and the stump with more vegetable oil, creating a mound-like structure.
  • Ignite the charcoal mound using a match or lighter, but exercise caution during this process.
  • As the charcoal burns, avoid leaving the area unattended as the fire may smolder internally. Monitor the fire until the flame is completely extinguished.
  • It’s advisable to avoid starting the fire in windy weather to prevent it from spiraling out of control. Opting for colder months is recommended as this method requires multiple burnings over several days.
  • Depending on the weather conditions and the size of the stump, you may need to repeat the process multiple times until the stump is thoroughly burnt out.
  • Once the stump has been completely burned out, carefully dig out the remaining ashes and dispose of them appropriately.


Can You Use Charcoal To Burn Out A Stump?

how much is it to remove a tree stump

Yes, this method is not only relatively straightforward but also environmentally friendly, offering a natural solution to bid farewell to that tenacious stump without causing harm to the ecosystem.

It’s crucial to consider the size of the stump, and practicing on smaller stumps initially is highly recommended. Hollow stumps will require less time compared to their larger counterparts.

One of the notable advantages of employing a charcoal burn to remove a stump is its relatively speedy completion, typically within a few days. This rapid turnaround sets it apart from alternative approaches, such as allowing the stump to decompose naturally over time.

While hiring a stump grinder or utilizing chemicals are valid options (use the best tree stump killer), employing charcoal for assistance enables you to work at your own pace without subjecting yourself to excessive physical exertion. There are also other methods of how to remove a tree stump without a grinder.

By following these meticulously outlined steps and upholding the necessary precautions, you’ll be well on your way to bidding adieu to that persistent tree stump. Remember, always prioritize safety and ensure strict compliance with local regulations.


1. How to burn stumps quickly?

To burn out stumps quickly, you can drill holes into the stump and fill them with a fuel source like kerosene or charcoal. Ignite the fuel and allow it to burn, periodically adding more fuel as needed. This method can help accelerate the burning process.

You may also be interested in checking out the detailed guide on how to burn a tree stump.

2. Is it illegal to burn tree stumps?

The legality of burning tree stumps varies depending on local regulations and fire safety codes. In some areas, burning stumps may be restricted or prohibited, especially in urban or fire-prone regions.

It is essential to check with local authorities or fire departments to determine the legality and obtain any necessary permits before burning a stump.

3. How to burn a stump with diesel?

Burning a stump with diesel is not recommended. Diesel is highly flammable and using it to burn a stump can be dangerous and uncontrollable. It is best to avoid using diesel or any other flammable liquid for stump burning.

4. Is burning a tree stump dangerous?

Burning a tree stump can be dangerous if not done properly. It can lead to uncontrolled fires, especially in dry conditions or areas with combustible materials nearby.

Additionally, the smoke produced during the burning process can be noxious. It is important to exercise caution, follow safety guidelines, and consider alternative methods if burning a stump poses a risk.

5. How long does it take to burn a stump with charcoal?

The time it takes to burn a stump with charcoal can vary depending on factors such as the size of the stump, the type and amount of charcoal used, and environmental conditions. Generally, it can take several hours to several days for the charcoal to completely burn through a stump.

Conclusion: How To Remove A Tree Stump With Charcoal

While the task of removing a tree stump can appear daunting, it’s important to remember that you have options, and it’s crucial to address them promptly. Not only do stumps detract from the aesthetics of your yard, but they also attract unwelcome pests like termites.

The cost of hiring professionals for stump grinding may lead you to consider DIY methods (check out: How much does it cost to remove a tree stump?).

In the past, stumps were often left to decay naturally, but nowadays it’s recommended to employ techniques such as burning with charcoal or other preferred methods to eliminate them.

If using fire is your chosen approach, make sure to carefully follow all suggested safety measures to ensure the desired outcome.

By Robin M

Robin remains an active participant in the skilled trades community. His hands-on involvement in projects, coupled with a genuine enthusiasm for helping others succeed in their home improvement pursuits, reflects his commitment to empowering readers with the knowledge they need to tackle projects confidently.

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