How To Get Rid Of A Tree Stump With Charcoal

In this article, I will be showing you how to get rid of a tree stump using charcoal.

How tiring can it be, having to look at an ugly tree stump sticking out of your lawn? Don’t you just wish a super-powered hero would just fly down and rip it off the ground?

As good as it is to have fantasies, it is equally important to face reality. And the reality is this – there is no superhero coming to help you get rid of your tree stump, you have to do it yourself.

There are several ways by which you can do this, and strangely enough, using charcoal is one of them.

I know you’re surprised, as this is one of the many stump removal methods that aren’t as popular as grinding or pulling. Believe I or not, charcoal can get the job done.

Advantages Of Removing Tree Stump With Charcoal

Before we get into the process, I’d like us to first take a look at the advantages that come with this method of tree stump removal.

They are listed out below.

It takes only a few days to finish: Yeah I know, grinding and pulling a tree stump off the soil only takes an hour or less, so you may ask how spending a few days with charcoal removal an advantage?

Well, compared to grinding and pulling it can be considered quite slow, but when compared with rotting, then a few days would only seem like a few hours. This is because rotting a tree stump can take as long as 4 months to be completed.

It is a cheap option: Charcoal isn’t an expensive item in the market, you probably have loads of it in your kitchen or fireplace already.

When you think about how much you’ll spend renting a stump grinder or paying professionals to remove your stump, then you’d realize how cheap the charcoal option is.

You can don’t alone: If you live alone and you want to remove your tree stump using charcoal, then you have nothing to worry about. It is a process you can do all by yourself.

You can drive yourself or walk to a store to pick up the charcoal, you can carry the bag yourself, you can make the preparations yourself, and of course, you can light the fire yourself!

No extra hands needed!

It is not physically tasking: Unlike digging and uprooting, using charcoal for tree stump removal doesn’t expend too much of your energy.

Besides trimming the stump down, and drilling some holes, there is no other tedious task involved when using the charcoal approach.

No need for heavy-duty machines: All you need is a chainsaw, a power-drill, a bag of charcoal, and a box of matches.

No loud, noise-making, peace-bugging machines required.

Disadvantages Of Tree Stump Removal Using Charcoal

As there are advantages, there are also disadvantages. It would be wise of you to consider these disadvantages before you proceed.

Upon consideration, you will be sure if the charcoal method is best for you or not.

Here are the disadvantages that come with using charcoal for tree stump removal.

It is very messy: Since you will be burning up a full bag of charcoal over your tree stump, the aftermath would be a ground full of ash. This could be heartbreaking if the tree stump is located in a beautiful part of your yard.

The burnt up tree stump will take a victim along, and that is the portion of the grass that surrounds the base of the stump. They will be burnt too.

Such a mess is difficult to clean up since it is a dust-like form. After such a mess, the cleanup process can be quite frustrating.

It produces smoke: I doubt there’s anyone who enjoys breathing in smoke from burning coal. Nonetheless, it is one of the inconveniences you will have to deal with if you choose the charcoal removal method.

It gets worse, you won’t be burning for just a day, the process is repetitive, meaning you’ll have to do it more than once. Two days at least.

You may get burnt: As it is with anything you set on fire, being around a burning pile means there is a chance you may get burnt, no matter how slim that chance is.

Tools You Will Need For Removing Stump Using Charcoal

Before you begin, there are a few important things you will need. I’ll list them out below.

Face mask: Since the charcoal will produce smoke, you need to guard yourself against inhaling it, and this is where the face mask comes in.

Make sure you have it on for as long as the charcoal is burning.

Gloves: Remember you have to light a match and set the charcoal heap on fire. For this reason, you will need to put on a pair of gloves to prevent hot charcoal or the flame from making direct contact with your fingers.

Goggles: You can’t be around a burning, smoke-producing heap without putting on protective goggles. These will shield your eyes from the irritating smoke and fumes.

Fire extinguisher: This must always be kept close by in case of an emergency. If you feel the need to stop burning due to any unforeseen complications, then don’t hesitate to grab the fire extinguisher and put out the flame.

Rocks: You can use the rocks to build a make-shift wall around the tree stump. This will help keep the burning controlled.

Power drill: You will use this to create holes on the surface and the sides of the stump.

Vegetable oil: This will aid in the burning of the coal, as they will be soaked in the tree stump.

A bag of charcoal: Now this is the main ingredient. A full bag will do.

Your neighbors’ consent: Yeah, you’re going to need this too. Before you begin, be nice enough to inform them you’ll be lighting up charcoal in your yard.

Also, be updated with the fire service & state regulations on burning. You may find yourself in some legal trouble if you don’t.

Steps To Get Rid Of A Tree Stump With Charcoal

Follow these steps –

Dig Around The Base Of The Tree Stump

Grab a shovel and dig as deep as you can around the base of the tree stump. The reason you’ll be doing this is to try and expose as much of the tree roots as possible.

Drill The Holes

Grab your power-drill and make as many holes as you can on the tree stump. I recommend you make the holes as deep as the power-drill permits.

Drill on the surface, as well as on the sides.

Pour In Vegetable Oil

Get a 2-liter jug of vegetable oil and pour it into the holes and all over the tree stump. Also, make sure it gets to the exposed roots of the tree stump.

Leave it overnight so it can properly soak into the stump.

Come back the following day and repeat the process. Do this for three days straight, as this will ensure the tree stump is 100% saturated by the vegetable oil.

Place The Charcoal On The Stump

Time for the main ingredient, the charcoal. Grab the bag of charcoal and place it right on the stump.

You don’t have to dump out the contents, you can simply place the charcoal-filled bag right on the stump.

Get some extra charcoal and use it to fill up the spaces around the base of the trunk where the roots have been exposed.

Light Up The Heap

When you have the bag in position, pull out the box of matches and light it up.

It would be wise if you clear out any inflammable objects that might be in the way. Also, monitor the direction of the wind to be sure it doesn’t blow your flame off or spread it to unfavorable directions.

As the charcoal heap burns, do not leave the area. Remain there and monitor the progress until the flame burns out. Keep the fire controlled and be careful not to get burnt.

When the flame is out, leave it to sit overnight, come back the next day, then light it up again. Do this once a day for about 3 days. After that, you will notice that the stump will start to shrivel up on its own. The job is done!

Cleaning Up The Mess

After the stump has been burnt, you will have two things to deal with: Digging up the burnt roots and clearing up the mess.

Digging up the roots should be easy, as the flames have already done a number on them. You can use a shovel to drag them up and dispose of as you see fit.


There you have it, follow these easy steps and your tree stump will be gone in good time.

I hope this article on how to get rid of a tree stump with charcoal has been informative.

Stay safe!

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