How to remove a palm tree stump

Your once beautiful palm tree is nothing more than a stump now. It provided shade and a place to lean your chair, but now all it does is trip you and get in the way.

It's time to get rid of that palm tree stump and take back that piece of land. In this article we are going to look at several different ways you can remove a palm tree stump.

Using a chainsaw

If you’re like me, you don’t want to spend money hiring a tree specialist. You can use your trusty chainsaw instead. But before you get your chainsaw started, make sure to prepare your protective gear first. At a minimum, your protective gear should include earmuffs, gloves, and goggles.

You should also have a shovel and wheelbarrow handy to easily clear away your mess after removing the stump.

If it’s your first time using a chainsaw, it would help to read the users’ manual so you know how to hold the chainsaw properly. This will help you cut straight straight. More importantly, reading the manual will provide you the proper operating procedures to keep you safe will using your chainsaw.

Making the cuts with your chainsaw

Start by making diagonal down cuts on the palm tree stump beginning at the top. It is easier for your blade to cut diagonally rather than doing it vertically or horizontally.

Work through this technique of cutting the palm tree stump until you reach the soil. Avoid going more than a foot into the soil to prevent any accidental cuts in your water line, gas lines, electrical lines, or any other utilities run in the ground. Actually, you should find out where any utilities are run in your yard before digging or cutting to prevent damaging them or injuring yourself.

After you’ve sliced enough, remove any debris with a shovel and leave the remaining wood under the soil. You can also cut the roots and pry them out with your shovel.

Using a stump grinder

If you’re dealing with several palm tree stumps, you can save time by using a stump grinder. They are available for rent at most home improvement stores.

This power tool can produce the same results as your chainsaw at half the time and effort. You can just press its blade into the palm stump and it instantly grinds it into wood chips.

The only downside to using a stump grinder is handling it. Because it’s a larger power tool, you need to have a good understanding of how it is used or it could be dangerous.

If you have experience using a stump grinder, then this can be a good tool to quickly get rid of your palm tree stump. You can use it like a lawn mower and let its circular blades chop through the palm tree stump until you reach your desired level. You can then use a shovel to pry out the roots from the ground.

But if you’re not comfortable using the stump grinder yourself, you can ask your home improvement center if they have a tree specialist to do the job for a fee or choose a different method to remove the stump.

Using chemicals

If you want to get rid of every single part of the palm tree stump and you’re not in a hurry, using a chemical to rot it would be your smartest choice. If you have a nitrogen-based fertilizer available, you can use that as your rotting agent. But if you don’t, you can always buy a palm tree stump rotting aid in most home improvement centers.

A tree stump rotting chemical works simply by getting more nitrogen into the tree stump to speed up its decomposition process. Depending on the size of your palm tree stump, rotting can take a few years. Using a rotting chemical can help the stump rot faster.

Applying a chemical to rot your palm tree stump

You just need to drill holes in the stump, pour the rotting chemical, cover the stump, and wait for it to decompose.

As with most chemicals, a palm tree stump rotting agent can be strong and toxic, especially if not handled properly. Make sure that you use the right protective gear. Read all instructions so that you don’t harm your family and your plants in your garden and yard.

You can also buy potassium nitrate which is a less toxic tree stump rotting aid. This chemical causes rotting a lot slower than the stronger nitrogen-based product.

Once the tree stump is fully rotten, you can easily remove the debris and dispose of it properly. You also need to fill in the hole left by the stump to avoid any accidents.

Using natural solutions

If you’re not comfortable using chemicals to rot your palm tree stump, you can always go with more natural solutions that take care of the job without as much risks.

One of the best ways to rot your stump naturally is to cover it with a natural source of nitrogen that will help it decompose faster. Most people use coffee grounds, grass clippings, or chicken manure as a natural rotting agent.

You need to use several layers of these natural solutions to cover your palm tree stump. You may even need to re-apply the solution multiple times, especially if you’re dealing with a huge stump.

Natural decomposition will take several years. Once the entire palm tree stump is completely rotted down, you can easily remove the wood and dispose of it in your compost pit or garden bed to serve as fertilizer for your plants.

You also need to level out the area and fill in the hole left by the stump to make it safe and pleasing to the eye.

Rock salt or Epsom salt can also be good alternatives to chemical rotting agents. They’re safe, but take a lot longer to work. Using salt is also not recommended if you are rotting a palm tree stump close to other trees since it can harm them.

There are other homemade solutions to rot your tree stump. Things like bleach, vinegar, and copper nails can help to killer your tree stump faster.

Leaving part in the ground to decay

Now if you want to go the all-natural way, you can always leave the tree stump to rot on its own pace. You can cut the more prominent parts off using a chainsaw and leave the rest to rot naturally. Depending on the size, age and condition of your palm tree stump, you can expect it to rot completely in a few years.

If the palm tree stump doesn’t really interfere with the rest of your landscaping or you don’t need to lay any paving on the area where it’s located, you can just cover the stump to save time and money in. If your palm tree stump is in your garden bed, use a load of topsoil to cover it.

You can also use some rocks to cover the stump without making it an eyesore, especially if it’s an area that you plan on making a walkway.

Some homeowners even plant bushes and shrubs around their tree stumps while others cover them with big jars, fountains and other outdoor decorations.

How to stop new growth on a palm tree stump

If you can't or don't want to remove your palm tree stump right now, you can take some measures to stop it from growing again. You can treat it with an herbicide to stop it from growing. You can also paint it with black latex paint.

Finally remove that stump

If your palm tree stump is in the way, follow one of the methods laid out here to remove it. Chemical solutions can be fast, but also come with some drawbacks. A chainsaw or stump grinder are good mechanical solutions, but both require some experience.

Epsom salt is a good choice if you want a natural decomposer. And, if you decide you just want to leave you palm tree stump in the ground to rot away naturally, you can always just cover it with top soil or some kind of decoration.

Finally, if you just not sure what to do with your palm tree stump, call a professional. At a minimum, they can point you in the right direction.