How to Burn a Tree Stump

You will find a list of materials you will need to burn a tree stump as well as directions on how to do this yourself listed below. Also, a few common-sense tips before you get started:

  • Always check with your fire department before you get started

  • never burn your stump during a burn or fire ban

  • make sure that you store your potassium nitrate in a safe location

Materials Needed to Burn a Stump

  • Drill with a one-inch spade bit or other wood-boring bit

  • 8-inch to 10-inch extender for the bit

  • Saltpeter or Potassium nitrate

  • Garden trowel or plastic scoop

  • A bucket of water

  • A cup with spout or a funnel

  • Pieces of dry scrap wood

  • Matches, lighter, or starter kit

  • A shovel

Step-by-Step Directions for Burning a Stump

  1. Attach the spade bit and the extender to your drill. Drill a hole from the top down into the center of the stump with your drill at a 30-degree angle. The hole should be about eight to 10 inches deep.

  2. Clean all of the debris out of the hole. Continue boring holes in the stump, leaving about one inch of space between each hole.

  3. Use the plastic scoop or trowel to scoop potassium nitrate into each hole.

  4. Pour hot water into each hole. You can either dip a cup with a spout into the bucket or insert a funnel into each hole and pour the water directly from the bucket.

  5. Continue pouring water into the holes until all of the potassium nitrate has dissolved. The hot water will help to distribute the substance through the stump.

  6. Place the scrap wood on top of the stump. Alternatively, you can construct a tepee-like shape with the wood, placing one end on the ground and bringing the ends together above the stump in a cone shape.

  7. Light the scrap wood and wait for the stump to ignite. Allow the stump to smolder until all of the wood has turned to ash.

  8. Use your shovel to break up any large roots or stump pieces that are left over. Bring in soil to fill the hole as needed.

Now, if you do not feel comfortable or simply don’t have the proper tools to perform a stump burning, we are happy to do any of this work for you.

Also, if you have multiple trees to remove or just don’t have the time to do it, we are here for you. We can handle all of your tree removal needs and maintenance in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco) and even West Richland. We look forward to being your preferred tree removal service provider.