How To Remove A Stump With A Chainsaw

Backyard Mike is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission. Disclaimer

Are you a backyard homeowner who has stumps in your backyard and want to remove them but don’t know how to? If yes, then you are surely in the right place.

Removing a stump with a chainsaw is a simple yet necessary task that must be done. When you’re cutting a tree, you must cut its stump to stop the decay in the future. Cutting the stump with a chainsaw will be an appealing option as it’ll consume less time and energy. The most practical way of removing stumps with a chainsaw would be by creating diagonal cuts. As you’re sawing the tree stump diagonally, the bits of wood can slide down away from the chainsaw easily.

In this article, you will get to read all about removing stumps, why you should remove tree stumps, how to remove a stump with a chainsaw, removing a stump yourself vs. hiring a professional, and more. Continue reading to get all the answers that you’re looking for.

When and why should you remove a tree stump?

When you are cutting a tree, you must cut its stump to stop the decay in the future. There are many ways you can remove tree stumps, with some being natural and time-consuming while others being easy and less time-consuming. If you’re wondering how to remove a stump with a chainsaw, this article will be of great help to you.

Cutting the stump of the tree using a chainsaw will be an appealing option as it’ll consume less time and energy. Hence, it will help you remove the sight and presence of the stump quickly from your backyard or lawn.

You must remember that you should do so when the soil is damp. This will make the process of removing the tree stump easy. For that reason, it is preferable to cut the stump a few days after the rainfall so that you can ensure sufficient dampness of the soil. There are a number of reasons a tree stump should be removed – 

  • Tree stumps pose hazards to kids
  • They attract insects 
  • A stump can cause the growth of a new tree, something that you wanted to avoid in the first place 
  • They consume space in the yard
  • They hinder the appearance of your backyard or lawn 

Safety precautions to consider before removing the stump with a chainsaw

The most important thing to remember is that you’ll need to know how to operate your chainsaw properly. A lot of debris including rocks and pieces of sharp wood will fly around rapidly in different directions. While you are using a chainsaw, you’ll need to keep your safety in mind. Wear the necessary protective gear when you’re operating a chainsaw. This gear includes gloves, long steel-toed shoes, ear protection, safety glasses, and chaps.

Precautions and safety gear apparel will be necessary for proper safety. Once you have ensured your safety, you must make sure that you’re keeping these points in mind for removing the tree stump – 

  • Use the chainsaw in a slow and straight manner 
  • Always make diagonal cuts
  • You should keep the chainsaw from touching the ground 
  • Remember to operate the chainsaw with pressure and precision 

How to remove a stump with a chainsaw

Removing a stump with a chainsaw might seem like a lot of effort, but this is actually a rather straightforward process. Here are the steps to remove a stump with a chainsaw –

Step 1: Prep the tree stump for removal

For ensuring your safety as well as the safety of other people around you, you should only try this if you’ve done similar tasks before. You will need to know the basics of how to handle a chainsaw. Otherwise, you need to hire a professional to help you get the job done quickly and seamlessly.

If you have ample experience, you’ll require gloves, ear protection, safety goggles, chaps, and a face shield for proper safety. You’ll also need to wear a long-sleeved shirt and steel-toed boots.

Clear out and prepare the area for safely and efficiently removing the stumps. For doing so, you will want to clear out as much dirt from around the tree stump as possible using a shovel. Once you have removed the majority of the dirt, you can get a small garden trowel and then remove some more dirt between the roots until you’ve exposed as much of the roots as possible.

Step 2: Make the initial cuts

A person cutting tree stump using a chainsaw

After you have worn the protective gear, you should fire up the chainsaw and then cut deep slices into the stump via a criss-cross pattern. It’ll break up the stump as much as possible, making removing it a bit easier. However, you should be careful. Doing things too hard and too fast could break the chain of your chainsaw. This step should be done slowly and methodically.

For removing the stump, you should follow these steps –

  • You need to dig the area around the stump 
  • Clear out the dirt and other pieces of wood 
  • Cut the roots using a mini saw or larger tool, depending on the size of the root 
  • Effectively remove the tree stump 

For completely removing the tree stump, you need to dig down into the ground to reach the roots. In the same way, you must remove any clumps of dirt and exposed pieces of wood. You should also prevent any potential debris from coming in contact with the chainsaw. Make sure that you are careful as the depth increases and other substances come in the way. If you’re noticing more clumps of dirt, you should stop sawing for a while and think of removing the dirt first.

Step 3: Cut the roots

You should cut the tree roots properly. When the tree roots can no longer hold the tree stump firmly into the ground, the stump would be much easier to remove. Make use of the chainsaw for slicing through and breaking the roots as much as you possibly can. Be careful that you don’t make contact with the ground, as the dirt could cause damage to your chainsaw.

Step 4: Remove the tree stump with other tools

With the tree stump and roots in pieces, it will be much easier to pry them out using a shovel. You can then put the debris in a wheelbarrow and dispose of it. If you’re still having issues, you should try more precise cuts by using a saw, a machete, or garden shears.

Keep in mind that you might not be able to remove all the pieces of the tree stump or roots entirely. However, you need to be able to get enough out of the ground for covering the rest with dirt.

Chainsaw Stump Removal

Alternative methods to remove tree stumps

There are a number of different possible options if you want to get rid of the tree stump. The obvious option would be to call a contractor. A professional will make use of a big commercial grinder and removing the tree stumps will be a matter of minutes for them. In case you’re doing it by yourself, you will require a few simple tools – a pick, a shovel, and Sawzall. 

You don’t have to dig a lot, as you simply need to have big enough space for fitting your tools. Clean up the surrounding stump and cut the roots. After that, start cutting the stump a few inches below the grass line. Once you’ve made a complete cut and removed the upper stump, you should put some dirt and grass over it so that you know it is there. It’ll take 20 to 30 minutes, but you should ensure that there’s no chance of rebirth.

Another fast and effective method for getting rid of a tree stump would be to use a stump grinder. This method is a pretty fast but expensive procedure. For removing the tree stump, you should trim the stump much closer to the ground with a chainsaw. You will have to dig up rocks around the base of the stump, as they can easily dull or damage the teeth of the stump grinder’s cutting wheel.

You will be able to get a stump grinder attachment for your chainsaw too. It’ll be a less expensive solution while providing you with an additional tool to the chainsaw that you can use to remove tree stumps.

Should you remove the tree stump yourself or hire a pro?

If you have enough experience using a chainsaw, this will be a perfectly good task to tackle. However, there are more than enough reasons to consider hiring a professional near you to remove trees.

For one thing, this project might take up your entire day. So if you’ll rather be doing something else with your weekend, this will be a decent project to pass on to a professional. 

Remember, since you are dealing with a chainsaw, there will be safety concerns. If you aren’t 100% confident, hiring an experienced professional will be a smart idea. Another reason to hire a professional will be that you aren’t saving much money by doing things yourself. The cost of hiring a professional for tree stump removal will be around $100 to $150.


Would it be possible to remove a stump with a chainsaw?

Yes, you can remove a tree stump using a chainsaw. You should just dig around the stump and cut it as low as possible. Remember, you should be cutting crisscross slices into the tree stump 4-6 inches below ground level. Keep in mind that you avoid any contact of the chainsaw with the ground.

What is the best tool for removing tree stumps?

A stump grinder is considered to be the best tool to remove tree stumps. A stump grinder has got sharp teeth on the front for cutting right into the stump. It will quickly chip the wood of the stump into a fine pile of debris.

Is it better to remove or grind a stump?

Grinding will be much more efficient than removing the stump. However, it’ll leave the tree’s roots behind. If the tree stump is large, the chip pile produced can be quite large but you can also use it as mulch for other plants in your landscape.

What will Epsom salt do to a tree stump?

Epsom salts, when applied to the stump and mixed with water, will make the stump rotten and brittle over time. This chemical process will make it easier for you to break the stump for removal. The process itself is simple, as you’ll need to drill holes around 2 inches deep in the top of the stump.

Photo of author
Hi, I'm Mike - but my friends call me Backyard Mike. I'm the founder of this website, and I'm addicted to outdoor power tools. I love to work with wood and share my knowledge here on this website with you. You can find more about me here.