How to Remove a Palm Tree Stump ( 4 Methods)

Tree stumps can pose tripping hazards as well as be unsightly if left behind. Removing them can be taxing and back-breaking work. Tree stumps can be removed in a variety of ways depending on the type, size, and depth of the root system of the tree.

In addition to how to remove palm tree stumps, the size of the palm tree has an impact on the process. The roots of palm trees are extremely deep and hidden in the soil. This makes it necessary to remove them along with the stump. The roots of palm trees are long, stringy, intertwined, and can make it difficult to remove their stumps.

It is beneficial to remove a stump and the roots attached to it because it improves the soil structure for future planting.

When it comes to removing palm tree stumps, there are several methods to choose from. Other methods require great physical strength and may require training on how to operate heavy machinery. Some of the more natural methods also require a long waiting period.

Despite their beauty, palm trees do not last forever. The palm tree stump will still be in your yard when your plans change for your property. Getting rid of the palm tree and its stumps will create more room for plants to grow and can improve the appearance of your lawn. 


Read on to learn how to remove a palm tree stump if you’ve never had to deal with one before.

How To Remove a Palm Tree Stump

There are extensive roots hidden beneath the ground of most palm trees. Furthermore, palm trees have many thin roots that extend into the soil, so stump removal from palm trees will be similar to other types of removal.

You should also remember that palm trees have softer trunks than other trees, such as pine trees. As a result, your chainsaw should be able to cut the stump easily down to its lowest point.

1. Digging Out the Stump by Hand

Materials:

  • The sledgehammer
  • The chainsaw
  • Pick
  • Shovel
  • Four triangle wood inserts
  • An iron crowbars
  • Ax

Procedure

  • Make sure the stump is as low as possible using the chainsaw. As a result, each trunk piece will become lighter, and later the trunk pieces can be detached from each other.
  • Using an ax or a pick, start digging around the tree stump to separate it from the roots.
  • Remove the soil around the stump at the same time you separate the roots so that you can see the roots and the stump depth. Once you have reached the bottom of the root ball, continue this procedure.
  • Make a cut in the trunk so it can be divided into four segments with the chainsaw. The process is similar to cutting a pizza.
  • It’s a good idea to make the wood inserts different in shape, and one of the triangles should fit between the sliced parts of the trunk.
  • Use a sledgehammer for hammering down the wood inserts into the trunk. Separating the four sections of the trunk in this way will help them pass farther apart. You may start to see parts moving sideways as you keep hammering the inserts, allowing you an opening to detach it even more and more from the base of the trunk.
  • Crowbars are used to divide trunk parts into smaller pieces when placed between them.
  •  Once the roots are removed, you can then proceed to finally remove the stump with an ax.

Pros

  • Removal of palm tree stumps with this method is cost-effective
  • It does not require fire or chemicals, so it is safe
  • Through this method, you will not have to deal with heavy machinery

Cons

  • Time-consuming and exhausting, this method
  • The stump will need to be pulled out of the ground with the help of a few friends
  • The ground is left void after it is dug

2. Chemical Tree Stump Removers

 You may prefer to use chemical means to prevent palm tree stumps from rotting if you don’t need to get rid of them immediately. A chemical tree stump killer is not an eco-friendly alternative, and there are other more natural methods available, but it is the easiest option to use.

Potassium nitrate is the active ingredient used in most stump removal chemicals on the market today. Tree stumps break down and decompose more quickly when treated with potassium nitrate, a substance rich in nitrogen. Other chemicals are available; however, potassium nitrate delivers the best results.

Chemical stump removal is usually available as powders or in small granules. Since liquid can disappear over time, and since granules remain in the area after application, this is preferred over liquid.

Procedure

 Dig out the holes from the top of the stump and fill them with chemical powder or granules. After this add a specific amount of water according to the manufacturer of your chemical stump remover.

Following the instructions on the chemical package will help you determine how much water to mix with the chemicals. As the chemicals decompose the tree stump, cover the stump so children and animals don’t come in contact with it.

In order to keep the stump out of reach of children and animals, it must be covered and kept away from these dangerous chemicals for several weeks. In time, the stump will transform from solid wood into a spongy, mulch-like substance.

Despite the chemical treatments, the stump is not completely ready to be removed. Following this step, the stump must be coated in kerosene, covered, and allowed to soak up the kerosene for several weeks. In the event, the stump absorbs all the kerosene, exposes the stump, and ignites it.

Maintain constant watch over the fire. Always keep the burning stump under your supervision. Once the stump is completely burned up, the flames should go out by themselves. A black hole will remain around a stump’s former location where roots will remain. Plant seeds or lay sod after pulling up the roots and filling the hole.

Pros

  • It is an economical method for removing palm tree stumps
  • It is entirely possible to do it on your own
  • Heavy and loud machines are not required
  • As a result, the roots will also decay

Cons

You don’t see results right away

Chemicals can harm the soil if you don’t use the right ones

3. Stump Grinding

Materials: 

  • Digger
  • Stump grinder
  • Chainsaw
  • Protective gear

Procedure

Stump grinding is the best technique for removing large numbers of palm trees stumps.

It’s easier to mulch palm tree stumps if you use a stump grinder to cut them into chips. Fast and effective, it also accomplishes the task.

It is possible to do this job yourself if you have a stump grinder. If you don’t want to use a grinder, you can also hire a professional to help.

Though you still have to dig the roots out yourself, a stump grinder will not remove them.

The roots of the palm tree can be dug up either before or after you grind it.

Pros

  • Grinding stumps is quick and easy with stump grinders
  • In a yard with several stumps, it is ideal for removing multiple stumps
  • Neither kerosene nor diesel is required for it
  • For mulch, stump chippings are ideal

Cons

  • The cost is high
  • Moving a heavy machine back and forth is required.
  • The roots are not removed

4. Stumps of palm trees on fire

Burning the stump is a simple alternative to axing if you are not into axing. It is probably the method that poses the biggest health danger to humans out of all the ones you can use, but only if precautions aren’t taken.

Procedure

In order to trim the stump, you must first trim it to its shortest height possible. It is believed that less wood would burn, leading to a smaller fire. Fill it with kerosene or diesel once you have drilled some holes in the tree.

Put some kerosene on the stump for a little extra durability and then gather some firewood around it. Make sure that the surrounding area is moistened after the fire soaks a while so that it does not get out of hand.

Considerations

While this method is an easy one, it comes with many risks since you’re dealing with fire.

Wildfire risk:

Forests and woods can spread the fire to the stump if there are any nearby. The effects of wildfires can be far-reaching and difficult to control. If this is a risk for you, use another method for tree stump removal.

Violations of homeowner associations’ rules:

The rules of subdivisions apply to residents. You may get in trouble with the entire community if your neighbors become aware of potential fire hazards from your activity. Don’t let the commotion get in the way of what you’re trying to accomplish. There are other ways to remove tree stumps.

Causes of a home fire:

A burning tree stump can cause your house to catch fire, so there is a greater danger. If the stump is too close to your home, this method is not recommended.

Clean air act:

Know the state’s air quality and burning regulations so you won’t get cited.

Burning the stump is an easy way to get rid of the stump if the conditions described above aren’t what you have at home. Keep an eye on it until it is completely burned. You can drink a beverage and watch the stump burn at the same time.

Pros

  • The method is a cost-effective one
  • There is no need for a partner
  • There is a good speed to it
  • Taking the job won’t take a lot of energy

Cons

  • It is possible for fires to occur
  • This process produces smoke

The Reason for Removing the Stump

It is important to remove the stump for a number of reasons:

  • When it comes to stump removal, time isn’t on your side if you’re in violation of bylaws or face a fine. A professional will be able to do a successful stump removal in this case.
  • A protruding stump in the ground should not be a cause for someone to trip and fall. Most likely, a stumbling accident occurs because you were unaware of the previous presence of a tree or because there is insufficient light.
  • The wood of a tree stump can still house dirt, pests, and diseases – after all, wood is particularly attractive to some pests such as termites. These can also damage other trees and plants. Depending on your landscaping plans, it may be an issue.

It is nice that a palm tree stump will not grow suckers like Chinese elms, ash trees, or cottonwood trees.   After a palm tree is cut down, it is left with stumps. It is much easier to remove trees using this method.  

A few tips and reminders for removing palm tree stumps

Every stump removal technique described in this post involves some risks.  You need to decide which one is safer for you and more suitable for your surroundings. You can remove unsightly stumps by following these basic tips:

  • Whenever you handle sharp objects like axes or blades of machinery, make sure you are wearing protective clothing and equipment.
  • Make sure you know your city’s rules and guidelines before attempting to set a palm tree stump ablaze.
  • Turn your body 90 degrees away from the wood you will be cutting. In order to prevent injury, handle picks, grate bars, and axes carefully.
  • As you clear out the wood chips, you should place unused bladed tools and equipment to the side. While walking or working on covering the ground, you might not notice these when the chips are under the pile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to grow palm trees from stumps?

Once the top of a palm tree is cut off, it cannot grow. Palm trees cannot grow if you remove them. The stump will die as a result of drying out. If you notice that the palm tree trunk is becoming more unstable, you will need to consider removing it.  

How deep are the roots of palm trees?

The roots of palm trees extend shallowly not exceeding 36 inches in depth, thanks to their fibrous root system. Although plants grow taller, they stay horizontal and remain narrow. As the roots originate from the initiation zone, some of them remain above ground.

Conclusion

If you remove palm tree stumps, you can improve the look of your yard. You can remove the palm tree stump in its entirety if you have the right tools. Follow the tips in this post to get rid of the stubborn stump on your property.

References

Mankin, R. W., and A. Moore. “Acoustic detection of Oryctes rhinoceros (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae) and Nasutitermes luzonicus (Isoptera: Termitidae) in palm trees in urban Guam.” Journal of economic entomology 103.4 (2010): 1135-1143.

Leave a Comment