If you have a tree stump in your yard, you may want to remove it. Tree stumps are unsightly and hazardous. For example, a tree stump can trip children playing in your yard, or its dry, aged wood can be a fire hazard. Additionally, tree stumps can make mowing your yard more difficult, or even damage your mower. Digging a stump out by hand is a long, laborious job. You can pay someone to grind it down, or rent a grinder, but an easier, less expensive option is to decompose the stump. It takes time and patience but does not require much money or manual labor.

You can remove tree stumps yourself.

Step 1

Cut the stump as close to the ground as possible.

Step 2

Drill large holes in the top and sides of the stump. Drill the side holes at an angle, so that they will intersect with some of the top holes.

Step 3

Fill the holes with potassium nitrate granules, then pour three or four ounces of water into each hole. Keep children and pets away from the stump once it is filled with potassium nitrate, as it can be harmful if swallowed or inhaled, or if it comes in contact with eyes or skin.

Step 4

Cover the top of the stump with plastic wrap to help keep the solution in the stump as long as possible. Keep the side holes uncovered so the solution can "breathe."

Step 5

Wait. The sodium nitrate will greatly speed up the decomposition process. After about six weeks, you should be able to easily remove the decomposed wood with an ax.