How to Burn Out Tree Stumps With Copper Sulfate

Copper sulfate has been used for centuries as seed treatment and also to treat fire blight in dormant trees. While not a common practice, copper sulfate can be used as a chemical agent to burn out a tree stump if other methods of tree stump removal have not worked, such as digging, rotting or grinding out a stump. You can use copper sulfate to burn out a tree stump, which you can then remove from your landscape.

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Copper sulfate will aid rotting in a tree stump.

Step 1

Dig out as much of the tree stump as you can before applying any chemical treatments to it. If you can, grind away the top of the stump with a stump grinder, or use a saw or chain saw to cut down the stump as close to the ground as possible.

Step 2

Drill several 1-inch holes into the stump and space the holes approximately one inch from each other. Try to drill the holes at a 45-degree angle, and drill down 12 inches deep.

Step 3

Insert copper sulfate into the holes and pack it tightly. Do not touch the copper sulfate with your bare hands. Use the end of a hammer or long stick to pack the copper sulfate into the stump holes.

Step 4

Cover the holes with a plastic garbage can lid and then weigh the lid down with bricks or concrete blocks. Do not use a metal lid, as the copper sulfate will corrode the lid.

Step 5

Wait several weeks. The copper sulfate will not dissolve the tree stump. It will merely speed up the rotting. You may need to add additional copper sulfate after a few weeks and repeat the covering process.