How to Remove A Palm Tree Stump: 4 Ways

That beautiful palm tree may be a gorgeous addition to your backyard.

It is time to say goodbye to the last remainders of your palm tree. But how can you do it precisely?
It is time to say goodbye to the last remainders of your palm tree. But how can you do it precisely?

But once in a while those palm tree stumps can develop to point of being quite the eyesore. Yup! That’s the ugly truth.

Not only are they a tripping hazard for any kiddos playing tag, but they can also attract pests and rot away in your grass.

Palm stumps can be removed in 4 ways, which I’d discuss in this blog.

But as a heads up, only two are suitable for first-timers and the untrained.

Should I Get Rid of a Palm Tree Stump?

One incentive to removing a palm tree stump is to prevent any leftover pests from infesting your garden
One incentive to removing a palm tree stump is to prevent any leftover pests from infesting your garden

There are multiple reasons you should get rid of tree stumps, whether simply for safety reasons or to spruce up your yard’s look.

  • If your tree stump is decaying or infested with pests like termites, removing it is probably a good idea for the safety of other plants and trees in your yard.
  • A palm tree stump can also become a dangerous obstacle or tripping threat.
  • Mowing around an old stump isn’t much fun, either.

There are multiple ways to get rid of a palm tree stump, at least two of which you can do yourself with a bit of patience and skill.

So yes, it’s probably a good idea to get rid of palm tree stumps if you use the space regularly.

How Much Does Palm Tree Stump Removal Cost?

But the task can be quite a labor… and expensive if you involve a professional
But the task can be quite a labor… and expensive if you involve a professional

Stump grinding costs $320 on average, or $2 to $5 per diameter inch when using the grinding method for removal. Palm tree trunks are usually pretty thin (3 to 7 inches), so a professional may choose to give you a quote by the hour instead of diameter.

Considering that most tree stump contractors have a $100 minimum for their services, many will also do discounts for removing lots of trees at once.

How to Remove a Palm Tree Stump: Preparation

And this economy gives us quite a good reason to pick up the work ourselves… Sometimes it’s just the fact of convenience
And this economy gives us quite a good reason to pick up the work ourselves… Sometimes it’s just the fact of convenience

Whether you or a professional is tackling the job, there are some steps you can take to make palm tree stump removal easier and safer.

Root removal will speed up the process for most of the methods outlined below, so start there.

Although for stump grinding, waiting to cut roots may help secure the stump while you go over it with the grinder.

If the roots aren’t in the way, you can take them out when you’re done if you’re grinding the stump.

You can use a shovel to expose the roots. Use your hands to rip out small roots or cut out larger ones with a small saw once they’ve been detached from the stump.

To get started, let's don your protective gear—eyewear and gloves, to be specific—because safety is important, folks!
To get started, let’s don your protective gear—eyewear and gloves, to be specific—because safety is important, folks!

As for safety, eyewear and gloves are recommended for all four approaches at a minimum.

If you’ll be cutting trees down before you remove stumps, a hardhat is necessary, too.

Checking local laws and obtaining a permit may also be necessary, so do research depending on the method you select.

How to Remove a Palm Tree Stump (4 Methods)

To remove a palm tree stump, we have four options
To remove a palm tree stump, we have four options

The most common methods to remove a palm tree stump are:

  • Digging out a palm tree stump
  • Grinding up a palm tree stump
  • Palm tree stump rotting
  • Palm tree stump burning

Just a note: We strongly recommend DIYers dig or grind up palm tree stumps.

While you can try the other two methods, you’ll generally want to avoid chemical rotting or burning stumps on your own when possible.

Method 1: Digging Out a Palm Tree Stump

1. Digging out the stump - I’d say this option is pretty arduous if you are working with more than 2 stumps
1. Digging out the stump – I’d say this option is pretty arduous if you are working with more than 2 stumps

So long as you’re cool with putting in some elbow grease and can acquire a few tools, and only tackle 1 or 2 palm trees, this is probably the most accessible DIY option.

It’s tiresome work, so you may consider hiring a local tree removal service if there are many palm stumps to remove.

Step 1: Dig Around Surface Roots

Because palm tree roots grow laterally and deep into soil, you’ll save yourself some time by digging a shallow base around the roots at the surface—even a few inches just to expose the roots so you can work around their sides.

You may even be able to free them with your hands if the surrounding soil is loose, but wear gloves.

Step 2: Slice or Saw Out the Surface Roots

Use a saw or knife on smaller roots above the surface to detach them from the stump.

Pull them out of the ground if possible to clear room for when you dig.

Step 3: Dig Deeper to Expose the Deeper Roots

Keep in mind, palm tree roots can penetrate the earth as deep as 50 inches (30 to 36 inches is around average).

But you really only need to expose the roots holding the stump in, so digging right below the stump and cutting away roots at or near their origin can save you some digging time.

Step 4: Use a Crowbar or Shovel to Remove the Stump

Once you remove the roots, you should be able to get leverage underneath the stump itself with a crowbar or shovel to remove it.

Place the crowbar underneath a large, ideally flat section of the stump’s base, avoiding rotted or gnarled spots where it might slip.

Apply pressure to one end of the crowbar using your arms and upper body strength to bring it to the earth, lifting the stump slowly from the ground.

You may have to reset the position a few times as it pulls away.

Go at it from various angles until you find a weaker side if one doesn’t want to budge.

Get the stump out of the soil with a shovel or a crowbar
Get the stump out of the soil with a shovel or a crowbar

Remember

  • Wear gloves and work methodically to avoid injuries. Never stand on a crowbar to apply pressure, as you might slip and hurt yourself.

Method 2: Grinding Up a Palm Tree Stump

Using a stump grinder is another popular DIY method, although you’ll need a truck or larger vehicle to haul the device as well as a willingness to operate machinery.

Home improvement stores rent stump grinders by day or hour.

Renting a stump grinder costs $190 to $270 per day on average. If you can do the work in a single day, it might be worth it.

But because most contractors lower the cost-per-stump when they have a few to tackle, hiring a pro might make sense for big projects.

Grinding the stump with a tree grinder, which basically works it into little pieces
Grinding the stump with a tree grinder, which basically works it into little pieces

1. Wear the Proper Gear
You absolutely need to wear eye protection, gloves, long pants, work boots, and long sleeves when grinding a stump with a machine.

Debris will be flying, so it’s better to be safe than sorry here.

2. Root Removal in Stump Grinding
Before you kick off the grinding party, take a moment to check around the stump.

If you spot any exposed roots, give them a trim.

It’ll make your grinding adventure way smoother, trust me.

You can rent a grinder for $190 to $270 per day
You can rent a grinder for $190 to $270 per day

3. Use a Saw or Chainsaw to Trim Down the Stump, If Possible
The lower you can get the stump before you begin grinding, the more effectively the machine can work.

When it’s level, the machine has the natural advantage of the device’s weight to help it go deeper.

Palm tree stumps aren’t as wide as other trees, so you may be able to cut it away with a handsaw, but it’ll be grueling work.

Use a chainsaw if you can and feel safe working with one.

Take proper tree cutting precautions, such as wearing gloves and eyewear (also make sure it’s legal to cut with a chainsaw where you live without a permit) if you go this route.

It’s like shaving your beard (if you have one) to the root of your hair
It’s like shaving your beard (if you have one) to the root of your hair

4. Run the Stump Grinder Over the Palm Tree Stump
Work from various angles and go over the stump slowly when using a stump grinder.

Release the clutch, then lower the grinder to tear up sections slowly, working about three inches of depth at a time.

Once removed, stop the grinder, move it to another section, then repeat until you’ve come at it from all angles.

Repeat until you go deep enough to remove the whole thing.

Start around the perimeter of the stump and avoid roots for now; you can tackle those later, unless they’re in the way.

The process will be easy if you work down most parts of the stump above the ground. Use a chainsaw if you’re confident of how to operate it
The process will be easy if you work down most parts of the stump above the ground. Use a chainsaw if you’re confident of how to operate it

5. Treat the Area
Once the stump is gone, there’s a little more work to do. You’ll kill surrounding grass if you leave piles of ground-up stump ashes on top of it.

Either use a rake to remove ash (or a blower to spread them out).

You can also level and spread the section out, cover the section in new dirt or wood chips, and apply water to help the new surface settle.

Remove the now grinded pieces of the palm stump and refill with new dirt or wood chips
Remove the now grinded pieces of the palm stump and refill with new dirt or wood chips

Method 3: Rotting Out a Palm Tree Stump

Rotting a stump naturally can take up to ten years.

This method uses chemical enhancements to help speed up the rotting process so you can hack the stump out in under two months.

3. Use chemical to “melt” the stump, which takes around two months to process
3. Use chemical to “melt” the stump, which takes around two months to process

1. Buy a Stump Removal Agent
The most effective stump remover products vary by name, but they generally contain high concentrations of potassium nitrate.

Products cost about $10 per bottle.

2. Drill Holes In Your Stump
Drilling 12 inch holes spaced approximately an inch apart helps the product penetrate the stump and rot it quicker.

Wear gloves and eye protection during this part of the job.

The agent costs around $10. It is one painless method to you but stressful to other plants in your garden (if you’re not careful!)
The agent costs around $10. It is one painless method to you but stressful to other plants in your garden (if you’re not careful!)

3. Pour/Sprinkle Stump Remover On Your Palm Tree Stump
Using a tree stump rotting agent is generally a straightforward process; you simply empty the liquid or powder over the area and wait four to six weeks for the chemicals to do their job.

However, you should be careful to avoid spills and contain it to the area you’re treating.

Chemical rotting agents are toxic for humans, pets, and wildlife to breathe—not to mention not great for the environment, as they can make other natural compounds like wood more flammable, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

It’s also toxic, both to humans and pets. So please handle with caution and care (don’t skimp on the manual!)
It’s also toxic, both to humans and pets. So please handle with caution and care (don’t skimp on the manual!)

4. Cover With a Tarp
Laying a tarp over the top to help promote faster breakdown. Check back every week or so.

You can start removing the stump with a shovel when it begins to crumble away.

Do careful research before choosing this method, and consider taping or sectioning off the area being treated while the chemicals do their job.

The substance will speed up the stump’s rotting process. Remove the debris after it has crumbled
The substance will speed up the stump’s rotting process. Remove the debris after it has crumbled

Method 4: Burning a Palm Tree Stump

Doing a controlled burn is a job best tackled by a professional simply for safety reasons.

This method is only reasonable in areas where wildfire risk is low.

4. Turn it to ashes. I mean, burn the stump with gasoline
4. Turn it to ashes. I mean, burn the stump with gasoline

1. Check Local Laws
Even controlled burns aren’t legal in some areas, so make sure this method is legal where you live.

Obtain any necessary permits first before you start. Always call 811 before you dig to check for utility lines.

2. Set a Fire Ring Around the Perimeter
Erect a stone wall or non-flammable section around the stump or stumps you plan to burn.

Make sure you have several hours to devote to the task, especially if the palm trees were just cut down.

Unless they’ve been rotting and dried out for a while, it could take 10 to 12 hours for a fresh stump to burn down.

Number 1 caution: check local laws and fire hazards!
Number 1 caution: check local laws and fire hazards!

3. Soak Gasoline Into the Stump
Soak gasoline deep into the stump, its roots, and immediate surrounding areas to burn it from all sides.

Everything with gasoline on it should be contained within your fire ring.

Use a match to set fire to the area and monitor it closely.

Burning more than a few palm tree stumps at a time isn’t recommended due to the possibility of it getting out of control.

Soak the stump in gasoline and start the burning process with a fire ring around it (Again, don’t underestimate safety)
Soak the stump in gasoline and start the burning process with a fire ring around it (Again, don’t underestimate safety)

How to Prevent Palm Trees from Dying

Regular maintenance, like trimming a palm tree safely and regular watering, can help keep your trees healthy and vibrant.

  • Palm trees need to be watered two to three times per week. If you just planted them, upping that to three or four days per week is encouraged.
  • Identify signs of palm tree diseases early, like lethal yellowing or pink rot.
  • Leaf spots, rotted sections on the base, brown or wilted sections, and even mold can be signs you have a problem.
  • The same goes for looking for signs of termite infestations. In palm trees, most pests like to target the roots first because they are exposed and easier to penetrate. They eventually work their way up to the base of the tree, at which point it could be too late.
Burning the stump can take up to half a day, so plan your schedule
Burning the stump can take up to half a day, so plan your schedule

Signs of Palm Tree Diseases and Pest Infestations

Stump removal is just one piece of the puzzle. To keep your palm trees living their best life, keep an eye out for red flags.

Spots on leaves, weird rot at the base, wilting, or mold – these are like palm tree SOS signals.

Regular check-ups and quick action can save your trees from turning into a drama series.

Give them some love, and they’ll thank you with those tropical vibes.

DIY vs. Hire a Pro: When Should I Call The Pros?

Palm tree stump removal can be difficult, especially if it’s deep-rooted and surrounded by other trees.

When other palm trees are nearby, you may be limited on the methods you can use for removal to keep the other palm trees safe.

Generally speaking, we advise tackling grinding and digging tree stump removal projects yourself and leaving burning and chemical rotting to the pros.

Because those chemical rotting agents are like the turbo boost for stump decay, but here’s the deal: they can be a bit heavy on the environment.

To wrap up, I’d recommend leaving the chemical and burning methods for professionals (even if they seem enticingly easy)
To wrap up, I’d recommend leaving the chemical and burning methods for professionals (even if they seem enticingly easy)

These agents pack a punch with potassium nitrate, so handle them with care.

No spills, please! If you’re an eco-warrior, maybe look into greener alternatives.

We want that stump gone, but let’s be kind to Mother Nature too.

Now, if you’ve got a stump situation that’s more tangled than your last Zoom call, it might be time to call in the pros.

Certified tree experts know their stuff, especially for the tricky jobs.

Whether you’ve got a jungle of stumps or they’re playing hide-and-seek with other trees, the pros have the skills and gear to tackle it without breaking a sweat.

Conclusion: Balancing DIY Efforts and Professional Expertise

Overall, it is about safety!
Overall, it is about safety!

In the grand finale, let’s find that sweet spot between DIY fun and expert help.

You can totally handle the straightforward stump projects – you’re a gardening rockstar!

But when things get a bit hairy or you’re juggling multiple stumps, don’t hesitate to call in the A-team.

Safety first, play by the rules, and remember, even in stump removal, we’re the guardians of green.

Let us know how it happens with you applying the methods in how to remove a palm tree stump in this post. Happy gardening! 🌳✨