How Does Epsom Salt Work on Tree Stumps?

Trees with wider girth and large foliage can leave large stumps when cut down in your garden. It not only occupies unnecessary space in your garden but is also difficult to get rid of. They do not go with the look of the garden and can be a cause of many problems in future.

Removing a tree stump can be a tedious job and requires heavy equipment to work with. You may need to spend at least an entire day and a hell of a lot of energy, and tools like chainsaws, axes, and others.

Magnesium salt, commonly known as Epsom Salt, was derived from the town of Epsom in England, where it was originally discovered. It is a common remedy used to cure many ailments. But the reason behind its mention over here is the fact that Epsom Salt can also be the cheapest, budget-friendly, and easiest way to get rid of tree stumps.

Wondering how, let us see.

Killing a Tree Stump

The difficult part about removing a huge tree from your garden or yard is not just clearing out its leaves and the visible parts. But the stumps that just sits right over there with its roots still intact.

Healthy roots mean that they are still living. It can still absorb nutrients and water from the soil and regrow into a full-sized tree. Tree stumps can also give rise to young saplings, leading to numerous trees growing around them.

Therefore, if you are considering removing a tree from your landscape, it is important to remove it entirely. But removing a tree stump can be expensive, labor-intensive, and time-consuming.

Among the many ways in which we can remove the remaining parts of the tree, the use of Epsom salt is the most common.

Why You Should Remove A Tree Stump?

If you are a homeowner, you must be aware of how hectic it is to remove a tree from your landscape. Not the tree, but it is the stump that takes more effort to be removed from the property. More than efforts, what it demands is lot of physical work or thousands of dollars to be removed.

Considering this, many of you would rather leave the stump just like that or grow trees around it therefore, it would be better to leave this work for some professional like Oahu tree removal. But this is not always the right thing to do. Here we have provided reasons for why you should go with the removal of tree stumps.

Invasive Plant Appearances

Some species of trees have the capacity to take hold of old stumps or branches to grow. These are small and unsightly, and it becomes extremely difficult to remove them. In most cases it requires chemicals to kill them which can be dangerous for the surrounding plants or even for the surrounding soil which you want to use to grow other plants.

Continued Growth

Even if you have already cut most of the parts of the tree leaving just the stumps, it will not stop it from growing. The roots still grow and affect the surrounding environment. They can also damage the sidewalks, pipes, basement tanks, or other parts of your home if not properly maintained.

The worst part is that by the time you would find about this, much damage has been done already. So, it is better to just remove the tree altogether without leaving anything behind.

Possible Pest Invasions

Wooden stumps, if kept just like that for long may start to decompose naturally. This natural process is extremely slow and messy. As we know, decomposition is brought by microbes and insects. They start to appear in the stumps as you cut down the tree.

Common insects that you can possibly find in there are carpenter ants, which enter the stumps constructing their nests inside the fallen tree. Other insects can be mites. Termites especially love tree trunks, and they will not take long to make it inside the stumps and feed on the wood.

They not only take over the stumps but can also enter your houses or spread around other plants, feeding, and infecting them.

Aesthetic Issues

Don’t we absolutely love to plan everything right from our houses to our gardens? Cut-down stumps can really play with our garden aesthetics. After all, they are not very lovely to look at nor it does have any specific importance as such in our gardens.

Removing it from that place will give space to do something exciting with that little space. You can add a new tree, create a little pot garden, flower bed, or install a tabletop to enhance the beauty of your garden.

Other than these ideas, you can just leave the space free for children to play in a safe environment free from insects and termites.

Safety Cautions

Apart from aesthetic issues or other possible reasons, these leftover stumps can be a cause of hazard in your garden. They can be tripping hazards for children playing in the gardens. They can also harm any machinery like lawnmowers if by mistake they collide with the stump.

How Does the Epsom Salt Works?

Epsom salt is an ionic compound releases magnesium and sulfate ions, its key components, when dissolved in the water. These ions are nutrients required for plants to survive but if present in excess can be toxic to the plants and can be used to kill weeds and plants. This salt can soak moisture from anything it meets.

When used against tree stumps, Epsom salts prevent the roots from absorbing the nutrients and moisture it requires to live and dries out the root system. Eventually, the tree stump dries, rots, and finally breaks down. It now becomes easier to manually remove it and clear off the landscape entirely.

Benefits of Using Epsom Salt

There are several options when it comes to removing the remaining part of the tree, but one of the most used techniques is the use of Epsom Salt.

Epsom salts, apart from being used for making baths more relaxing and helping plants to grow healthier can be used to kill down the stumps gradually.

Time Consuming

The benefit of manually removing the tree stumps or employing a tree surgeon is that the work can be done within few hours if not days.

On the other hand, Epsom salts take much longer to work and require much patience. Although it depends on how large the tree stump is. It takes time for the salt to starve the tree for nutrients and water and dry out the roots.

So, if you have time, and you are in no hurry, then this option is the most affordable and natural to go with.

Reduced Physical Work

If you have enough strength and time especially, you can attempt to remove the stumps using axes and other tools to dig it out. But for someone who is a middle-class working individual, this is much to ask for.

Removing a tree stump manually requires plenty of stamina and strength. This daunting task not only requires physical strength but asks for mental patients as well.

If you do not want to do something that requires so much effort and actual work on the field, Epsom salts can really be helpful to you. It requires little to no physical work and makes it easily achievable for anyone.

Less Expensive, Budget Friendly

A professional tree surgeon or contractor no doubt can do the work in less time and more efficiently but will also charge thousands of dollars for it. Now that is something which cannot be afforded by everyone.

Professionals use heavy-duty equipment plus they may take hours to days to complete the work, which will eventually spike up the labor cost for you.

Professionals have enough experience, and they will safely remove the stump without causing any damage, and for this reason, they charge good sums of money that can be unrealistic to common individuals.

If you want to go with low costs while removing your tree stumps, then Epsom salts are something you should go with. They are inexpensive and affordable for the common man especially if you get them in bulk. The best part is even if they are left, they can be used for other purposes like in bathes or for plants. So, that means there is no wastage, neither of [product nor of money.

Safer Option

When we say that there are other options for removing tree stumps, we are referring to the DIY methods of removing tree stumps. This includes removing it yourself by chaining around the stumps attaching to the trucks and wrenching the stump out of the ground and hacking it apart with a chainsaw or setting it on fire.

Now, these options are scary and are practically dangerous as well. So, a chemical solution is a much safer and easy option to kill a tree stump.

How to Use Epsom Salt to Remove Tree Stumps – Step by Step Process

For removing a tree stump using Epsom salt, there are two ways we can do it. This basically depends on whether you can operate a drill machine or not.

If you know how to operate a drill machine, you can go with the Drilling Method otherwise, Soaking Method is the other option through which you can remove the remaining of the plant.

Drilling Method

How to Use Epsom Salt to Remove Tree Stumps

  1. Drill several holes, having a depth of at least 8 inches in the stump using a 1-inch drill bit leaving few inches of space between the holes.
  2. Now, fill up these holes to the top by pouring the Epsom salts directly into the holes.
  3. Carefully add water into the holes making sure not to overflow it and moisten the salt.
  4. If its monsoon season at your place, you may need to cover the stump using a tarp to prevent the dilution of salt from rainwater.
  5. You may have to continue this process up to few weeks to kill the stump. You can check this by the change in color of the wood. Pale wood is generally living while if the wood has become brittle and dark black, it is probably dead.

Soaking Method

Soaking Method

  1. In the ratio of 1:2 mix Epsom salt and water. The ideal amount for each stump soak is around 1 gallon of salt to 2 gallons of water.
  2. Soak the stump and any exposed roots with this mixture.
  3. Continue this process of soaking the stump and cover it with a tarp until it starts appearing dried out.

Both the methods eventually dry out the wood and rots the stump. This process may take up to several months. Once dead, it decomposes naturally by itself or if you want to speed up the process, you can add a high nitrogen fertilizer at the stump base.

Another thing which you can do is to dig up a pit and dispose of this rotten stump wood and refill the pit with soil. Cover it with lawn seed and use this as a flower bed. With regular watering, that land will soon be full of tiny grasses and you can use it whichever way you want to use it.

Using Epsom salt to kill stump has another benefit as it does not harms the surrounding soil compared to other chemicals. This helps to grow the plants after the stump is removed from that place.

Final Thoughts

Killing a tree stump using Epsom salt involves drying and rotting the tree stump. This option is preferably the best option to remove tree stumps being both easy and requiring less physical work. It is of low cost hence affordable and easy to achieve plus it does not harm the surrounding.

The only drawback it has is its time requirement. That too, depends on how much large the tree stump is, depending on which it may require from days to months to kill the stump. If you are not time-bound and you can wait a while, then it is the best solution for you.

Leave a Comment