Can You Use An Auger To Remove A Tree Stump?

Can You Use An Auger To Remove A Tree Stump?

Yes, you can use an auger to help remove a tree stump, although it’s a bit unconventional compared to more traditional stump removal methods. An auger can be effective for loosening the soil and breaking up the smaller roots around a tree stump, which can facilitate the removal process.

Here’s how you might use an auger for stump removal…

Steps for Using an Auger to Remove a Tree Stump

  1. Choose the Right Auger – For stump removal, you’ll need a powerful auger capable of handling tough roots and soil. A one-man or two-man earth auger can be suitable for smaller stumps, while larger stumps might require a more powerful, hydraulic auger.
  2. Safety First – Before you begin, wear appropriate safety gear, including gloves, safety goggles, and sturdy boots. Ensure you’re familiar with the operation of the auger and follow all safety instructions.
  3. Drill Around the Stump – Start by drilling holes around the perimeter of the stump, about 6 to 12 inches away from the stump itself. These holes should be spaced a few inches apart and drilled as deeply as possible to loosen the soil and cut through smaller roots.
  4. Attack the Roots – Use the auger to drill additional holes at angles to cut through larger roots under the stump. This method helps to detach the stump from the surrounding soil and root system, making it easier to remove.
  5. Loosen the Stump – After you’ve cut through the roots surrounding the stump, use a shovel, digging bar, or other tools to further loosen and remove the stump from the ground. The auger will have made this step significantly easier by breaking up the soil and roots.
  6. Remove the Stump – Once the stump is sufficiently loosened, you might be able to pull it out of the ground manually or with the assistance of a vehicle and tow strap, depending on its size. For larger stumps, you may still need to cut through some roots with a saw or ax.


  • Efficiency – An auger can be very effective for smaller stumps or in situations where you want to minimize disruption to the surrounding area. For larger stumps, this method can be labor-intensive and time-consuming compared to stump grinding or chemical removal.
  • Cleanup – You’ll need to deal with the holes and loose soil created by the auger, which can be used to fill in the space where the stump was once it’s removed.
  • Professional Help – For very large stumps or stumps located near utilities or structures, consider hiring a professional to ensure safe and effective removal.

Using an auger for stump removal is a creative solution that can work well under the right circumstances, especially when combined with other removal methods.