How to Use Spectracide Stump Remover [7 Steps to Destroy Stubborn Stumps]

To use Spectracide stump remover to make an unwanted stump easy to remove, you should:

  • Use a stump killer product to ensure the stump is truly dead.
  • Drill several 12-inch deep holes in the top of the stump with a 1-inch diameter drill bit.
  • Using the same bit, drill holes into the side of the stump that slant downward to meet the holes drilled in the top of the stump.
  • Fill the holes with Spectracide Stump Remover granules.
  • Pour hot water into the holes to dissolve and activate the Spectracide granules. Repeat for 2–3 days.
  • Allow 4–8 weeks for the stump to become porous and easy to remove.
  • Remove the stump or burn it safely.

For best results, use Spectracide stump remover in warm, dry weather. This will encourage the stump to break down more quickly and become dry and porous. Removing or burning a dry tree stump is much easier than getting rid of a waterlogged stump.

How to use Spectracide Stump Remover

7 Steps to Use Spectracide Stump Remover Effectively

An unwanted tree stump in your yard is unsightly, takes up usable space, and becomes a tripping hazard. Not only that, but a stump left to decompose on its own may attract termites and other pests to your home. Spectracide Stump Remover breaks down stumps, making them easy to tear out or burn. Here’s how to use it the right way:

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Use a Stump Killer First

Spectracide Stump Remover only works on dead stumps, so it’s crucial to make sure the stump is dead down to the roots before application. To ensure the roots are dead and the stump can be broken down easily, apply a stump killer to the freshly cut surface of your stump.

  • Use this stump killer to kill stumps down to the root before applying a stump removal product.
  • Stump killer should be applied within 20 minutes after felling the tree.
  • If the stump has been allowed to weather for more than 20 minutes, cut off the top 1 inch of wood. Then, apply stump killer immediately.
  • Allow 2 weeks for the stump killer to completely kill the stump.

By applying stump killer and waiting at least 2 weeks for the product to completely kill the stump and roots, you will increase the effectiveness of Spectracide Stump Remover. Not only that, but you will kill any invasive roots that are damaging your foundation or plumbing.

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Drill Holes in the Top of the Stump

Use a 1-inch diameter drill bit (25 mm) to drill several 12-inch (30 cm) deep holes in the top of the stump. Drill holes in rings, starting at the edge of the stump and working inward. Space holes 2–3 inches (5–7.5 cm) apart. For a large stump you may need to drill as many as a dozen holes.

  • Using a 1-inch (25 mm) drill bit, drill holes in the top of the stump.
  • Holes should be 12 inches deep (30 cm).
  • Drill holes throughout the top of the trunk. Space them 2–3 inches (5–7.5 cm) apart. Drill holes both at the edge and the center of the stump.

To make drilling easier, measure your drill bit and wrap a piece of colored tape around the bit at the 12-inch mark. Once you have drilled deep enough that the tape reaches the top of the hole, you have reached the adequate depth.

Drill Holes in the Side of the Stump

At a point, 3–4 inches (7.5–10 cm) down the side of the stump, drill holes at an angle downwards so they meet with the bottom of holes drilled from the top. Use the same 1-inch drill bit for this purpose. By creating these V-shaped holes, you allow the stump remover to permeate throughout the stump, which makes it far more effective.

  • Drill holes in the side of the stump, 3–4 inches (7.5–10 cm) from the top.
  • Angle the holes downward so they meet the holes drilled from the top in a V-shape.
  • For trees with a diameter of 24 inches (60 cm) or greater, drill 8–12 side holes.
  • For trees under 24 inches in diameter, drill 4–8 side holes.

The more V-shaped holes you create, the more effective the stump remover will be. If your drill bit is long enough to allow it, drill side holes that connect with holes drilled toward the center of the stump.

Fill Holes With Spectracide Stump Remover

Now that your tree stump is prepared, pour Spectracide Stump Remover granules into each hole until it is filled. Pour granules into both the top holes and the angled side holes. This will ensure all parts of the stump are exposed to the stump remover.

  • Fill both the top and side holes with Spectracide Stump Remover granules.
  • If necessary, use a funnel to fill the holes.
  • Stump remover won’t harm grass, so do not worry if some granules fall on your lawn.

Spectracide Stump Remover is made from potassium nitrate, which is not harmful to grass or other plants. When using it, you do not have to worry about granules or runoff destroying your lawn and garden.

Pour Hot Water Into Holes

Once all the holes you’ve drilled in the stump are full of Spectracide granules, pour hot or boiling water into the holes in the top of the trunk. Once water begins to run out of the holes, stop pouring. This hot water works to break down the granules and puts it to work destroying the tree stump.

  • Pour boiling water into the holes on the top of the trunk.
  • Pour slowly to allow the water to percolate into the granules and break them down.
  • Once holes begin to overflow with water, stop pouring.
  • Repeat daily for 2–3 days.

It may take more than one application of hot water to dissolve all the stumper remover granules. For best results, repeat the boiling water application for 2–3 days.

Allow Time for Stump to Break Down

Spectracide Stump Remover requires 6–8 weeks to work through the wood of the stump, making it porous enough for easy removal or burning. If you are worried about your stump becoming waterlogged in this time, cover it with a tarp so that it can break down in a dry environment.

  • Stumps with a diameter of 12 inches (30 cm) or smaller are typically ready for removal 6 weeks after stump remover application.
  • Stumps with a diameter over 12 inches may require up to 8 weeks before they can be removed or burned.
  • If you plan on burning the stump, cover it with tarp after stump remover application to prevent water from making a burn difficult.

The potassium nitrate in Spectracide Stump Remover requires time to permeate the wood of the stump and roots, rendering it porous, weak and more easily burned. If you attempt burning or removal before the stump remover has taken effect, you will have poor results.

Burn or Remove Stump

Once your Spectracide has been able to work for 6–8 weeks, you’re ready to get rid of that pesky stump. This can be done by excavating the root ball, using a stump grinder to destroy the stump or burning. All of these are made much easier by the stumper remover, which breaks down the wood of the stump and roots.

  • Once the stump remover has been allowed enough time to take effect, move forward with the removal.
  • Stump remover makes uprooting, grinding, or burning a stump far easier.
  • Do not burn a stump that is close to your home, other structures, or flammable vegetation.

Always take precautions when burning a tree stump. Use the charcoal method of burning a stump and avoid pouring gasoline or other accelerants on the fire. If the stump is within 15 feet of your home or another building, do not burn it. Before burning, check local restrictions on open fires.

How Long Does Spectracide Stump Remover Take to Work?

Spectracide Stump Remover requires 6–8 weeks to make a stump porous enough that it is easily burned or removed. The larger the tree, the longer it will take. This is because it takes time for the stump remover to work through the wood and break it down. To make future burns easier, cover the stump with a waterproof tarp after applying stump remover. This will keep the stump dry, causing it to burn more readily.

What is the Active Ingredient in Spectracide Stump Remover?

Spectracide Stump Remover contains potassium nitrate, also known as saltpeter. This naturally occurring substance breaks down wood but will not harm growing grass and garden plants. In fact, it works as a potassium-rich fertilizer for your plants. Potassium nitrate is safe to handle and is even used as a food preservative. Spectracide Stump Remover does not contain any toxic chemical compounds.

How Do You Use Spectracide Stump Remover?

Prepare stumps for removal or burning with Spectracide Stump Remover by first killing the stump with a stump killer herbicide. Then, use a 1-inch diameter drill bit to drill holes in the top of the stump. Following this, drill angled holes in the side of the stump that meets with the holes drilled into the top to form a ‘V’. Fill these holes with Spectracide Stump Remover. Pour boiling water into the holes to dissolve the stump remover and put it to work. Allow 6–8 weeks for the stump remover to break down the wood of the stump. Finally, remove the stump by burning, grinding, or digging out the stump.

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