How Long Does Epsom Salt Take To Kill A Stump

logo by Editorial Staff | Posted on November 8th, 2022

How long does Epsom salt take to kill a stump? 8 to 10 weeks. This is a popular do-it-yourself approach for dying tree trunks since it shortens the decomposition process, compared to three to seven years for natural rotting.

There are various methods for removing tree stumps from your property. You might call a tree service professional to remove the stump. We usually use a stump grinder, a heavy-duty tool weighing roughly 1,000 pounds, to grind the stump into the ground.

Epsom salt on tree stump

Other tools, such as a chainsaw, shovel, or digging bar, can sometimes remove the stump. Of course, some individuals try to remove stumps by setting fire to them or chaining them to a pickup truck and ripping them out, but our methods are safer.

In exceptional cases, we may now use Epsom Salt. So, for example, a tree stump can be chemically removed using Epsom Salt. And, chances are, you already got some of this type of salt in your house. So it’s a regular household treatment for a range of problems.

Can Epsom salt be used to destroy a tree stump?

Epsom salt destroys a stump by eliminating moisture from the stump and surrounding soil, causing the stump and roots to wither, dry, and decay. Applying Epsom salt to stumps is a safer and more pleasant alternative to grinding, which may necessitate the assistance of a professional arborist.

How does Epsom salt kill a tree stump?

Magnesium and sulfur are found in Epsom salt. While these are nutrients that plants require to thrive, too many can kill plants and weeds. Epsom salt can absorb moisture from whatever it comes into touch with. When applied to a tree stump as advised, Epsom salt will dry up the root system and prevent it from receiving the moisture and nutrients required to survive. It will also dry out the tree stump, causing it to decay and break down, making it easier to remove manually.

How to kill a tree stump with Epsom salt: A step-by-step guide

There are two ways to use Epsom salt to kill a tree stump, and which one you choose will be primarily determined by whether you own and can use a drill.

Drilling method

  1. Drill multiple holes into the stump with a 1-inch drill bit, allowing a few inches between each hole. Drill as deep as you can; holes should be at least 8 inches deep.
  2. Directly pour Epsom salt into the drilled holes, filling them to the top.
  3. Fill the holes with enough water to moisten the salt. Then, slowly pour in the salt so that it does not overflow.
  4. Depending on the time of year, you may need to cover the stump with a tarp. This will keep rainfall from flooding the holes and diluting the Epsom salts excessively.
  5. Repeat the procedure every three weeks until the stump dies. Pale wood is usually still alive, whereas dark and brittle wood is dead.

Soaking method

  1. Mix Epsom salts and water in a 1:2 ratio of Epsom salts to the water. The ideal amount for each stump soak is one gallon of salt and two gallons of water.
  2. Apply the mixture to the stump and any exposed roots.
  3. Cover the stump with a tarp and bathe it once a week until it seems dried out.

Whatever method you use, the stump will eventually dry up and rot, although that may take several months. The stump will degrade naturally after it dies, but you may speed up the process by applying a high-nitrogen fertilizer around the base.

When is Epsom salt necessary to kill a tree stump?

Budgetary restriction

Hiring a tree contractor or surgeon to remove a tree stump in your yard might cost thousands of dollars. Professionals commonly use heavy-duty equipment, like a stump grinder, or smaller tools, like shovels and chainsaws. Whatever method they use to remove the stump will usually take a full day, if not more, and labor costs can quickly add up.

Professional tree surgeons are well-trained in these areas and have a lot of experience properly removing tree stumps employing potentially dangerous equipment. But unfortunately, they can charge fees that are out of reach for many people as a result.

Epsom salt can be a suitable option if you’re looking for a cheap way to remove a tree stump. Epsom salt is fairly cheap, especially when bought in bulk. The added benefit of using Epsom salts is that if you have any leftovers after removing your tree stump, you may use them in the bath or for other health purposes. This means that there will be no product waste, and hence no money will be wasted.

No time restraints

Hiring a tree surgeon or trying to remove a tree stump manually has the benefit of completing the task in a matter of hours or days. However, using Epsom salts takes significantly longer since you must wait for the Epsom salts to dry out the roots and deprive the tree of moisture and nourishment.

The time required may vary according to the stump’s size, but you may need some patience. If you are not rushing to have your tree stump removed, an Epsom salt treatment may be a good natural and cheap option.

Reduce physical work

Many DIYers will try to remove a tree stump by chopping it with a chainsaw or ax or digging it out. These may be viable possibilities for some people with experience in these areas. However, trying a task of this magnitude will be too much for the regular homeowner.

Manually removing a tree stump from the ground is a difficult process that demands great strength and stamina. Epsom salts can be a better option if you don’t want to get your hands dirty. Removing tree stumps using Epsom salts is straightforward and takes little or no physical effort, making it accessible to virtually anybody.

Safety concerns

There are several ways to remove tree stumps, but most are unsafe. Some DIY tree stump removal ideas include chaining the stump to a pickup truck, driving away to rip it out of the ground, and lighting fire to the stump or splitting it apart with a chainsaw. If these solutions sound too risky, a chemical treatment is a far safer bet. For example, it is safe and easy to use Epsom salt to kill a tree stump.


Is there a disadvantage to using Epsom salt?

There is only one disadvantage to using Epsom Salt. If you try to plant something in the surrounding soil of the stump after using Epsom Salt, you may run into problems. Consider mulching the area and using good compost, such as tea, in such cases.

When is it best to remove a tree stump?

It is generally preferable to kill tree stumps during the warmer months. However, certain considerations must be made if you intend to kill it during the rainy season. They are as follows:

Place a tarp over the holes to cover them. Then, on the exposed roots, apply Epsom Salt. You can prevent it from absorbing moisture from the soil by doing so.


Epsom salts kill a tree stump by drying out the roots and remaining trunk stump. They are a terrific option for removing tree stumps in several settings, especially if you want a safe and non-physically demanding DIY option. Epsom salts offer a low-cost, simple, and environmentally friendly alternative for tree stump removal.

The main disadvantage of using Epsom salts to kill a tree stump is that it might take a long time compared to other options. However, if you don’t mind waiting a few months for Epsom salts to dry up your tree stump, this might be your solution.


Editorial Staff

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