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I have an ash tree stump at the top of my garden and I'm wondering how to get rid of it as I want to plant something else in the area.

I've tried pulling the leaves off about 10 times but they just keep coming back.

Ive bashed it and exposed the roots

Does anyone have any other ideas or anything that has worked for them to get rid of it?

Many Thanks, Matt

hollie hock

 Hello, If you want the  stump completely gone you will have to dig it and prize it out.

I am no expert on this but there is obviously some life left in the Ash tree stump if leaves keep coming back. How deep you will have to deep depends on how big and mature the Ash was.



I've lived in this house for 18 years now and never remember a tree being where it is. I've heard they are pretty hard to kill :/


You can get someone in with a stump-grinder. 


How big is it?  What's the circumferance of the trunk about 18 inches from the surface of the surrounding soil?

If it's a relatively young sapling (and you say that you've not noticed it there before so it can't be that big) it shouldn't be too difficult to dig it out properly.  Bashing it won't do any good - just dig a circle all around it to about two spade depths then work inwards (still at two spades' depth), eventually you'll get to the centre  and you should be able to dig underneath it, sawing through any large roots.  



Here are some pics. I measured it 24inches in diameter around the stump. Do you think I could dig that out, its in such an awkward place

hollie hock

Mmmm- that is in a really awkard place to get at it I would probably still have a go at digging it out where you can get the spade in. Very likely that a lot of the roots will under the slab though. Can you saw through the stump? So at least it's lower to the ground?

Sorry can't be of more help


I wouldn't saw the stump off as it'll give you something to hold on to for a bit of leverage -  Yes, I've no idea how young, strong and fit you are, but I'm nearing retirement age and I'd give it a go if I wasn't off work with a slipped disc at the moment, but I did that cleaning the windows - not gardening - I've spent the last 12 months digging out roots in this new garden with no ill effects.  I'm just designed for gardening, not housework! 

Go on, give it a go and post us some pics - inspire us all with new levels of Olympian digging - we need something to cheer this week 

When you get down a couple of spades' depths you can saw any roots off, they shouldn't re-shoot from that far down.


Well being in my mid 20s and fit as a fiddle I guess I'll give digging it out a go at the weekend! I'll take some pics as I'm progressing too

Drill numerous deep holes in the stump, fill holes with creosote or Round up. Sit back and have a cup of tea.

I had the same issue - eddie 3 is correct  Drill a few holes in it pour some creoste in it, - I have heard that diesel also works though it kills everything and you won't be able to plant there for a while - I have not tried, just what I was told.

Moonlit Hare

We're plauged by ash trees/ sapllings, everytime I clear a space (we moved in here in April this year!) there's another sodding 10 lurking in the undergrowth!

if they're really little above ground but have been cut back so the roots are quite big, if you try and pull the blighters up the bark and leaves just slide off the centre shoot!

we have one which is taller than the house and is coming down in the next month or so our neighbour says it's less than 8 years old and it's roots are so big it's raised all the flags on her patio...... god alone knows what it's done to her drainage pipes! the only way those roots are going is to be ground out, go with the creoste and pray to anything you can think of it works because those seedling pop up in places you never know you had..... Good luck!!!


Matt says he wants to plant something else in the area so not a good idea to use the creosote as it will kill other plants in the area !  

Roundup Stump Killer will kill the stump but you've got to wait for that to happen and you've still got to dig it out because it doesn't hasten the decompostion of the wood.

You might just as well dig it out in the first place and hone and tone that fit young body!!!


This is on my list of jobs today! Hopefully I can get the blighter out!


we had htis with a tree we wanted out.. we gut it down as far as we could.. then stuck copper nails in it.. left it for a year.. and it was dead enough that we dug around the roots and then sawed off the tap root and main big roots.. left them to die on their own and not cause subsidence

but i undersntand you dont have this much time to wait.. so you will have to dig it out.. dig around and down as much of the roots as you can.. then cut off main roots at a level out the way.. then just get the axe to it.. as their roots go long way.. leave main roots to die on their own and the space will fill up wihtout leaving gapping tunels and holes under your ground.



I don't know whos winning at the moment but I'm contending with Concrete on both sides now, digging it out is virtually impossible.

I think I'll have to saw it down as low as possible and shovel soil over it in the hope that will kill it (Eventually..)


Yes, that'll be fine - just get down as far as you can then saw through it, even with a hacksaw blade if access is difficult, then back fill the hole  and add a bit of blood, fish and bone meal, or Growmore general fertiliser when you plant something - you'll just have to remember that the roots are there and that you won't be able to plant a large shrub there, but it'll be fine for perennials, or a honeysuckle or clematis to go up that fence, or for most smaller plants. 

Much better than poisoning it and having to wait for it to die and rot off - could've taken years!


@mattbeer87.. good grief..  they do themselves in the most awkward places dont they maybe be better off with an axe if you can get your hands on one.. easier to use when trying to chop in a confined area.. .. concrete is a pain.. all way down our one side we have large lumps of it from neighbours fences.. when they replace they just put post on the inside of one and never dig them out.. we have lost 2 ft all down oneside when we put our patio wall up to avoid the damn things.. do annoying.. we did break sum up with a sledge hammer but damned hard going.

just keep at it.. you will get the blighter out soon..


Painted that entire fence behind it today but forgot to get myself a decent saw zzzz

Tomorrow I'll go and grab something with a sharp blade.

I'm hoping to get a Mandarin Honeysuckle from the Local Garden Centre but if not I'll have to settle for the plain pink one.

hollie hock

Hi Matt, Like the last picture, did you get the stump out? I agree cut the main root off and get that stump out of there