A good number of people believe that cutting down a tree means killing it completely. Which is why they are surprised when they notice that the stump keeps growing.
Epsom salts can do the trick, so read on as I fill you in on how to kill a tree stump with Epsom salt.
How To Get Rid Of A Tree Stump With Epsom Salt
Keep in mind that when a tree is cut, the roots remain planted and will continue to strive for survival. In its quest to remain alive, it seeks out nutrients and will continue to grow.
It is common to see saplings grow from tree stumps, and if left unattended, they will grow into full-sized trees.
Worse is when multiple saplings grow from the stump, you will not only have full-sized trees in the long run, you will also have them growing very close to each other.
This could be a major problem for you in the future, so the best bet is to kill the tree in its totality.
Here are a few advantages that come with carrying out tree stump removal with homemade recipes like Epsom salts.
- It Is Cheap
Having a tree stump removed can cost quite a sum of money, in terms of labor and equipment. The pros will employ the use of heavy-duty equipment like stump grinders and power saws. You can guess that your bill won’t be lightweight either.
Using Epsom salts, however, is a cheap and effective way to get the job done. It is cheaper when you buy in bulk.
The good news with using Epsom salts is that you can use the leftovers for other domestic purposes, so not a single penny is wasted.
- No Time Restraints
Removing your tree stump employing hired labor can get the job done ASAP. I’m talking hours or a full day. But why the rush?
With Epsom salts, it will take a lot more time to kill off the stump, as the salt will need time to starve the roots of its much-needed moisture and nutrition.
If you are under no pressure to quickly remove the tree stump, then using Epsom salts is a great option.
- It Is Not Physically Tasking
If you were to shun the idea of using Epsom salts to kill your stump and go with the more physical approach, then I guarantee you will have a hard time.
I’ve spoken earlier about how professionals would require the use of heavy-duty tools to yank off the tree stump. But what if you didn’t want to hire professionals and you plan to do it yourself?
This would mean you’d be putting yourself and your tools through a daunting physical experience.
You may need to wrap a chain around the stump and connect to a pickup truck, then pull. It may also mean you have to get an ax or a chainsaw and grind away on the stump.
Trust me, you’d be exhausted when you’re done, or if you’re done!
Using Epsom salt is the less stressful approach to removing the stump.
Why Epsom Salt Is Better Than Commercial Chemical Stump Removal
Commercial chemical stump removal is an excellent option for decomposing dead tree stumps.
They are made from potassium nitrates, so they work pretty well.
However, we are talking about tree stumps that still have living roots!
Commercial stump removal will have almost no effect on a stump that is still alive.
Epsom salt remains the best option for killing living tree stumps, down to its very roots!
How Does Epsom Salt Kill A Tree Stump?
Magnesium and Sulphur are two of the major ingredients you can find in Epsom salts.
It’s true that plants need these key ingredients to survive, but only in moderation. When given in excess, it will kill the plant instead of feeding it.
Roots need moisture to survive, and Epsom salt is no friend to moisture. It sucks up all the moisture available, leaving the root dry and malnourished.
Besides the roots, Epsom salts will also absorb all the moisture from the stump itself. It will leave it dry, easy to break down, and easy to move.
How To Kill Tree Stump Using Epsom Salt: Step By Step
Now that we’ve understood how Epsom salts work, let’s take a look at its applications.
There are two methods with which you can use Epsom salt to kill a stump. These are –
- The drilling method
- The soaking method
For the drilling method, well, you need to have a drill and know how to use it.
Let’s take a look at them one by one.
The Drilling Method
- With a 1-inch drill bit, create as many 8 inch holes in the stump as you can
- Pour the Epsom salt into each of the holes (make sure you fill up each hole)
- Slowly pour some water into the holes (do this carefully so the salt doesn’t overflow)
- If you’re doing this during the rainy season, then be sure to cover the stump with a tarp or any other waterproof material (so that rain doesn’t dilute the salt any more than required)
- Repeat this process in 3 weeks
- If the stump is not dead within the first 2 operations, then repeat the process in another 3 weeks (do this every 3 weeks until the stump is dead)
P.S – If the stump is pale, it means it still has some life left, but if it’s dark and brittle, it means it’s dead (mission accomplished).
The Soaking Method
The soaking method has a pretty different approach.
Follow these steps –
- Create a simple solution by mixing one part Epsom salt with two parts water (you will need one gallon of salt and two gallons of water for each stump soak)
- Pour the mixture on the stump and any exposed roots until it is fully soaked in the Epsom salt solution
- Use a tarp to cover the soaked stump, so that it is kept safe from sunlight or rain
- Repeat the process every week until the stump is visibly dried out
Both the drilling and soaking methods work very well.
Although it may take a while before the stump is zapped of all its moisture, the result is inevitable – A dead and broken down stump!
Upon its death, the stump will naturally decompose. If you’re not the patient type and you want the stump gone faster, then you can have the decomposition process sped up by applying a high nitrogen fertilizer around the stump.
But if you really can’t wait and you want the stump gone immediately, then you can just dig it up and cover up the soil area. Dead and rotten tree stumps are soft and relatively easy to pull out.
I forgot to mention, Epsom salts do not destroy the soil, unlike other chemical compounds. This means that after you’ve removed the stump, you can still plant other flowers or trees in that very spot!
Using Epsom salts for tree stump removal has one major disadvantage – It takes time. However, if you are not in a hurry to remove the stump, then it is an effective, pocket-friendly, stress-free means of getting the job done.
Other Agricultural Uses Of Epsom Salts
As I have mentioned before, Epsom salts contain magnesium sulfate, an ingredient that plants need.
In areas where the surrounding soil has a high magnesium deficiency, Epsom salts can be used as a supplement.
Magnesium deficiency is a common problem for tomatoes in many commercial agricultural settings. In a situation like this, Epsom salts can be added to the soil to make up for the lack of magnesium in the soil.
However, too much magnesium can be a problem for your plants when they have enough supply already. As I mentioned earlier in this article, too much magnesium can kill your plants.
Only use Epsom salts as a supplement on soils that have high magnesium deficiencies.
Can Epsom Salts Be Used As Fertilizers?
A lot of people have mistaken Epsom salts for fertilizers. They are not! They are just magnesium carrying supplements.
If you are looking for extra fertility for your plants, then be advised to buy biological fertilizers.
Another misconception with Epsom salts is that many believe it can prevent “blossom end rot” in tomatoes. Well, this isn’t true, since blossom end rot is a calcium issue, and administering Epsom salts will only make the matter more complicated.
What Plants Can Epsom Salts Be Used On?
Many gardeners apply Epsom salts to tomatoes, rose bushes, and peppers, but only when they suffer from magnesium deficiencies.
A small amount can be mixed in water and sprayed around the plants suffering from the deficiency.
Conclusion on Epsom Salt Tree Stump Removal
Tree stumps aren’t particularly beautiful they can take the beauty away from your garden, so why keep them around?
A tested trusted, and effective means of getting rid of them is with the use of Epsom salts. They are cost-effective and hassle-free.
I know it may take a few months for the stump to die, but it’s an excellent option for those who are not in a hurry to get rid of their stump.
I trust this article on how to remove a tree stump with Epsom salt has been very helpful.