Once you have a tree removed from your property, you are left with the unsightly stump. You can easily hire professional stump removal services to bring in equipment that grinds the stump out of the ground and gets rid of it forever. However, you may be tempted to do things the old-fashioned way and try to burn the tree stump out. This is done by lighting the stump on fire and allowing it to burn for hours on end until it is mostly just ash and can be removed with a shovel. This is rarely a good idea because it does pose some problems. Here's a quick look at why burning out a stump is not the best route to stump removal.
Burning a stump only eliminates the upper surface of the material.
No matter how you look at it or what type of tree stump it is, the thing will reach several inches into the ground with its root system. While lighting the stump on fire is an easy way to eliminate those upper layers of the stump, this rarely works to eliminate anything further down. On the other hand, a stump grinder can be used to dig several inches down into the ground to obliterate those lower-level parts of the stump, including some of the tree roots that stem from its base.
Burning a stump takes a long time to accomplish most of the time.
Unless you have a full day to dedicate to burning a stump, it is rarely a good idea. Imagine putting a log-sized piece of wood in a fireplace. This dense piece of wood will burn for hours on end before it dissipates into ash. This scenario can give you an idea of why it takes so long to burn out a tree stump in the ground. While burning, the stump will have to be watched closely so fire doesn't spread, which can be an all day process—if not longer.
Burning a tree stump can be a risky endeavor.
Starting a fire on your property is always a risky move if it is not well contained. As the fire gets hotter, the entire tree stump will eventually be engulfed in flames or turn into red-hot embers. If there is a slight wind, the hot embers or even the flames can be picked up and carried toward your home, your neighbor's homes, or other structures located on your property.