Palm Tree Stump Removal: 5 Ways To Remove Palm Stumps, Dig, Grinding, Etc

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | November 2, 2023

Woman with a drill explores palm tree stump removal options that explain ways to remove palm stumps, how to grind tree stumps, dig out tree roots, and other options for removing palm tree roots and stumps.

If you’re recently removed a damaged or dangerous Palm tree, you’re next step is usually contacting a Palm tree stump removal service to clear away the embedded tree stump.

In fact, by removing a palm tree stump, you can make room to replant a new one or transform the area with other plants.

But, it might come as a shock that many tree removal service options don’t have provisions for stump removal.

This complete guide explains the options you have for palm tree stump removal, the costs of removing tree stumps, and when you should contact a specialist to do the job for you. 

Reasons for Palm Tree Stump Removal

Healthy Palm trees, like healthy trees of any kind, need regular care and attention to keep them healthy. If they receive neither they can become prone to diseases and infestation from invasive pests.

If either of these situations arises and becomes severe, the tree can be weakened to such an extent that it can fall over by itself or in a particularly heavy storm.

But even if it does not actually topple all the way over, it can still become a health hazard in its weakened state, and is best to have it removed.

Graphic illustrating ways to remove palm stumps, including digging, using a stump grinder, applying chemicals, burning, and employing natural method for tree stump removal.

For some homeowners, the driving force for Palm tree stump removal can simply boil down to the hassle of having to swerve around the stump every Sunday when it comes time to mow the lawn.

Fortunately, at least two of the methods that are detailed below for Palm tree stump removal are doable on your own with no specialized equipment required.

5 Ways To Remove Palm Stumps: Dig, Grinding, Etc.

Frustration is just one of the emotions many homeowners feel when faced with the prospect of a dead tree’s stump sitting in the midst of their yard.

How to kill a tree stump is frequently searched online in Florida as the state is littered with Palm tree stumps since the trees themselves are so widespread across the state that even their death is a common occurrence.

Fortunately, you may get rid of the stumps of Palm trees in a number of different ways, and if none of them work, you can always hire a professional accustomed to landscaping trees who will have the necessary tools and know-how to do the job to your satisfaction. At a cost, of course.

If you fancy yourself as something of a DIYer, then flex your skills, slip on some gloves, and try any one of these five stump solutions.

1. How To Remove a Palm Tree Stump By Digging

A very rewarding and the first go-to method for getting rid of a Palm tree stump, is to manually dig it up and in most cases, a pick and shovel are all the tools that will be needed.

  1. If the stump is already low to the ground, you can dig around the base to reveal the shallow roots.5
  2. Once unearthed, you can cut or chop them free or even pull them out of the ground by hand.
  3. The stump itself can be sectioned by cutting lengthways across it with a saw or chainsaw and hammering some wedges in to split it into manageable pieces.
  4. Use your shovel or a crowbar to lever the sections out and then clear away the remaining roots that should now be fully exposed.

2. Using a Stump Grinder

If a bad back, time constraints, or just the unwillingness to spend hours digging under the glare of the midday sun isn’t your thing, then a stump grinder will save you a lot of time and effort.

One can be rented from a home improvement store by the hour and will make short work of the protruding stump. It will also grind up the roots just as quickly and then it’s just a matter of clearing away the waste by hand.

3. How To Rot a Tree Stump Fast With Chemicals

One of the easiest methods of Palm tree stump removal is to let it rot, but not naturally as that can take up to 10 years, but chemically that will take between 3 to 6 months.

  1. Start by drilling holes about an inch apart and 12 inches deep all over the stump face, the more the merrier.
  2. Wear protective gloves and even a face mask, and then pour the liquid solution or powder-based stump rotting product purchased from your home improvement store into all the holes and over the exposed surface.
  3. Be careful not to spill it where you don’t want it to be as this product will not be good for the surrounding fauna, or your pets.
  4. Cover the treated stump with a black tarp to accelerate the decomposition process and protect your pets from accidental exposure.
  5. Check on the progress weekly until you find the stump has rotted away sufficiently for you to be able to break it up and haul it away.
  6. A more organic and less caustic option is available by using chicken manure or other types of organic fertilizers.6 They will take longer but will be harmless to your lawn, pets, flowers, or fancy pollinators.

4. How To Get Rid of a Stump In 2-3 Days (Burn It)

If you’re the impatient type and want to know how to kill a Palm tree stump fast, a little fire will get the job done. But wait, it’s not just as easy as squirting some lighter fluid on the stump and flicking a lit match on it.

  1. Before you do anything, create a barrier around the stump by either digging a trench to act as a fire break or building an actual firewall.
  2. Always confirm that there are no legal restrictions, permits, or risks to setting a fire in your yard.
  3. Make sure that when you’re pouring the gasoline over the stump and the exposed roots that nothing splashes outside of your fire ring.
  4. When you finally light it, stay in close proximity or return frequently so you can monitor the process. Once the flames die down, remember that the fire is still burning within the stump so keep an eye on it even into the next day when you wake up.
  5. Within two days you should be able to clear away any remains and landscape over the area to make it a seamless part of your garden again.

5. The Natural Method for Palm Tree Stump Removal

Probably one of the most user-friendly methods of Palm tree stump removals is to let nature play its part, just with a little help.

  1. Fully expose all of the roots in and around the stump.
  2. Drill as many holes as you can into all of the surfaces including the stump.
  3. Pour boiling water into every hole and around all the surfaces. This will shock the plant and prevent it from sprouting any further root offshoots.
  4. Completely cover it with a dark covering so not even a sliver of sunlight can penetrate and weigh down all the corners.
  5. And wait. Months will pass by as the root rot sets in and regular rounds of scorching water can be applied in the meantime.
    The end result will leave a mound of decomposing matter that can be extracted with just the use of a shovel.

Palm Tree Stump Removal Cost, Based on Size

If you’re at the stage where the tree removal has not yet occurred, you will have the time to consider if you want to undertake the entire project yourself or bring in professionals.

A small Palm tree removal that’s a few feet tall should be easily manageable to uproot under your own steam, but tackling a 60-footer might be more of a challenge, especially if it is growing in an awkward location or has overhead obstructions.

A weathered palm tree stump stands in a sandy area, surrounded by tropical vegetation and lounge chairs in the background.

(Image: MichaelPloujnikov9)

A professional landscaping company will be able to provide quotes from how much to trim Palm trees in your backyard to a complete service where they cut down and remove the tree completely including the roots, even filling in the gaping hole left by the Palm tree behind them.

How much they charge will vary on the level of service and the size of your tree.

You can expect to pay:

PriceTree Height
$100-$200Below 15 feet tall
$150-$450Between 15 to 30 feet
$200-$900Between 30 to 60 feet
$300-$1,200Between 60 to 80 feet
$700-$1,500Over 80 feet tall

Those prices are only for the tree removal itself and may seem expensive.3 However, if your contractor factors in any on-site obstacles that they may have to be overcome then the cost will be even higher.

Removing the stump can add another $150 to $300 depending on how cooperative the roots are during the extraction process.

Palm Tree Removal Cost Calculator

The benefit of using an online Palm tree trimming cost calculator or a tree removal calculator is convenience. In the comfort of your own home, you will be able to get a fairly accurate estimation of what tree service you want.

There is a fair amount of information that has to be filled in so the quote can be as accurate as possible but it’s a quick and very helpful form with many options.

The form will need the name and type of tree you have, the state where you live, and the physical location of the tree, is it in the front or backyard, for example?

The form will also request the height of the tree and maybe also the circumference of the trunk so the company will be aware of what equipment would be needed and the time frame to complete the job even before visiting your property for a more detailed appraisal.

All of this information needs to be filled in.

Other details may include:

  • The condition of the tree
  • Is there more than one tree or multiple?
  • Do you want the tree alone removed or the stump with it?
  • Are any permits required?
  • If you want to take out any insurance just in case of any property damages
  • If you want to pay for the tree and stump to be carted away from your property after the job is completed
  • Are there any pests on the tree to be aware of that will need to be treated?

You can get all these questions answered by tree specialists by requesting all of them to visit your property, but that can be a very time-consuming method. Getting several quotes is always advisable for comparison purposes to get the most competitive price and the best service.

The benefit of using an online calculator is you can get several quotes within minutes and then narrow down which tree care professionals you wish to come to your home and do a more in-depth survey for a more precise quote.4

Surprisingly, another point that will affect the Palm tree stump removal quote is the state where you live.

Removing types of Palm trees in Arizona and removing types of Palm trees in Hawaii can have different price tags.

In Arizona, the cost can range from as little as $140 to over $900 while the same Hawaiian trees will set you back over $1,100. And those prices are based on average-sized trees.

Palm trees that hover around the 100-foot mark have been known to cost cash-strapped homeowners upwards of $4,000 or more depending on the thickness of the trunk and how far and wide the roots have penetrated.

Even if your requirements are just for stump removal because your beloved Palm tree has toppled over by itself, the quotes may still make your eyes widen.

So knowing what your options are if you don’t relish the idea of forking out that kind of money is helpful.

Palm Tree Root System

The function of a tree’s roots is to hold the tree firmly in place to give it enough stability so it can withstand outside forces such as severe winds, intense rainstorms, or even someone just leaning against it.

They are also tasked to draw water up from below and absorb nutrients, minerals, and other compounds from the ground to enable the tree to grow and reinvigorate itself and stay healthy.

A sandy beach with palm trees, overlooking a body of water with distant mountains and a clear blue sky.

(Image: Ellen2611)

It is a vital part of any tree species.

The roots of Palm trees are distinct from other woody plants due to their unusual habit of expanding laterally just below the surface to provide stability to the tree rather than going down and deep.

These lateral roots that sometimes grow above ground, known as adventitious roots,1 don’t go very far down into the ground, but they do a good job of keeping the topsoil in place and taking advantage of the easy access to shallow water found in tropical climates.

This system of growing roots, unfortunately, doesn’t make Palm tree stump removal any easier, especially when you consider that some types of Palm trees like to be a little different.

Growth Pattern of Palm Tree Roots

Being aware of how the roots of your particular species of Palm tree grows underground can help you decide which technique is going to be better for removing that unsightly stump marring the pristine appeal of your front lawn. And how deep you will have to go.

The depth of a shallow root system can be up to 3 feet deep with some of the roots breaking through the surface, while on other types the depth can be twice that.

Graphic of the growth pattern of palm tree root system showing shallow root, deep root, deep and shallow root, and fibrous root.

There are types of Palm trees in Florida, for example, that have been in situ for years where the roots have wormed their way deeper underground than normal for that particular species because of the nutrients available from the surrounding ecosystem.

The same types of Palm trees in California could develop a completely shallow root structure if the soil, nutrient, and water availability are different in that location.

The environment in which a Palm tree grows up can play just as much a part in how deeply roots anchor themselves into the ground as much as the type of Palm tree itself.

Here is a brief list of a few Palm trees and the typical type of root system they will have.

Bear in mind, however, that if your area has lots of water, the roots will go deeper. If the water is not so plentiful, the roots of your Palm tree will stay closer to the surface for easier access.

Shallow Root Structure

The list below includes various types of palms that possess a shallow root structure. These palms include:

  1. African Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis)
  2. Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
  3. Bamboo Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
  4. Christmas Palm (Adonidia merrillii)
  5. Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera)
  6. European Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis)
  7. Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis)
  8. Foxtail Palm (Wodyetia bifurcata)
  9. Mexican Fan Palm (Washingtonia robusta)
  10. Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)

Deep Root Structure

The list below are the different palm species known for their deep root systems:

  1. California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)
  2. Canary Island Date Palm (Phoenix canariensis)2
  3. Bismarck Palm (Bismarckia nobilis)
  4. Royal Palm (Roystonea regia)

Deep and Shallow Root Structure

Here are several palm species characterized by both deep and shallow root systems:

  1. King Palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae)
  2. Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei)

Fibrous Root Structure

Here are numerous palm varieties known for their fibrous root systems:

  1. Acai Palm (Euterpe oleracea)
  2. Pindo Palm (Butia odorata)

Are Palm Trees Native to California?

Because they seem to be growing on every corner, it is assumed that Palm trees are native to California.7

A boulevard lined with tall palm trees on either side, leading towards a mountain range under a clear blue sky.

(Image: 1201910)

But all of them were once upon a time imported from other regions but have actually since become naturalized such as some types of fan Palm trees like the Desert Fan Palm or the California Fan Palm as it is more commonly called.

With a little time, effort, and planning thrown in, undertaking your very own Palm tree stump removal project shouldn’t get you hot under the collar, scratching your head, or leaving you stumped.

Frequently Asked Questions About Palm Tree Stump Removal

Is It Advisable To Poison Palm Trees With Bleach?

Bleach in a diluted form will kill weeds but is not an effective method for Palm tree stump removal. Its usage can negatively affect the local ecosystem and contaminate underground water sources.

Can Palm Tree Costs Be Reduced For Removing a Stump?

Asking your neighbors if they have any stumps that need removing will give you something to bargain with as companies are always willing to give discounts for getting a contract for multiple jobs in the same area.

How Many Types of Palm Trees Are There?

Spread across subtropical and tropical regions around the world, the number of types of Palm trees is approximately 2,600 different species.

What State Has the Most Trees?

The state that has the most trees is Alaska with approximately 31,750,000,000 spread over a land mass of 91.8 million acres.

Learn More About Palm Tree Stump Removal


1Department of Environmental Horticulture, University of Florida. (2023). Adventitious Roots. University of Florida. Retrieved October 18, 2023, from <>

2N.C. Cooperative Extension. (2023). Phoenix canariensis. North Carolina Extension Gardener. Retrieved October 18, 2023, from <>

3Purdue University. (2019, December 23). Why is tree work expensive? Purdue University Extension. Retrieved October 18, 2023, from <>

4Bradley, L., & Neill, K. (2019, October 21). How to Hire a Tree Care Professional. Retrieved October 18, 2023, from <>

5University of Florida. (2020, January 24). Ideal root system? University of Florida. Retrieved October 18, 2023, from <>

6Pokorny, K. (2015, March). Here’s the scoop on chemical and organic fertilizers. Oregon State University Extension Service. Retrieved October 18, 2023, from <>

7Washington State University. (2022). Dr. Universe: Why are there so many palm trees in California? Washington State University. Retrieved October 18, 2023, from <>

8Yale School of Environment. (2019, July 26). Trees Share Their Water to Keep Nearby Stumps Alive. Yale E360. Retrieved October 18, 2023, from <>

9Photo by MichaelPloujnikov. CC BY-SA 3.0 Deed. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <>

10Photo by 12019. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

11Photo by Ellen16. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>