How to Pull Tree Stumps With a Tractor

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Items you will need

  • Shovel

  • Pick axe

  • Pruning saw

  • Lopping shears

  • Chain

  • Tractor

Tractors are meant for hauling and, if properly prepared, they make short work of stubborn tree stumps. Stump removal by tractor is less expensive than calling a professional and requires less work than manual removal. However, the rare tractor turnover can prove fatal. Pay attention to detail, follow proven stump pulling techniques and safely take advantage of your tractor’s pulling power.

    Dig a trench around the stump’s base using a shovel and pick axe. Remove dirt until the tree’s roots are visible. Wedge the pick axe or shovel between the roots and the ground and push the tool’s handle downward to pry and loosen the roots from the earth. Loosen both large roots and small clumps of roots.

    Cut and sever the stump’s large roots from the stump with a pruning saw or lopping shears.

    Loop a chain around the base of the stump’s trunk. Position the chain as low as possible around the stump.

    Attach the loose ends of the chain to the tractor’s hitch, preferably a hitch attached to the tractor’s axle.

    Turn on the tractor, put the tractor in gear and slowly accelerate. Accelerate with steady speed to pull the stump from the ground.


    • Leave at least 12 inches of trunk on the stump during cutting; with any less than 12 inches, the chain will assuredly slip from the trunk.

      Never attempt to tractor-pull a stump without a partner; a partner can alert you if the tractor appears to be lifting or turning in a dangerous manner.


About the Author

Based in Hawaii, Shane Grey began writing professionally in 2004. He draws on his construction experience to write instructional home and garden articles. In addition to freelance work, Grey has held a position as an in-house copywriter for an online retailer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater arts from Humboldt State University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images