The best and fastest way to kill and remove a stump is to use a stump grinder. This heavy-duty machine grinds the remains of the stump to about 4 inches below ground level and kills it at the same time. Rock salt takes longer but is less expensive.
As of 2015, the cost to rent a stump grinder is generally between $100 and $200, about the same cost as having a professional grind a single stump from the yard. The machine weighs about 1,000 pounds.
Before using a grinder, the owner should cut the stump as close to the ground as possible. He then moves the machine into place and lowers it onto the stump. As the machine grinds the stump away, he continues lowering the machine until it reaches the level below ground he desires. He covers the ground stump with dirt to prevent sunlight from encouraging new growth.
If the owner is looking for a cheap way to kill the stump and remove it, he should consider using rock salt. This requires owners to drill 1/2- to 1-inch holes that are 8- to 12-inches deep and fill them with rock salt. The next step is to top each hole with melted wax to keep the salt in place and cover the entire stump with black plastic. The salt kills the stump and helps to rot the stump so it is easier to remove.