One of the primary motivations for recommending stump grinding is to prevent termite infestations. However, many homeowners are seeking clarity on whether this method effectively addresses their termite concerns, or if they should also be concerned about the wood chippings attracting termites.

No, tree stump grindings do not attract termites. While they can create the perfect environment for termites –where the termites can get food and shelter –, they don’t have a unique scent or properties that make termites drawn to them. But if the termites find them, they will make a colony in the grindings.

Here is what you should know about stump grinding, termites1, and your options.

Will Stump Grindings Attract Termites

Should I leave stump grindings?

No, you should not leave them. This is because piles of wood debris on your property can also make a property look unattractive. This also compromises the soil’s ability to support plant growth.

The grindings can also be useful. You can use them as mulch. You can compost them. And you can even use them on paths or as part of the bedding for your animals.

Therefore, removing them is always advisable.

What can you do with leftover grindings?

What can you do with leftover grindings

Stump grinding is one of the quickest ways to get rid of a tree stump. Unfortunately, it usually leaves behind a lot of wood chips.

The following are the different ways in which you can handle them.

Use them as mulch for your garden

Use them as mulch for your garden

If the stump is disease-free, you can use the wood chips as tree mulch.

To create mulch, start by collecting the wood chips. Remove any debris and grass in the organized pile. After you are done, take the mulch made and spread it around your plants and trees.

Several inches of wood chippings will help to increase the moisture retention capacity of the soil around your plants. It will also help to regulate its temperature by preventing extreme fluctuations. And with time, as the grindings rot, they will enrich the soil.

All of this will go a long way toward improving the health of your plants.

Add them to your compost

Add them to your compost

If you are into composting, you can easily build your compost pile by adding fresh wood chips to your compost pile. And in about 3 months, the wood chips will be ready for use as a fertilizer in your garden. This will not only reduce your dependency on chemical fertilizers but also save you from spending money on disposal services.

Use them to fill the hole

After having your old stumps ground, you will always be left with holes that need filling. While some homeowners fill these holes with topsoil, you can easily fill them with the resulting wood chips and then top them off with topsoil. Doing so will reduce the amount of topsoil that is needed to restore the area.

Offer it for free to farmers

Stump grinding has a lot of uses around a farm. They can be used as bedding for animals. They can be used to line paths. They can also be used as a wood repair material.

Therefore, there is always a number of farmers around you who would be happy to collect the wood chippings on their own. They will likely do the heavy lifting of carting them away at no charge to you.

Discard them

You don’t have to always find a clever way to use the resulting wood chippings. You can simply request a tree service to dispose of the grindings on your behalf. And if you don’t have a lot of them, you can also place the grindings in your garbage and have them disposed of.

Is it bad to leave tree stumps?

Yes, it is bad to leave tree stumps on your property. The following are the reasons why it is inadvisable to do so.

Is it bad to leave tree stump

An unsafe home for children

Tree stumps will make your home unsafe for children. This is because they are a tripping hazard and so the chances of children tripping on the stumps and injuring themselves will increase if you leave the stumps in place.

An open invitation to termites and other pests

Tree stumps attract termites. They also attract ants and other pests. This is so especially when they are rotting or drying out. Therefore, leaving tree stumps of dead trees on your property is close to leaving an open invitation to these destructive visitors.

Compromised property value

There is also the fact that rotting tree stumps are ugly. Having a number of rotten stumps sticking out of your property will make it aesthetically unappealing. It will eventually lower the value of your property.

These are some of the reasons why you should get rid of a stump right after removing a tree.

Can old tree stumps attract pests like termites?

Yes, an old tree stump that is rotting can attract termite colonies. They are an easy target because they provide both shelter and cellulose material — that termites feed on.

What are the signs of termite infestations on tree stumps?

The following are signs of a termite invasion.

  • Shelter tubes made of mud
  • Holes in the stump
  • A stump that feels hollow and which fails the screwdriver test — poking it with a screwdriver and if it collapses, it means that it is hollow and likely infested by termites
  • Shed wings around and on the stump
  • Traces of wood shavings at the tree stump’s base
  • Mounds of termite droppings


The resulting wood chippings2 eventually change the soil’s composition — when they rot. They also limit the amount of nitrogen in the soil. When combined, these two things make it harder for grass to grow on them.

In order for grass to grow on them, the soil has to be treated with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. Adding high-quality topsoil in the area is also always necessary.

A stump should be ground as far down as the trunk extends.

Sometimes, this may mean having to grind a stump to 4 inches below the ground surface. And at other times, it may take grinding it up to 18 inches below the ground level. However, in most cases, companies grind stumps to a depth of between 4 inches and 12 inches.

The best way to get rid of termites from tree stumps is to apply a termite-killing solution to the stump. The most effective options are usually either a liquid insecticide or a combination of hot water and boric acid. And when doing so, making sure that the termite-killing solution soaks around the tree’s roots is important.

You can also grind or remove the stump completely from your yard.

If you need help removing stumps from your property, you should visit It offers a free service that quickly matches you with the top-voted local tree experts in your area.

Using this website, you can get 3 estimates fast by real certified experts in your area in just 2 minutes. Here is how it works.

  1. You scroll to the top of the page and enter your Zip code.
  2. Answer questions about your stump removal needs
  3. Your details will be forwarded to three local experts.
  4. You will then receive a price estimate for the job and some friendly advice.

IMPORTANT: There is no obligation to hire. This is a free tool and service to be used at your pleasure.

  1. Potter, M.F. (2018) Termite Control. <> Accessed: 20-02-2024
  2. Chalker-Scott, L. (2007) Wood Chip Mulch: Landscape Boon or Bane? <> Accessed: 20-02-2024
Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.