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Calculating the Weight of a Tree Stump: A Quick Guide

Calculating the Weight of a Tree Stump

You’re probably almost done removing a tree in your backyard, but there’s a tree stump getting in your way. 

As you try to identify what type of excavator you’ll need to finish the job, you’ll first have to get an estimate of the weight of the tree stump. 

So without further ado, here’s a quick guide on how to calculate the weight of a tree stump. 

How do you measure the weight of a tree stump?

measure the weight of a tree stump
Image: Angi

The weight of a tree stump is calculated using Huber’s formula:

Weight = Volume x Wood Density

Just multiply the volume by the wood density, and you’ll get the weight of the tree stump. 

Now, here’s how to measure each variable. 

Tree Stump Volume 

Tree Stump Volume
Image: Treenewal

The volume of a tree stump is measured through this formula:

V = [ (3.14) (L) (D²) ] / 4

V stands for volume; L for length; and D for diameter.

How to Calculate the Volume of a Tree Stump

1. Use one measurement label for all your calculations. If you’re using meters, measure the rest in meters.
2. D² – Measure the diameter at the center of the flat surface of the tree stump. Then, multiply the number by itself.
3. L – Measure the length of the stump from the ground.
4. V – Multiply the length (L), the square of the diameter (D²), and 3.14. Then, divide the product of these variables by 4.

Wood Density of Common Tree Species

Wood Density of Common Tree Species
Image: Yard and Garden Guru

Here’s a table of the most common tree species and their wood densities in kilograms per cubic meter.

Note: The densities included in the table are for seasoned and dry wood. It’s for tree stumps that stayed in the open for some time, thereby reducing their moisture content.

Tree SpeciesDensity (kg/m3)
Balsa110 – 140
Bamboo310 – 400
Basswood320 – 590
White Pine350 – 500
Poplar350 – 500
Western Red Cedar380
Yellow Pine420
Alder420 – 680
Norway Spruce430
American Redwood450
Canadian Spruce450
European Whitewood470
Cedar490 – 570
Western Hemlock500
African Mahogany500 – 850
Birch510 – 770
Douglas Fir530
Oregon Pine530
Black Ash540
Elm540 – 600
Sweet Chesnut560
Black Gum590
Philippine Red Luan590
Oak600 – 900
Hickory600 – 930
Pear610 – 730
Maple620 – 750
Cherry630 – 900
Walnut640 – 700
Apple650 – 850
Locust670 – 710
Beech700 – 900
Blue Gum820
East Indian Rosewood900
African Blackwood1,080
Black Ironwood1,420
Source: Engineering Toolbox

Weight of Root Balls

Weight of Root Balls
Image: Terra Cast Products

All trees have root balls – the mass of stringed root system that forms into a ball at the base of the plant. 

Whenever possible, you should also add the weight of the tree’s root ball to get a more accurate weight of the tree stump.

This value is essential, especially when planning to use an excavator or machinery to uproot the entire stump. 

Here’s a table of the estimated weight of root balls depending on their average diameter at breast height and the size of the root ball itself. 

Diameter at Breast Height (inches)Size of Root Ball (inches)Weight of Root Ball (lbs)
2 – 2.524 – 28400
2.5 – 328 – 32650
3 – 3.532 – 36850
3.5 – 436 – 401,200
4 – 4.540 – 451,500
4.5 – 550 – 552,500
5 – 5.555 – 623,000
5.5 – 662 – 664,000
6 – 766 – 725,000 – 6,000
7 – 872 – 766,000
8 – 984 – 907,000 – 8,000
Source: The Yard Table

Weight of Tree Stumps by Species

Weight of Tree Stumps by Species
Image: University of West London

At a glance, here’s a table of the estimated weight in pounds of 1-foot-long tree stumps by species.

Species Tree Stump Weight (lbs)
White Ash2638516785104126150177205
Paper Birch2739537088109132157164214
Yellow Birch31456180101124151179210244
Black Cherry253548637998119141166192
American Elm2942587595118142169199231
Black Gum253548637998119141166192
Red Gum2739537088109132157164214
Honey Locust33486585108133161192225252
Evergreen Magnolia32466382104129156185214217
Red Maple2739537088109132157164192
Silver Maple253548637998119141166239
Sugar Maple3144607899122148176206282
California Oak36517092116144174207243324
Live Oak416081106134166200238280269
Red Oak34496788111137166198232265
White Oak34486686109135163194228261
Yellow Poplar21304053678399119150188
Black Walnut32456281102126153182213250
White Pine20283850647895113128145
Red Spruce19273647607490106125154
Source: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service sheet “Rope, Knots and Climbing.”

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