(oh, how I wish this was actually my landscaping)
Since almost every tree in our neighborhood is an ash tree (almost all infected by the emerald ash borer bug), all of our neighbors are going through the same issues with needing to take down trees and getting rid of their stumps. One of our neighbors successfully burned their stumps so we are doing the same. This avoids having to rent a stump grinder or paying a company to grind out the stump for us.
Of course, any time you are working with the ground, you should have your underground lines marked, first. Never attempt this if it's too close for comfort to any lines.
We started by digging around the base of the stump as much as possible to expose as much wood as we could. Then we drilled some holes in the top of the stump. The more exposure, the better.
Fortunately, there is plenty of fire fuel available from all of the trees that came down so we burn our stumps out solely of tree limbs. I have heard of other people using charcoal to do the same thing but I can't speak for that method.
A stump this size will take about three to four days of burning. It helps to occasionally scrape the stump with a shovel when the fire dies down a bit to expedite the process a little.
Once the stump is done burning into the ground a bit (we're still working on this one), we level out the ground with dirt, lay some grass seed down, and cover it with peat moss. Be sure to water it daily. After a few days, you'll see some sprouts coming up through the peat moss.
We have now taken out 4 tree stumps using this method. The one pictured above will be our fifth and largest. We have every reason to believe it's working again!
This may not be the easiest method of removing a tree stump, but it certainly is the least expensive. Some may argue it's the most fun, too! How can you hate having a constant smore opportunity right in your own back yard for 3-4 days in a row?!
On top of burning out tree stumps, we were also mulching and tilling. We're in the process of eliminating a flower bed and turning it back into yard as well as turning a different flower bed into a vegetable garden. Not sure how well that will turn out since I have such a black thumb, but it will be interesting at the very least.