Accelerate Chemical Degradation Many traditional products used to accelerate the degradation and decay of stumps contain concentrated salts to dry the stump for burning, attempt to infuse the stumps with potassium nitrate (saltpeter) to assist with burning, contain alkalis or sulfiting agents used to break down lignin, or contain exzymes which weaken wood cell walls. Many of these materials or formulations have been used in one form or another over many years. Few show any acceleration of decay in the short term. At the recommended application rates, many products are damaging to decay fungi. Over the long run, most products which increase nitrogen in the wood and decrease the C:N ratio around the stump will accelerate the wood decay process.