Stump Removal or Stump Grinding?

Stump Removal or Stump Grinding?

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Many property owners face this problem: the trees on the plot are aging, suffer from diseases, and break down in strong winds. In this case, there is no other option than to get rid of such trees. However, after their removal, the stumps remain.

Sometimes the stumps can be used to decorate the site, but this is not the best solution. Deadwood is susceptible to rotting, so there is a chance that termites can get established inside the stump, which is dangerous to healthy trees and wooden structures. Stumps can also be a source of other infections on your property.

In such cases, stump removal will be the right decision. In addition, do not forget that it will allow you to free up space that you can use for various purposes.

There are several ways to get rid of stumps. Let’s take a look at each of them.

Stump Removal

Stump Removal

This procedure involves removing the stump with the maximum extraction of the roots from the ground. This can usually be done in two ways:

  • Manual.
  • Mechanical.

The first option is more economical, suitable for work in hard-to-reach places, but physically tricky and time-consuming. Note that it is difficult to uproot the stump by hand alone.

First, you must dig around the stump and cut off the roots. Only after that can it be pulled out of the ground. It can be done independently, provided that the person does it not alone or is physically sturdy and has the necessary tools. However, it is much more promising to entrust the work to professionals who will not only remove the stump but also will not cause damage to the surrounding landscape.

Advantages of the method:

  • Minimal damage to elements of the landscape design.
  • The wheels of machinery do not touch the soil layer near the stump.
  • It is possible to work in places where machinery cannot pass or where it is not safe to work: in the middle of a garden, between close buildings, next to utility lines, etc.
  • Manual stump uprooting involves carefully removing roots as much as possible.


However, labor-intensiveness and significant time costs make it necessary to avoid manual uprooting if possible.

Mechanical uprooting involves the use of heavy equipment: a tractor or excavator. With their help, you can clear any area of stumps; the primary condition – is the availability of sufficient free space for maneuvering equipment. This method is more expensive than manual lifting because machinery is involved, while in the first case, only the work of specialists is paid.

Advantages and disadvantages are obvious – minimum labor intensity and the impossibility of working in a small area.

Stump Grinding

The process involves lowering a rotating disc with sharp cutters to about 12 inches. This way, the stump can be quickly removed without special equipment, without chemicals, and without a lot of manual lifting effort.

Thanks to a competently done grinding, the stump will turn into sawdust, which is much easier to remove from the area or use profitably for mulching. In addition, this method does not damage the landscape and preserves the site’s aesthetic appearance.

Advantages of the method: 

  • High speed of work;
  • Quite a neat method of uprooting stumps, especially for landscaping, which will not suffer in any way when removing the stump of any size;
  • It is possible to set various parameters – the diameter of the pit, its depth, and other settings. All processes are strictly controlled and regulated by the operator.


Disadvantages of the method:

  • The stump crusher cannot go deeper to remove stump residue than 12 inches, which is a very shallow depth because the roots of large trees can go several feet underground. 
  • This method is also ineffective when removing stumps in contaminated areas, such as after construction work. Any piece of rebar, bolt or nut, rock, or other hard debris can break the equipment’s blades.


Removing or Grinding?

As mentioned above, each method of getting rid of stumps has advantages and disadvantages. Removal by mechanical means is not suitable where the territory of the site is landscaped, as large-scale equipment can damage the property, destroy design elements and break plants.

Stump crushing with a crusher is more suitable for private property. The equipment for this procedure is relatively compact, it is easy to bring it to the right place, and after crushing the stump, only chips remain. In addition, the specialist can manually adjust the diameter of the plunge, the depth of the pit, and other parameters at each stage of the work.

Thus, the proper removal option is chosen based on several parameters – removal speed, cost, and operating conditions.

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