A lot of our customers have questions about stump grinding. Why should it be done? How is it done? What are the ramifications of keeping a stump in place versus removing it? We’re going to answer all these questions about stump grinding below!
4 Questions About Stump Grinding – Answered! Here they are:
1) Why Remove Stumps? There are three reasons:
Mowing Headaches (including damage to your mower).
Ironically, you’re most at risk to damage your mower (or the mower of your lawn care company) when the tree has been felled properly and the stump is nearly flush to the ground. Note that the word “nearly” There are plenty of people out there who’ve done irreparable damage to their mowers when they attempted clear an old stump with their mower deck. Even in the best-case scenario, when stumps are left in the ground, you’ll have to mow and trim around them for years to come.
They attract house-destroying insects like termites and carpenter ants.
Termites and carpenter ants are always looking for a free place to live and feed. Taller stumps are a bigger problem than shorter “flush-cut” stumps, but all stumps are going to break down over time and start looking like new home options for wood-eating bugs. As the wood gets moister, it’s more appealing to termites.
You can’t do anything with the area until the stump is gone
Why block up the use of your lawn and property with a tree stump? You could have lawn there, a garden bed, even a swimming pool. Stumps are obstacles, and until they’re gone, the area they occupy is unusable for anything except a place to put a flower pot (not a bad idea by the way)
2) Is grinding my only option for stump removal?
No, there are other options like potassium nitrate to accelerate decomposition of the stump so it can be broken apart and removed later. This takes time, however. There is also the option for the total removal of the stump and immediate root system. This is the most invasive option and involves HEAVY machinery and almost certainly adding soil and regrading the area after the stump is out. While it is the most complete way to remove a stump, it’s also the most disruptive and expensive and not usually necessary. If you’re clearing a field for a home’s foundation, this option may make sense. If you are removing a tree close to your home I would recommend grinding instead.
3) Can I replant a tree in the hole of a ground-out stump?
No. Saplings and young trees planted in the same area as the old ground-out stump will run into problems very shortly and be unable to survive and mature. The root system of the old tree is still in the ground and will prevent the new tree’s root system from establishing. When planting new trees, dig them away from the old stump and root system so that you give it plenty of time and resources to get established.
4) What contributes to the Cost of Stump Grinding?
Simply put three things: Diameter, Depth, and Location.
Diameter: The measurement of the stump from “dirt to dirt.” This is almost always wider than the diameter of the tree trunk and needs to be measured from where the wood of the stump meets the dirt to where the wood meets dirt on the other side.
Depth: Normal stump grinding chips the wood down to a depth of 4-6 inches below grade. Our machinery presents us with some limitations and depths beyond 8 inches below grade are probably unnecessary. At any rate, a deeper grind takes more time and adds to the cost
Location: We need to be able to get to the area with our grinder. Steep or crowded locations may not be able to handle the grinder and require smaller gear to address. Also, the stumps proximity to things like curbs, pools, sidewalks, or even buried boulders are going to make the grind trickier.
Have more questions about stump grinding on your property? Schedule a free site visit and quote! We’d also be happy to provide a complimentary tree assessment should you have any other tree management needs.
Request a quote online or give us a call to schedule one now!