Stump Grinding 101

Let’s face it, tree stumps can be an unsightly eye-sore. Whether old or new stumps can be an annoyance and a hazard. Stumps can impede landscaping and new construction, create tripping hazards, and cause time to be wasted mowing and trimming around them. Not to mention that removing a stump yourself can be a pain!

STUMP DIAGNOSIS 

So what other issues can arise from living with tree stumps on your property? Let’s see if we can get to the root cause of the problem (pun intended!).

Typically when a tree is cut down, the roots will stop growing and die. However, in some cases trees may develop root sprouts. In this case, the only way to resolve the problem is to totally grind down or remove the stump. Even if the stump does not develop sprouts, it will eventually start to decay and become an attraction for bees, termites, and other insects. The stump may also present a risk for spreading diseases to healthy trees surrounding the area. Ultimately, stump grinding or stump removal allows for repair, replanting, and landscaping of the area.

For homeowners, this kind of preventative maintenance and hiring a tree care professional may help you to protect the value of your home in the long run (aside from the obvious aesthetic benefits).

STUMP GRINDING VS. REMOVAL

In most cases stump grinding is the simpler solution, except in cases in which it’s more practical to remove the stumps entirely. These situations may include: new construction, landscaping, the quantity of stumps, and location or size of the project. To effectively remove stumps, it’s important to first understand the mechanics of how a stump is locked into the soil. For example, trees can have many small diameter roots or a few large diameter roots.

A stump grinder or stump cutter is a power tool (or attachment) that removes tree stumps by means of a rotating cutting disk that chips away the wood. The stump is ground below the current surface level of the topsoil and can then be landscaped over. Typically stumps will be ground 6″-8″ below ground level. Stumps and roots are ground into chippings and mulch resulting in minimum disturbance with no root ball to dispose of.

By contrast, stump removal is a process of extraction which requires a tree service professional to dig, lift, and transport the stump from the site. Few companies have all the equipment necessary to do this, so make sure that when hiring a tree service company that you ask the right questions!

AFTER YOUR STUMP HAS BEEN REMOVED

Note that in some cases, you may experience some degree of “settling” or ground depression in the location where your stump was removed. This is a natural process that causes air and water to fill up small air pockets in the dirt mound over time. It the dirt does start to settle, you can simply level the ground with top soil or dirt.

QUALITY COMMITMENT

If in your stump removal research, you find yourself seeking the highest level of professionalism without compromising on quality, rest assured that Urban Forestry Tree Service has both the expertise to help you make the best choice and the equipment to handle your job, large or small. 

Our tree care specialists grind the stump and haul almost all of the mulch and debris, and if requested, will leave just enough mulch in the ground area to serve as filler for new topsoil. We are always careful to completely clean after a project is completed, but note that in some instances a small amount of shavings will remain and are soon absorbed by surrounding lawn and grounds.

For more information on other tree care articles, you can visit some of the links below!

Simple Pruning Techniques for Proper Tree Care

Prepare Your Trees for Stormy Weather

How Construction Work Can Damage Trees

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