Should You Grind or Remove Your Stump?

Cutting down a tree is sometimes the only course of action, no matter how much you may want to avoid it. When it’s gone, you’re going to be left with a big, ugly tree stump. 

Without professional guidance, you would probably have no choice but to let the stump rot on its own. This can take years, and it isn’t a pretty process. Not to mention the vast root system underground will still pull nutrients from the soil, away from other plants, and make it hard to dig up the ground for new landscaping. 

So the decision comes down to whether to have it removed or leave it and let nature take its course. And it’s an obvious one. 

Leaving the stump alone to rot isn’t the best idea. It will eventually decay, but that takes time, especially if you don’t treat it to help it along. (There are several commercial products available for this purpose, as well as a wide range of homemade concoctions.)

Part of that decaying process is having insects (including termites) eat the wood to break it down. In addition, snakes and other unwanted yard guests can hide in a dying tree stump. Not to mention how it can ruin the aesthetic of your landscaping. 

Stump Removal: Grind or Remove 

Once you’ve made the wise choice to have the stump removed, you have a couple of options. Both will remove the stump effectively, but because of the very different methods used in each service, you need to make sure that you and your tree service pro are on the same page. 

A professional tree service company will make sure you understand the effects of each method before removing a stump. 

Stump Grinding 

Stump grinding is minimally invasive, and a generally safe way to remove a stump from your property. 

Professional arborists use a specialized piece of equipment to slowly chip away the stump. These machines have sharp teeth that bite into the wood bit by bit until the stump is below the ground surrounding it. 

The hole is then filled with dirt, and in time, grass will take over the spot leaving no trace of the tree that once stood there. The root system is still intact after stump grinding, but it decays faster than if it was still attached to the stump. 

Grinding a stump leaves behind a large pile of wood chips. Some homeowners see this as a win-win because they now have “free” mulch for landscaping. Mulch can be used around other trees, in flower beds, or to fill in walkways. If you don’t have a purpose for the wood chips that are produced, most tree service companies will haul them away for you and either donate or destroy them. 

Stump grinding is a better option when you want to protect the area around the stump from any unnecessary damage. The tree removers will need to get their equipment up to the stump, so you may be left with a few tire marks in your yard, but that’s about it. 

Stump Removal 

Stump removal is the other option. Stump removal tears up the ground around the tree significantly. 

Traditional stump removal begins with cutting up the remaining stump as much as possible and removing large chunks. You can keep these chunks for personal use or ask the tree service team to dispose of them. 

Then, using a combination of heavy equipment and regular gardening tools, teams dig around the stump to reveal as much of it as possible. The final step is to push and pull the stump with heavy equipment until it is dislodged from the ground, roots and all. 

This stump removal method leaves large holes in the ground, which can significantly affect the landscape and ecosystem. The hole will need to be filled in with dirt once the stump is removed, and then it may need to be filled again once the dirt settles. 

This is the best stump removal method if you need to completely clear the land, as for a construction project. It is used in large-scale land clearing projects because it is faster and requires larger equipment, such as tractors, excavators, and bulldozers. 

Neither stump grinding nor stump removal is the better choice in every situation. Each has its benefits and disadvantages, so it’s helpful to have a professional in the tree service business to advise you about the best method for the specific situation.  

Professional Stump Removal

It’s safe to say that in most cases, removing the stump is the better option versus letting it deteriorate on its own. 

Removing a stump by either method above will result in faster decay of the roots, which can spread out up to 12 feet around the tree and can take up to 10 years to decay on their own. 

Having it removed by a professional stump removal company in Clearwater has many benefits: 

  • It will instantly get rid of an unattractive feature in your yard. Either of these removal methods can be completed within one day in most cases. 
  • It makes room for new trees so you can begin planning your new landscaping right away. 
  • Your yard will recover faster. You won’t have to wait years for the stump to decay on its own. 

DIY home projects are more popular than ever, but some jobs are better left to the experts. It’s true that you can rent all the equipment needed to do stump grinding or stump removal and perform these tasks yourself, but we strongly caution against it. The equipment needed to do either of these methods is powerful and incredibly dangerous, even for a trained professional. 

Although it is possible to remove a stump yourself, it’s much safer and more effective to trust a tree stump removal company.   

The experts at B&T’s Tree Service will be able to explain the various removal methods and the advantages of each in your specific situation. Then they can carry out the stump removal service quickly and effectively. And they have the means to dispose of wood that you don’t want.