Feeling Stumped? What You Need To Know About Tree Stump Grinding

If you hire a tree service to clear trees from your property, you'll find that the removal contract doesn't typically include stump removal. As a result, you'll either want to ask for stump removal as a separate process or remove the stumps on your own once the trees have been cut and removed from the property. Luckily, you can rent a stump grinder and remove the stumps on your own, if you choose. Here are some tips to help you rent a stump grinder and remove that tree stump safely and effectively.

Why You Should Remove Stumps

It may seem like an insignificant matter, particularly if the stump is in your back yard, out of sight and not a nuisance. Unfortunately, these stumps are vulnerable to a host of pests, such as ants and termites, that could actually spread through your yard. This can affect all of the other trees and shrubs on your property. Reduce the risk of widespread damage by eliminating stumps from your yard.

Deciding to Do It Yourself

You'll have to pay separately for the stump removal if you choose to have the tree removal company pull them out. In some cases, this is well worth the additional fee. If you have only one stump to remove and the additional fee is reasonable, you may find that it's in your best interest to let the professionals handle it. On the other hand, if you have several stumps to remove or you just want to get your hands dirty, you may find that you prefer to do the work on your own.

Renting a Stump Grinder

Many equipment rental companies will provide you with a stump grinder for a daily rental fee. Make sure that you talk with the rental dealer for additional info about how the grinder works so that you understand the controls and the operation instructions. You also need to make sure that you always wear goggles and ear protection when you use the grinder.

Stump grinders are heavy, and you'll have to have a vehicle with a tow hitch in order to get it home. If you don't have one, look for a rental company that offers delivery and pickup services.

Grinding the Stump

Use a shovel to remove the rocks and other debris from around the tree stump. This clears out anything that could damage the cutting wheel on the stump grinder. Then, use your chain saw to trim the stump so that it's as close to the ground as you can get it. This trimming step will make the whole process easier.

Roll the grinder forward so that it is directly in front of the stump. Use the hydraulic controls to raise the wheel over the stump, then position it so that the cutting wheel is directly over the front edge of the stump. Spin the wheel slowly, lowering it gradually until you're a few inches into the stump. Then, swing the wheel side to side using the hydraulic control lever. Work around slowly, moving the wheel side to side to clear out wood.

Once you've moved about four inches down into the stump, raise the wheel and move it forward a few inches. Then, repeat the process. This cycle of grinding a few inches at a time is the most effective method of breaking up the stump. Work your way all the way around to the other side of the stump. Then, make sure that the hole beneath is several inches deep.

Rake up all of the wood chips out of the hole, then backfill the hole with clean, fresh topsoil. Rake the surface of the soil and tamp it down so that it fills the hole completely. Cover it in a layer of grass seed and work the seed into the soil. Water it and then cover the area with hay to protect the seeds until they sprout.

With the information presented here, you can tackle that stump removal process with ease, eliminating any problem stumps and protecting the other trees in your yard. If you prefer to have an expert handle the equipment, you can hire a tree removal specialist for the stump removal process as well.