Which of the two methods is the better option?
When you have no choice but to cut down the tree in your yard, being left with a stump is not only an eyesore, but it also takes away valuable landscaping space and can be a hazard to anybody’s physical health.
To avoid injuries and to make the most of your yard space, you’ll want to resort to having a tree stump removed from the earth with professional equipment. But which is the better method? Grinding the stump to mulch, or digging it out altogether?
What is Stump Removal?
Traditional stump removal is exactly what it sounds like: the process of fully removing a stump out of the ground, then filling that hole back in with earth to cover the newly formed ditch.
This method is a bit more difficult to perform, especially if the tree in question is a large one. The whole stump, along with the entire root ball, is removed by digging. The size of a tree’s root ball is generally about four to ten times larger than the size of the tree. Therefore, once the stump has been removed, it will leave a large hole in its place.
Read More: How Stump Grinding Works
Next, a hose will be used to wash the dirt away from those roots. After exposing the roots, a saw or axe will be used to cut away the roots to make it easier to remove while pushing and pulling.
If it still can’t be removed, the final resort is to attach a chain to the stump and roots and pull it out with a four-wheel-drive truck.
In general, stump removal has many benefits. Leaving a stump in the ground can pose many landscaping health risks and cause rotting roots, as well as potential infestations. When removing a stump by hand, you can be thorough and see the ball of roots itself, and you can also understand a bit more about what’s going on beneath the roots of the former tree.
Completely removing a stump requires a lot of labour, and can also be an extremely inefficient task that takes a very long time. It also requires plenty of equipment: hoses, axes, shovels, a truck, ropes. It’s definitely hard work, and the tree could be at risk for coming back if the job isn’t done thoroughly enough as intended.
What is Stump Grinding?
Stump grinding is the process of pulling the stump out from underground by breaking it down via a chipper or similar equipment that grinds wood. This is highly recommended to be done by a professional, as certain equipment is required for this task.
Stump grinding uses a machine known as a stump grinder that varies in size. Smaller grinders run on gas, and the larger ones run on diesel fuel. Tree removal services typically describe their process as cutting into tree stumps using wheels with special carbide cutting tips. And larger grinders use wheels with upwards of 76 carbide cutters to cut into massive tree stumps.
Stump grinding makes excellent fresh mulch, which is ideal for gardening. Stump grinding is also the most surefire way to get rid of the stump, which means you’re automatically at significantly-lower risk for infestations with pesky bugs as well as injuries. And, you can add an extra bit of land to your property without having to worry about anything getting in the way.
Because of its equipment, stump grinding can be dangerous work, and you need to hire a service that has great references and knows what they’re doing. Any reputable tree removal service should have the following:
- Public liability insurance in case someone gets injured
- Personal injury insurance in case of an accident
The process is also a little more intricate as heavy equipment is involved, so you’ll have to be extra careful with who you hire and make sure they take excellent precautions when they have to work near your home or around underground cables, water systems and gas lines.
Which is the Better Option?
To help you decide, you have to think of the following factors that best suit your situation.
Why are you removing your stump? Do you plan on replanting anything on the same spot? Are you touching up your landscaping? Or has your stump been a liability thus far?
What’s your budget like? The more laborious the task is and the bigger the stump, the more you’re going to have to pay. Would you rather run the risk of a poor job done, or do you want it done in one shot, even if it means paying a little more?
What’s the risk factor on either option? Consider how deeply the roots go and how they need to be taken out, or if they need to be removed completely. Also consider what’s around the land you need to work on: drainage systems, cables, pipes, etc.
Your time is precious, and you don’t want to hang around forever waiting for a stump’s removal. How much time do you have to spend on supervising this task? How much of a dire state is your stump in to be removed? Think about the most efficient options when taking care of this task.
Whether you do decide to go with a digging method for stump removal or you opt for the mulch option of grinding, be sure to weigh all the pros and cons so that you can make the best choice for yourself, your time and your property.