Q&A: Stump Grinding

Posted on: 10 November 2016

Stump grinding is the industry standard when it comes to professional stump removal, and for good reason. It's a relatively safe, quick, and effective way to get rid of an unsightly stump so that you can begin to recover your yard. If you still have questions about the procedure, the following can help answer them while alleviating any concerns you have about the process.

Is there a size limit for stump grinding?

Generally, no. If the tree was old enough to be well established, chances are stump grinding is a better option than attempting to dig out the root system. Digging only makes sense for small, shallow root systems. Tree stump that appear small often have a large and extensive root ball that is best destroyed via grinding.

How deep down is the stump grinded?

This can vary depending on several factors, which include the equipment limitations and the particular stump. In general, the stump will be ground out to a soil depth between one and two feet. This will put the top of any remaining part of the root ball well enough below the soil surface so that you can replant over it without issue.

Is the mulch or sawdust left behind?

Grinding produces a wood chip mulch, which is often left in the former stump hole to help fill it in until you decide what to do. You can also rake up the chips and use them as mulch in other parts of the lawn or garden.

Are there any necessary preparations for grinding?

You will need to mark sprinkler lines and make sure the area around the stump is clear and accessible. The grinding company will also call the utilities in advance so that they can mark any underground utility lines.

Is lawn damage a concern?

The area immediately around the stump is the only place where the ground may be churned up during the grinding process. The only other concern is if the ground is particularly wet, since the weight of the grinder could possible leave ruts in a very wet lawn. Turn of the sprinklers a day or two in advance of grinding if this is a concern.

How can the lawn be fixed afterward?

The easiest recovery method is to place sod over the area. You will want to wait several months to a year for the remaining roots to begin decaying, since this will cause some initial soil sinkage. Then, fill in the area with a quality topsoil and lay the sod over it.

For more help, contact a tree service in your area, such as Tree Landers.


Keeping Your Trees Healthy

About a year ago, I realized that our front trees were starting to look a little funny. Some of the leaves were wilted, but we weren't anywhere near autumn. The bark on the trunk also seemed to be rotting away, which was frustrating and disappointing. Fortunately, a friend of mine told me to call a professional arborist for help. He came out, inspected the trees, and injected some special pesticides into the trunk. Within a few months, they started to look a lot better. Our arborist also trimmed our trees to reduce the weight load on the branches and to improve their shape. Check out this blog for information about tree trimming.