Stump Grinding v Stump Removal - Which is Best?

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

So, you have a tree that has to be removed for good – maybe it’s diseased and damaged, maybe it’s become a safety hazard, or it might just not fit into your scheme for the garden anymore and you want to use the area for something more aesthetically pleasing. Whatever your reason, you’ll need to make a decision on how best to get rid of the unsightly stump once the tree is cut down.

If the tree stump is quite small, it’s not really going to be much of a problem – it’s going to be a fairly easy task to dig it up by hand. Likewise, if the stump is quite diseased or decayed, it is going to be much easier to haul it out of the ground.

On the other hand, removing a large stump (as in the photo above) is going to be trickier as you not only have to extract the stump, but also all of the roots attached to it and they can travel quite a distance. This is going to entail using a large piece of equipment which will churn up a lot of the surrounding soil and can cause damage, so it cannot be done near structures or hardscaping. It is also pretty expensive and time-intensive, and you will be left with a pretty big hole at the end of it. Often this method is used if the whole area is going to be cleared anyway for building or suchlike, so the fact that it can be a bit destructive isn’t so much of a problem.

Stump Grinder in Use

An easier and more effective method for getting rid of a large stump is to use a stump grinder. It is much more manageable and faster than the extraction method mentioned above as it doesn’t involve removing every tree root. It is also less expensive.

So the stump is ground down until there isn’t a trunk there anymore, and the roots will deteriorate over time and decompose into the soil. And then whatever hole is left is just covered with topsoil.

(Just to mention that in the example above, another company took the tree down before we were asked to remove it, and they left the stump far higher than we would normally recommend before removal.)

And then you can use the newly-created space to add something attractive and eye-catching to your garden.

A blank page for your imagination - lawn, patio, flower beds... whatever you fancy!

Written by Leslie Chetland

November 2020

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