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Stump Removal Options
for the Homeowner

 
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Homeowners who have had a tree cut down on their property often find themselves with the left behind tree stump to contend with.  Stumps left behind from tree cutting can be variously described as unsightly, taking up valuable gardening space, and even hazardous.

There are various ways to deal with tree stumps depending on how quickly you want the stump removed.   

Nature
Simply covering the stump with soil will eventually lead to the stump's decay.  Once it has rotted enough it can usually be removed with an axe and/or shovel.  Unfortunately depending on the size of the stump this process could take many months or years.

Nature Accelerated
Various commercial products can be applied to a stump to accelerate the decay process.  They are generally applied by drilling holes in the stump and pouring a liquid into the holes. According to manufacturers, after 8-12 weeks the stump should be soft enough for removal by burning.  In many urban and suburban areas burning stumps is not allowed.  Be sure to check local codes before pursuing this method.

Stump Grinding
If you're in a hurry and want the entire stump removed immediately there is no better method than a stump grinder.  Stump grinders come in a variety of sizes from the size of a lawn mower to nearly as big as a small car.  Most accomplish their task by means of a high-speed disk with specially designed teeth that grind the stump and underground roots into small chips.

A stump grinder's specially designed teeth spinning at great speed will
reduce a stump and roots to mulch in a matter of minutes.

We wanted four stumps removed immediately so we had Ryan Lawn & Tree come out to grind them down. They arrived with a stump grinder that was certainly big enough for our stumps and was apparently capable of grinding down almost any size stump and underlying root system. 

Ryan's Jon Schoeberl (pictured) says, "I look at stump grinding as a way of reclaiming some of your yard.  Once that stump is removed properly you're able to grow grass, plant another tree, whatever you want.  None of that is going to happen with a tree stump in place."

One of our four stumps needed to be cut closer to the ground with a chain saw before grinding could begin.  This was a remnant of a tree we lost to last winter's ice storms.  Once that was taken care of Jon fired up the grinder and got to work.

As the disk spins it is directed back and forth over the stump in a slow sweeping motion.  After a few passes the stump has been reduced to ground level.  "We're not done yet", Jon advised us.  "To do it right you really want to grind it down 10-12 inches below ground level.  That way you'll be able to grow just about anything in that spot."

Within a few minutes the first stump was gone and all that remained was a foot-deep hole and a pile of mulched up stump.  in less than 30 minutes the job was complete and we had reclaimed about 80 square feet of gardening space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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