Stump Grinding: What You Need to Know Before Doing It Yourself

By: albertaarb - June 24, 2015

Tree stumps can  be an unsightly remnant of tree removal. They also pose a tripping hazard for you, your friends and family.

However, removing tree stumps yourself can be even more dangerous. Here’s what you need to know before doing it yourself.

Watch Out for Flying Rocks and Debris

Loose rocks, gravel and other debris is easily picked up by the stump grinder and sent hurtling through the air, posing a real danger to anyone in the way.

If you decide to remove a tree stump yourself, make sure you remove anything that can become airborne before you begin to avoid anything dangerous flying through the air.

Dress For Success

Before doing it yourself, dress appropriately for the tree stump removal.

Jewelry and loose clothing can easily be caught in the stump grinding machine, pulling you into the extremely powerful and sharp blades. Don’t wear any jewelry and loose hair should be tied back to avoid this.

Steel-toed safety boots are a must to prevent losing a toe. A hard hat, work gloves, safety glasses and earplugs should complete your “wardrobe” to keep you safe, as stump grinding machines are big, heavy, loud and cumbersome to operate.

Keep Children and Bystanders Far, Far Away

Removing a tree stump is a big and dangerous job. Although your kids might get a kick watching you use the massive stump grinder, because of the risks involved, it’s best to keep them, your friends, your family, your pets and anyone else not directly helping you far away.

It’s not a bad idea to rope off or otherwise block off the area using yellow caution tape to ensure no one walks into the area while you’re operating the heavy machinery.

Call Before You Stump: Watch Out for Live Wires, Cables or Pipes

Call all your local utilities before you begin, and have them identify all the live wires, cables and pipes buried in the area surrounding the stump or stumps you intend to remove.

Failure to call ahead of time may not only aggravate and annoy your neighbors when their air conditioning, heat, power, television or internet suddenly stops working, but can also endanger lives and be costly to you.

Accidentally cut cables can interfere with calls to emergency services, putting others at risk.

And you may financially on the hook for any repairs required by your failing to call ahead before you begin.

Read the Manual

Read the entire manual and all warning labels and stickers. Make absolutely certain you know how to use the exact make and model stump grinder you have on hand.

Just because you found a website with stump removal instructions, doesn’t mean you know how to properly use the specific machine you rented. Each make and model may differ in operation, and knowing exactly how to safely use the machine you have is key to keeping you and those working with you safe.

Consult a Professional Stump Removal Expert

Alberta Arborists has the specialized equipment for stump removal in the middle of front lawns to the most difficult and remote locations. We have turf-friendly, specialized stump grinding machines that will grind your stump(s) anywhere from 6 -30 inches below current ground levels. When we are done, you will be left with the stump removal mulch backfilled in the hole from where the stump was removed. For more information about our tree removal service please do not hesitate to contact us.

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