What Everyone Should Know About Stump Grinding

By: albertaarb - April 9, 2014

We get a lot of questions about stump grinding.

Trees are beautiful and are vital for the environment but sometimes they have to be cut down for different reasons.

For example, they may be posing a danger to people or to property. The roots could be wreaking havoc on the plumbing system or the trunk may be leaning heavily on the roof. Instead of dealing with structural damage, owners may simply remove the tree before things get worse.

Sometimes trees get infected by crippling diseases or get damaged by pests beyond healing. In these cases, taking the tree down may be the best way to prevent the problem from spreading.

Stump Removal Methods

Fallen trees leave a stump that most find unsightly. Removing these is no easy task, especially for those with large diameters. They are firmly anchored to the ground as their roots have burrowed deep and wide.

Small stumps may be taken out manually using simple tools. But the process is extremely labor-intensive. Some find that bathing the stump in chemicals make the task easier. Nitrogen-rich fertilizers are often used for this purpose. Others simply burn them down as a quick fix but this method can be risky.

The fastest and safest way to remove a stump is to employ a stump grinding tool. 

What is a Stump Grinder?

A stump grinder may be as small as a lawn mower or as big as a truck. The larger ones are more powerful and can literally turn stumps to dust in seconds. They have a head that contains an extremely hard metal disk with teeth known as the cutter wheel.

When the wheel spins, the grinder can go through any type of wood with ease. The neck is controlled by hydraulic cylinders for precise maneuvers; going up and down or from side to side.

How the Process Works

Stump grinding can commence once homeowners decide that it's time to get rid of the tree's remnants.

There are no special preparations necessary except perhaps to remove rocks and clear a path for the machine.

Grinders may be rented. But those who are not used to operating such a large machine may want to hire a service provider to do all the work to ensure everyone's safety.

Specialists will go through every inch of the stump until the solid mound becomes a hole about six to thirty inches deep. Roots above the surface may also be subjected to the same treatment for a cleaner look.

After the Stump is Removed

The residue will be scattered in the immediate vicinity. Do-it-yourselfers will have to clean this up and do what they wish to improve the look of the site. Service providers, on the other hand, will use the mulch to fill back the hole.

They will arrange things so that the ground will have a flat and even surface, as if the stump was never there. This is great for people who are trying to smarten up the look of their front lawn or garden. In time, new plants can be placed on or around the area.

Stump grinding may look easy from afar, but it actually takes skill and experience to do it well. The heavy machine can be cumbersome to operate, so technicians have to be patient and methodical.

When problems arise, they should know how to troubleshoot to save time and find a way to finish what they started. Their workmanship should be impeccable with holes drilled in just the right manner.

Most of all, they must be familiar with all the safety precautions and techniques to avoid accidents.

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