Stump Grinding – Reclaiming Outdoor Space?

Why is stump grinding beneficial?

Stump Grinding

Stumps in your yard can be a nuisance.  Stump grinding can be a good solution to remove unwanted and unsightly stumps in your yard.  Whether you want to get rid of a tripping hazard, or you are concerned about fungus and/or insect issues spreading to nearby surrounding plants, these are good reasons to remove a stump.  In our urban forest and neighborhoods in which we live in, lets face it, outdoor space is nice to have.  Stumps can take up a lot of outdoor space that could be used for many other things, such as, a garden, patio, grass area for playing sports, etc.  You get the idea.  Just grinding a stump for a better look in the yard is another reason to consider stump grinding.

How do we grind stumps professionally?

We simply use a stump grinder machine.  It is an approximate 5,000 lbs machine that has large tires, with an engine and steel circular cutter wheel with teeth and pockets on it.  The machine spins the wheel with teeth and the operator uses controls (either on the machine or remotely) to move left and right taking about 1-2″‘s of the stump at a time back and forth until its fully ground out.

This is actually a picture of our smaller stump grinding cutter wheel, but our larger stump grinding cutter wheels go approximately 22″ below surface grade.   Most tree stumps and roots only go below grade approximately 22 inches, even for larger mature trees.   A typical stump grinding job consists only of grinding out the stump, not the surface and underground roots.  Grinding surface roots is Ok, but make sure to consult one of our arborists to make sure you aren’t cutting some of your live healthy tree roots. It is not always necessary to grind all of the roots since they will decay, especially the underground roots.  Surface roots can also be a nuisance, and grinding those can be a benefit to reclaiming outdoor yard space for the same reasons as removing a stump as well.

What to be careful about?

When grinding stumps, there are many things to consider.  The most important criteria is accessibility for the stump machine.  Most stump machines are less than 32″ wide, so they will fit through a standard gate opening to access the yard.  We also have small machines that can get into tighter and smaller proximities.  If accessibility is favorable, here are some other things to be careful about:

  • other trees and plants that are in close proximity – you don’t want to damage other healthy tree roots
  • be careful of damages to other landscape and hardscape such as patios, walkways, flagstone, etc with the heavy equipment – use plywood or move stuff around before grinding!
  • turf damage with the machine, especially on days when the ground is wet
  • irrigation & utility underground lines (call miss utility!)
  • hauling the grindings or leaving a pile of stump shavings?  Hauling stump grindings usually has an extra charge, but those can be used, like mulch, in other areas of your yard

Summing it up?

Reclaiming outdoor yard space is generally a good idea.  Most of the time after tree or stump work is completed at a residence property, it can really make a big improvement to the look and feel of the yard and space.  Tree trimming and removal, and stump grinding are services that can help create a better looking and working yard space for you and your family.  Whether it is mostly for appearance, or to try and get more entertaining space, or simply more room to play a sport, grinding stumps and surface roots can surely improve your property for many of these reasons.

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