Stump removal vs. stump grinding

Stump Removal vs. Stump Grinding: The Pros and Cons

Posted on |Garden|| 0

Stump removal vs. stump grindingStump removal is a major concern that remains after you have removed a large tree. After the tree is removed, you need to either remove the stump totally or grind the stump. These are two different processes with each of them having distinct pros and cons. Stump removal helps in eliminating concerns like the safety of your family members and perhaps even your neighbours. But, before you get down to this task, you need to decide between stump grinding and stump removal. The first step, therefore, is to understand the difference between these two processes and choose what is best in your circumstances.

Benefits of excavating the tree stumps

There are many benefits from excavating the tree stumps and the following are among the important benefits.

  • Stemming the tree growth – When we leave the stump without any attention, it generates growth of smaller trees around and it becomes even more difficult to eliminate them, particularly when they grow too long. Furthermore, such growth will also deprive nutrients to the surrounding plants leading to their withering away or becoming dead.
  • Safety – Stumps in your yard pose a major hazard and can cause accidents when elders or children stumble over. The stump can also damage pieces of equipment like your lawnmower.
  • Diseases and pests – Insects like beetles, ants, and termites like the stumps because they get an attractive home to proliferate and cause concerns for your home as well as the environment. Further, when you leave the stumps untreated, it can trigger diseases and this can pose risk to other plants.
  • Aesthetics – While a tree provides a perfect enhancement to your home, the stump, on the other hand, brings just the opposite impact. Tree stumps harbouring weeds and moulds growing on them can easily be an eyesore.

Process of stump grinding

The stump grinding process is pretty intricate and involves excavating the stump without the roots being removed. This process involves a stump grinder to mechanically grind the stump and it leaves fine sawdust as a residue. The benefit from stump grinding is that the entire stump is ground to about 1 inch from the soil or even one foot below the ground level. With the stump ground this way, the resulting sawdust gets mixed with the soil leveling the ground and doing away with the need to fill cavities. However, in instances where the stump has suffered some kind of infection, it can potentially impact the health of other plants and therefore, the resulting mulch and sawdust should be safely disposed of.

Process of stump removal

Stump removal conversely involves normal removal of the stump from the ground. Heavy force is generally needed to accomplish this process and high-power machines are employed to facilitate this. However, stump grinding is a more preferred means since the process is easier to execute an efficient handheld tool that can achieve the desired result. Stump removal can also leave you with a messy environment as opposed to a neat environment that stump grinding provides. But, stump removal means you are eliminating the roots and thus preventing sprout or regrowth. When stump removal is chosen you should also know that disposing of the root and stump is an expensive and extensive process.

What factors impact stump removal

Soil type, root system, age of the tree that was removed, the diameter of the stump, number of stumps to be removed are among the major factors that will determine the cost of the operation. When you engage in professional tree removal services, some of them may have minimum charges as also discount for multiple stumps.

Let us now consider the pros and cons of stump removal vs. stump grinding

Stump grinding

This process is faster and significantly less labour intensive. Trump grinding does not leave gaping holes after the job is done and it is environment-friendly. What is left from stump grinding can be useful for mulching?

The cons of this process include the possibility of root decay and eventual sprout. It can also pose hazards to kids.

Stump removal

The stump removal process is more exhaustive involving elimination of the roots and the stump. This makes it easier for you to replant on the space and poses no health hazards. However, stump removal is more time and labour intensive. This process will leave a gaping hole once the job is done and is not generally environment-friendly. This process will also call for heavy pieces of equipment which can add up to your costs.

Other options to get rid of the stumps

Another option available to homeowners to get rid of tree stumps is to use chemicals. However, you should know the precise process as well as continuous attention for several weeks and even significantly longer time in certain instances. However, if you compare the cost of engaging a professional stump grinding service with the cost of chemical treatment and add the time you would need to spend, professional stump grinding may be a cheaper option for you.


Irrespective of whether you are choosing stump grinding or stump removal, you should look for competent professionals to handle the job. Discuss your needs thoroughly with the service provider and insist on a written contract so that there are no surprises when the job is completed.

Kirat Author

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