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Grinding Stumps vs. Other Methods

Trees are especially important for your compound. They provide an ecosystem for birds and other animals, improve its appearance, and provide a place for children and pets to play. You can also find a great place to lay a mat under and relax on an afternoon. However, a tree may die, leaving you no other choice but to cut it down. The resulting stump is unpleasant to the sight, can trip over unsuspecting children, and consume space that you would otherwise use for a new tree or plant.

Grinding a stump is the use of specialized machinery to remove tree stumps. The machinery can be as small as a lawnmower or as large as a backhoe, and it uses a rotating cutting disc to grind away the stump and roots into smaller chips. The cutter wheel motion is controlled by hydraulic cylinders that push the cutter head into the stump and raise it as required. You can readily rent one from a DIY projects company or hire a professional stump grinding Rome Ga landscaper to remove it for you.

How to use a stump grinder


Put on protective gear such as work gloves, ear protectors, and goggles to protect yourself from the excessive noise and chips if you prefer to operate the machine itself. Read the machine’s manual and position the machine appropriately and turn it on. Its cutters will grind up the stump surface and proceed downwards into the ground to grind the roots. Position the grinder along the stump’s circumference to eliminate the aerial roots as well. Fill up the resulting hole with loam, dirt, or sawdust and continue adding it as the hole depresses with time. Also, ensure you remove the ground up wood to help the surrounding ground recover.

  • Advantages of grinding a stump

It is relatively fast and efficient, as it would take seconds to remove the stump. It is also better for the environment, as you can use the resulting chips as mulch for flowerbeds or other trees in your yard. With the right machinery, you can get back your compounds evenness in seconds.

  • Disadvantages

You may require to pay a sizeable amount to hire a professional to remove it, and some companies may charge more than $100. If you choose to do it by yourself, the chips can make quite the mess, and the machine can easily damage other parts of your landscaping or cause severe injuries if not handled well.

Burning the stump

You can use the wood from the cut-up tree as fuel to set the fire on the stump. Lay out the wood on the stump so that it remains in the middle of the woodpile. Ensure you keep the fire burning by adding more wood. This way, the stump will burn all the way to the ground. As soon as the stump is completely burned out, shovel the ash out and replace it with dirt or sawdust.

  • Advantages of burning a stump

Fire can quickly destroy a stump as it will quickly burn the wood and leave out just ashes to clean up. Little physical effort is required, and you will not have to incur any costs to eliminate the stump.

  • Disadvantages

Not all states allow for open fires, especially if you live in a dry, fire-prone area. Moreover, to get a proper fire started, it may take a while because the stump still has its natural moisture content.

The smoke may also irritate you and your neighbors for days on end as the fire may have to burn for more than one day if the stump is large. The smoke is also unpleasant for the environment. Containing the fire is crucial; otherwise, you may have a full-on house or fence fire. Another disadvantage is that you may damage the area around the stump irreversibly.

Chemical removal


You can obtain the chemicals for stump removal from a hardware store near you. Drill holes into the stump using a drill with a large bit, and ensure you space them out evenly for optimal absorption.

Check the instructions on the package to ensure your safety and apply the chemical as instructed to the holes. Most of these have potassium nitrate, which softens the wood, so it rots faster.

  • Advantages of chemical removal

The chemicals are rather cheap compared to renting a stump grinder or backhoe to remove the stump. It is also not labor intensive as all you will need is to grind holes into it and add the chemicals. After a few weeks, the stump will begin to rot, after which it will be easier to remove with an ax.

  • Disadvantages:

Chemical removal is the slowest method of removing a stump, as it can take anywhere between weeks and months to destroy it depending on the chemicals used. The chemicals are also harmful to pets and children who can unsuspectingly interact with a chemically treated stump.