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How To Grind A Tree Stump
Taking down dying or discarded trees provides a feeling of victorious victory. But the feeling suddenly dies as you look down and see unsightly and stubborn stumps.
If you employ a landscaper or arborist to cut down the leaves, they usually leave behind the stumps until you pay an extra fee. Stump removal rates vary considerably around the country and are dependent on the width of the stump.
Most people remove a tree stump because it is an eyesore, tripping, or a safety hazard. Removing a diseased or pest-infested tree will help ensure that the disease or pests do not spread. It also prevents the tree from sprouting new growth.
What Choices Do I Have For Easily Removing A Tree Stump?
There are two simple methods for removing a tree stump quickly: digging it out or grinding it up.
- Digging out a tree stump requires the use of an excavator, which can do significant harm to the surrounding environment. Digging is not feasible for stumps near walls or hardscaping, and it is usually costly. It will, though, remove all (or almost all) big tree roots and might be a reasonable idea if you’ll be clearing a lot of stumps at once and landscaping the area afterward.
- A stump grinder is used to ground a tree stump into wood chips. It usually results in less mess and a much smaller hole than other alternatives, and it can be achieved almost anywhere and by anybody.
What Exactly Is Stump Grinding?
Stump grinding is the process of converting a tree stump into fresh mulch using a stump grinder. Stump grinders come in various sizes, with small ones usually powered by gas and large ones powered by diesel fuel.
Stump grinders use wheels with unique carbide cutting tips to dig into tree stumps. To dig through huge tree stumps, bigger grinders use wheels with up to 76 carbide cutters.
What Are Its Advantages?
Stump grinding has many advantages, and some of them are,
Stops the regrowth of undesirable trees.
Stump grinding enhances the look of your landscape. It also makes room in your yard available for landscaping, patios, and outdoor furniture.
Stump grinding increases yard safety. Tree stumps are a tripping threat as well as a lawnmower hazard. So, if you want a safe yard for your children to play in, a safe yard for you to stroll around in without stumbling over a log, it’s worth grinding down the tree stump.
Decaying tree stumps attract mold, spores, and rodents, which can disperse across the landscape and eventually destroy other plant life.
If done correctly, stump grinding will not damage your land. Although grinding a stump creates a hole, it can be quickly filled with soil and wood chips.
Step 1: Getting Ready
Bring your hearing and eye protection with you; you’ll need it when you use the grinder. Wear heavy-duty work attire, such as a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, trousers, and work boots.
Make a ring around the stump by digging a furrow. This furrow provides a place for the chips to accumulate and allows for the removal of problematic rocks. Running the grinder head into rock will damage the teeth.
Step 2: Trimming The Stump
Reduce the amount of stump grinding needed by cutting the stump as low as possible using a chainsaw. Trimming the stump decreases the amount of work for the stump grinder, speeds up the stump removal operation, and significantly simplifies the job.
Step 3: Grinding Depth
Before you begin, contact your gas and electric companies to have underground lines located. It’s possible that the stump you’re removing grew on top of them. If you want to build on or pave over the stump, cut it down to a depth equal to its width. That way, there won’t be too much wood mass in the field to rot and settle. Alternatively, grind the stump to a depth of 6 to 10 inches below grade.
Step 4: Positioning the Grinder
Roll the grinder up to the stump after removing the tow bar. Adjust the handlebars to a comfortable working height, roughly waist height.
Put the brakes on. Start the engine by pushing down on the handlebars to lift the cutter head clear of any obstacles. It’s a bit challenging to keep the handlebars down and start the engine simultaneously, so that you might need some assistance. After this, turn the engine all the way up to full throttle.
Step 5: Cleaning
After the grinding is complete, the area has to be cleaned up. Shovel and rake up any excess wood chips that can be used as mulch, then shovel the soil and remaining wood chips back into the hole left by the tree stump.
- To prevent a broken thumb, use a loose grip on the handlebars and try keeping your thumbs on top of the bar. When grinding, always hold the brake on because if the grinder hits a rock, it stops the machine from kicking backward.
- Allow the machine’s weight to exert force on the cutting head. Don’t pull up on the handlebars to make the grind go faster.
- Roll the unlocked wheel forward and back to pivot the grinding head over the stump slowly. After extracting about 4 to 6 inches of the stump, turn off the motor, roll the machine forward, reset the brake, and start grinding.
Why Should You Work With A Professional?
Stump grinding machines are highly hazardous. Only those who have prior experience with a stump grinder should take on this task. So, unless you have previous experience with stump grinding, you can leave this job to the professionals for your own and your lawn’s protection.
Stump grinding professionals have the necessary expertise, experience, and safety equipment to complete this work safely and efficiently. They also use precautions to shield your lawn from harm and to avoid hazards like flying rocks.