Once a tree is removed, homeowners are usually left with a stump that can become an eyesore. This leaves many individuals wondering how they can remove the stump.

Homeowners can opt for stump grinding or stump removal to get rid of tree stumps. Which one they choose is dependent on several factors, such as budget, the work required, and land usage.

Carry on reading as we discuss what stump grinding and stump removal are and the differences between them.

What is stump grinding?

Tree stump grinding is a stump excavation option that doesn’t remove every tree root beneath the surface. It is considered a more suitable option for homeowners as it causes less disruption to the landscape since less force is used.

The stump grinding process involves using specialist machinery to grind the stump into small chunks. The grinding process extends below ground level and impacts the roots underneath without removing them completely. This means that homeowners can still expect to witness root sprouting – especially where the roots take time to decompose.

How does stump grinding work?

A stump cutter is used throughout the stump grinding process. This machine has rotating discs that chip away at the stump when in operation. A stump cutter creates mulch that can be used to fill the hole left by the stump excavation. The grinding process takes place between one and 12 inches underground.

There are several types of stump cutter an operator may use to ground out the stump, including:

  • A hand-guided grinder
  • A riding grinder
  • A rear-hitch wheeled stump grinder
  • A skid stump grinder

What is stump removal?

By contrast, stump removal involves the complete removal of a tree stump from the ground – including the roots. Tree stump removal creates a large hole in the ground since more force is required to pull the stump out of the soil.

How does stump removal work?

Complete stump removal is a more intrusive process that targets the roots as well as the stump. The process first involves heaving up the tree stump to get a better look at the roots underneath. Below surface digging then takes place to remove widespread tree roots. This hole is then filled in using either soil or mulch.

This stump removal process requires more powerful tools and physical labour than tree stump grinding. However, it does mean that homeowners benefit from land that can once again be used for any purpose.

Stump grinding vs. stump removal: which should you choose?

There are several factors you need to consider when choosing between stump grinding and stump removal. For example, if you want to replant in the area around the tree stump, stump removal may be necessary. This is because the remaining tree roots left behind during stump grinding can obstruct lawn relaying or re-planting exercises. The same goes for if you want to add a new building or fence near the area.

On the other hand, stump grinding is more effective if you want to cause minimal disruption to the landscape and get the job done faster. There is no gaping hole left after excavation since stump cutters generate mulch to fill it immediately.

Still unsure as to what stump removal method to use? Get in touch with Summerland Tree Services on (02) 6681 3140 or email us at summerlandtrees@hotmail.com. We service residents in Ballina, Lismore, and Byron Bay.