If you have to remove trees from your back yard, you are often left with the tree stumps to dispose of separately. If you are into DIY projects, you may be inclined to rent a stump grinder to remove the remnants. It will undoubtedly be a faster option than some other stump removal options. Additionally, the stump chips can be used for mulching. You are not left with a gaping hole as you would be after other stump removal options, such as encouraging the tree stump to rot by applying potassium nitrate. Stumps vary in size, and a stump grind will work in most cases if you follow the safety tips outlined below.
Stump grinders are large, powerful, and potentially dangerous with a sophisticated hydraulic system. Still, they offer a quick way to remove a tree stump yourself without paying a tree stump removal expert to do the job. You will need to follow the instructions on how to operate the machine using the different controls safely. Safety gear such as work boots, gloves, heavy-duty clothes, and eye and hearing protective wear are much-needed precautions.
Ensure you secure the area and keep pets and children well away from where the action is. Hold the handlebars in a wide grip, with your thumbs on top of the bar. Always keep the brake on when grinding because it prevents the machine from kicking backward if it hits a rock.
It is also essential to call your gas or electric company to have them locate underground lines to ensure the stump is not sitting on top and that this sort of stump removal is appropriate.
The Stump Grinding Process
Stump grinding is an intricate process that excavates the stump of the tree without removing the root. It would be best if you always took your time when grinding a stump. You’ll often need to adjust the grinder throughout the process and make several passes over the tree stump to bring it down to the right level. There is a power lever and ignition switch to make turning on the stump grinder easy. The safety switch must also be engaged for the stump grinder to turn on.
If the tree stump protrudes out of the ground more than six inches, trim the stump closer to the ground with a large chainsaw. Prepare the stump by removing any rocks from around the base of the stump with a round-point shovel or a garden mattock. This furrow provides a place to collect the chips. The spinning cutting wheel mustn’t hit a rock, making it become a missile. Any rocks hit would also dull or damage the teeth on the cutting wheel.
Drive the grinder close to the stump and start the machine. Use the hydraulic lever to raise the cutting wheel until it’s a few inches above the stump. Change the height of the handle so that it’s comfortable when you hold it. Keep in mind the height and depth of the grinding will change over time, so you may need to adjust the handle several times.
Slowly drive the machine forward to position the wheel directly over the stump’s edge. Engage the power lever to start the wheel spinning, then slowly lower it about three inches into the stump.
Next, use the hydraulic lever to slowly swing the wheel from side to side to clear all the wood within the cutting range. One of the wheels will lock into place, while the other one rotates. This means you can swing the machine over the top of the stump and bring the tree base to below ground level. With each pass of the blade, the stump will get smaller and smaller.
Then, raise the wheel, advance the machine forward a few inches and repeat the process. You can grind lower and lower and get the tree stump below ground level.
Turn the machine off entirely, including switching off the ignition, and move the stump grinder away from the area. Fill the hole with some of the wood chips from the grinding, and add some soil too. This will help something else to grow in place of the stump. Perhaps you will even plant a new tree in the spot.
A Final Word
While stump grinding will remove the tree’s visible remains, the old tree’s roots are still spread underground. These roots will naturally decay, but it is a lengthy process. Grinding stumps is a quick way to use the area if you have to remove a tree stump. However, stump removal is often different depending on the size, age, and species of the tree. Where a professional may be able to grind a stump in a matter of minutes, tree stump removal might be more daunting for the inexperienced operator.
If you are not sure of the best way to deal with tree stumps left behind after tree removal, remember your stump grinding specialist is only a phone call away, and you can easily access a phone number from their website. Make sure if you are renting a stump grinder that you get the right stump grinder for the size and type of tree stumps you are removing. Because the grinders come in a variety of sizes to suit different stumps, one thing you will need to know is the diameter of the stump you wish to remove.