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If you are the proud owner of a yard full of beautiful trees, you may have come across the term stump grinding. Homeowners often don’t know what they should do once an old tree has been removed but the stump remains. A pesky tree stump is not only an eyesore but could also take up unnecessary space in your yard. Stump grinding is one of the ways to get rid of it, and here’s what you need about it.

In simple words, stump grinding can be defined as a process that uses a machine called a stump grinder to turn a tree stump into fresh mulch. Doing so gets rid of the tree stump and the roots still connected to it. Once the stump has been ground down, the roots of your tree cannot re-sprout in the same spot.

What Are the Benefits of Stump Grinding?

Apart from enhancing the aesthetics of your landscape, stump grinding can clear some much-needed space in your yard, previously occupied by an old tree and then its stump. It also improves the yard’s safety, as stumps are a hazard, especially if elderly, kids, or pets walk or play in the yard. Lawn mowing is frustrating with a stump in the yard, as it can be a huge tripping hazard and one more object you need to go around.

Moreover, stumps are bad news for the other trees in your yard. They provide the perfect breeding ground for fungi, molds, and pests. This can harm other trees or even kill them.

Yellow stump grinder grinding tree stump on snowy ground.

How Is Stump Grinding Done?

Stump grinding is not an easy process and definitely not something you should attempt if you’re inexperienced, as it involves the use of heavy machinery.

The first step is to inspect the area where the stump is located to ensure no other obstacles or hazards pose a problem during the process. If there is any debris or stones in the area, they will need to be removed before the stump grinder can be used. Moreover, using the machine without removing the stones can dull the teeth of the grinder or even send the stones flying away in different directions, increasing the risk of injury. You should also confirm there aren’t any utilities running underground where you intend to grind.

Once the area is ready, the next step is cutting the stump down as low as possible using a chainsaw. This reduces the amount of work needed during the actual stump grinding process and saves time.

Then, using a stump grinder, the remaining portion of the stump is ground down until there are no visible remains. The cutter is moved side to side as well as back and forth to make sure it cuts into the wood smoothly and works through all the sections uniformly. The process is repeated a few times to make sure that the entire stump as well as the central roots have been cut away. So you can expect it to go down at least 4 to 16 inches below the surface of the ground.

Why Is Stump Grinding Better Than Stump Removal?

You may wonder if stump removal is better than grinding. While both processes will successfully remove the remaining stump from the ground, stump removal has its disadvantages.

Stump removal is a drawn-out process involving pulling the tree stump from the ground and digging out the roots. Often, multiple pieces of equipment are needed to get the job done, including a chainsaw, farm jack, tractor, or even backhoe. And you’ll need to deal with the disposal of the stump and roots. Plus, stump removal leaves a huge hole in the ground, and unless you fill it up, it’s going to ruin the aesthetics of your yard.

On the other hand, stump grinding is less extensive than stump removal. It’s also more efficient, as the machine shreds the stump into tiny pieces, which can be used for mulch. No need to deal with disposing of debris or to bring in infill unless you want to.

Do the Roots Go Away Completely With Stump Grinding?

Not entirely. The roots of larger, older trees are spread underground, and grinding can only remove the visible remains. The remaining roots decay naturally, and it can take more than 10 to 12 years for the roots to break down completely.

Is It Possible to Replant Trees at the Same Site After Stump Grinding?

Even though you can, you shouldn’t because the roots still underground will not allow the new tree to grow properly. Moreover, with the decomposition of the old roots taking years, the acidity of the soil can also keep changing, making it difficult for new trees to flourish. Certain types of trees, such as walnut trees, also secrete a toxin called juglone toxin around the base. So if you have the stump of a walnut tree’s ground, it can be very difficult for new trees to grow.

Need Help With Stump Grinding in Oregon? It’s Time to Call the Experts

Stump grinding is not just picking a machine from a hardware store and starting the job. Stump grinders come in various sizes and shapes, and you need to choose the right one based on the type of stump you want to remove. You also need to consider the size of your yard and if there are other trees planted close to the stump. Plus, you need to know how to properly operate the stump grinder. Using it without experience can be dangerous, and it should never be operated without the appropriate safety gear.

That’s why it’s best to allow the professionals to carry out stump grinding. They know exactly what is needed and will make sure the stump grinding is carried out evenly. If you need assistance with stump grinding in Oregon, consulting the professionals at Vernon Imel Tree Service is your best option.

Our technicians know everything there is to know about trees, making us the perfect source to answer all of your questions about stump grinding. We offer high-quality services at competitive prices. So let our pros bring the machinery right to your yard and carry out the process to leave you with a clean landscape you can admire. Remember that stump grinding is a highly specialized process, and you need someone who cares for your yard just like you do. Contact us today to speak with our experienced and professional technicians.