What is Stump Grinding?

If you are planning a tree removal in the near future, you may want to add on stump grinding services to remove the tree stump.

If you’ve never scheduled stump grinding services before, you may be confused as to what a stump grinder is, how it works, and why you might want to hire Riverbend Landscapes & Tree Service to grind out tree stumps on your property.

In this article, we’ll answer those questions and give an overview of how the process works so that you’ll know what to expect.

A Riverbend employee uses a stump grinder to grind out a tree stump.

What is a Stump Grinder?

A stump grinder is a powerful piece of tree care equipment. It uses a strong and sharp round blade to cut through a tree stump (and some of the surrounding roots), grinding it into a sawdust-like mulch.

While smaller stump grinders can be rented, Riverbend Landscapes & Tree Service uses a professional-grade stump grinder that can handle even the largest stumps while remaining compact enough to fit through most garden gates.

Like all aspects of tree removal, stump grinding can be dangerous, especially if the operator is not familiar with the equipment. The blade is incredibly sharp and powerful, and pieces of wood (and sometimes rocks) can be flung into the air near the stump grinder.

Thankfully, the Riverbend crew has a lot of experience working with our stump grinder, and they all take the proper safety precautions.

The stump grinder used by Riverbend is a low-impact stump grinder, which will reduce the risk of damage to your lawn.

A tree stump with sprouts and leaves growing from the sides.

Why Would You Choose to Grind Out a Stump?

Property owners have many reasons for choosing to have a tree stump ground out by a stump grinder after tree removal.

Tree stumps can be tripping hazards, especially if they are in the middle of a yard or walkway.

Some trees can resprout from the stumps, so removing the stump prevents new tree sprouts.

Grinding out the stump leaves the area flatter. We grind down the stump to around 12 inches below the soil surface, and we also grind out some of the surface roots around the stump, which creates a hole. Some choose to fill the hole with the wood chips from the stump grinding, others add topsoil and grass seed.

Tree stumps can take a long time to decompose on their own (sometimes twenty years or more!), so grinding out the stump is much quicker than waiting for the stump to decompose.

Stump grinding is not the same as removing a tree stump. Some may choose to pull out a tree stump, which is a much more costly process. Pulling out a stump also has the potential to pull out anything tree roots may be wrapped around – such as pipes or wires underground!

Want to keep the tree stump? Here are some ideas for how to repurpose it!

A lawn of green grass with a pile of wood chips or stump grindings from after a stump grinding.

What Can Be Done with the Wood Chips from Stump Grinding?

The wood pieces that remain after stump grinding are different than wood that goes through our wood chipper. This wood can be finer, with some of it the consistency of sawdust.

Stump grinding creates a lot of wood chips, which you can use to fill the hole left behind. You can also use them as organic mulch in your planting beds or elsewhere.

The Riverbend crew removes a large tree, leaving behind a wide tree stump.

Can A Tree Removal Also Remove the Stump?

Unless a tree has been uprooted, a tree removal will not include removing the stump. Instead, the tree removal crew will cut the tree near the ground, leaving a stump. It is not possible to cut the tree flush with the ground.

If you want a stump removed – schedule stump grinding when you schedule your tree removal.

Learn more about stump grinding from Riverbend Landscapes & Tree Services >>


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If you'd like help with your trees or landscape, have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our Certified Arborists, please give us a call. We'd love to hear from you!

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Logan Jones

Landscaping is in Logan’s blood. Growing up in Great Falls, Logan’s passion for the field was fostered by his family of professional landscapers. This early introduction gave him an appreciation for both the science and aesthetic aspects of the field. After earning his business management degree form the University of Mary Washington, Logan combined his academic and practical landscaping experience to found Riverbend Landscape and Tree Service.