Is it better to grind a stump or remove it?

A tree stump on your property can be quite an eyesore, besides posing safety hazards. Unfortunately, getting rid of a tree stump isn’t as easy as felling the tree. In many cases, homeowners cut down trees for different reasons and leave the stumps in place since they are harder to get rid of. However, a tree stump on your property can cause various inconveniences, such as making it hard to mow the grass around it. Moreover, accidents such as tripping over a tree trump can also lead to serious injuries.

You may get rid of tree stumps by hiring stump removal or stump grinding services. Both methods are effective, and both have their perks and drawbacks.

A comparison between stump removal and stump grinding

Stump removal involves using heavy machinery to extract the stump from the soil, along with its roots. In case of stump grinding, professionals would use a stump cutter to grind the trunk into mulch. The roots would remain in place and gradually decompose into the soil over time. Here is a comparison of both processes to help you understand the pros and cons.

  1. Replanting

In case you remove a stump completely, you may easily replant a new tree on the empty spot. This is especially helpful in case you were sad to have to get rid of the old tree and would love to see a new one there. However, it is not advisable to replant a tree on the spot in case you ground the stump instead of removing it. The roots of the previous tree would prevent the new one from developing a strong root system.

  1. Equipment

Stump removal requires heavy equipment powerful enough to uproot a tree trunk along with its roots. Driving such heavy machinery over your lawn could potentially damage it. This is especially risky if your property is old and you have weak sewage or water lines running under the lawn. Stump cutters used in grinding tree trunks are relatively much lighter. They would be less likely to cause any damage.

  1. Costs

Stump removal is more labor-intensive and requires heavier machinery. Quite naturally, this makes it more expensive than stump grinding. You could get the stump turned into mulch at a much lower cost. Removing a stump is also a time-consuming process, as you need to get rid of the entire root system too.

  1. Environmental impact

To remove a stump of a large tree with a well-developed root system, you might have to churn up the soil over a large area, possibly even the majority of your lawn. This could destroy the lawn completely and require you to lay new turf or grow fresh grass. On the other hand, stump grinding barely causes any collateral damage.

  1. Aftermath

Removing a stump would result in a gaping hole in your yard that you would have to fill up. Besides the trunk itself, the roots would leave a vacant area too. Grinding the stump instead wouldn’t result in such an issue. The roots would decompose at a slow rate that would never cause the soil to cave in. However, the decomposition might turn the soil acidic in nature.

Which one would be a better choice between stump grinding and removal?

As you might notice, both methods of getting rid of a tree stump have their advantages and downsides alike. You would have to decide on a solution based on your personal preferences and factors like the layout of your property.

In case you are unsure of what would be the best option, you should rather consult a stump removal company and seek professional advice. The leading tree service companies carry out both the removal and grinding of stumps, so they should be able to help you out either way.

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