Stump Grinding vs Stump Removal

stump grinding vs stump removal

What’s the difference between stump grinding vs stump removal?

The difference between stump grinding and stump removal is the amount of stump that is removed from the ground. The biggest difference is typically the price. Learn more about stump grinding cost here.  Stump grinding is when the stump is grinded into mulch like pieces to a depth of 3-20 inches below the grade. Stump grinding can also remove all surface roots completely.  Stump removal is when the entire stump, root system, and root ball is dug out of the ground completely. Deciding which option is best usually will depend on what is going on top of the new stump free area.

When Should I Do Stump Grinding vs Stump Removal?

The vast majority of the time stump grinding is sufficient. If you are planting grass or laying down mulch then grinding a stump 6-10 inches below grade is all you need. After the stump is grinded the stump grindings can be removed and replaced with fresh loam and seed or mulch. In many cases if the stump is smaller than 24 inches we can remove the entire stump with a stump grinder and accomplish the same result as full stump removal.  Stump grinding is usually much cheaper than full stump removal. The reason for this is the type of equipment used. A stump grinder is self propelled, lightweight, and turf friendly. The stump grinder can drive across your lawn causing zero damage. A 2-3 foot wide stump can be grinded 10+ inches below grade and replaced with loam and seed within an hour and there will be no evidence that you ever had equipment in your yard.

When Should I Do Stump Removal vs Stump Grinding?

Anytime you are installing some type of permanent structure on top of the area containing the stump, stump removal is a better option. Driveways, patios, walkways, stonewalls are all structures that require a solid base. If this base becomes unsteady or settles even in the slightest amount it will result in damage. For example if you are extending your driveway and there is a stump in the way it should always be removed completely if possible. If not a year or two down the line you will probably notice some settling that will eventually result in cracked asphalt. Same applies to a walkways, patios, and walls.

Stump removal requires an excavator or a skid steer (Bobcat) with specialty attachments. A 3 foot wide stump requires a very large machine. Large excavators are more expensive than stump grinders and require much larger equipment to be transported. Excavators are not very turf friendly and usually the grass will require repair. Depending on the location of the stump there is risk of damaging the driveway or curbing due to the weight of the machines. We always recommend stump grinding when possible.

How Do You Complete Stump Removal If Large Equipment Is Not An Option?

If you have a stump in the back yard or there is limited access we can complete the job using a combination of stump grinding and stump removal equipment. We start by grinding as much of the stump as possible as deep as possible. Then we use either a small excavator or skid steer to extract the root ball or tap root. More equipment onsite obviously increases the cost but sometimes your options are limited. No matter what the situation is we have the equipment to grind or remove any stump in whichever way you would like.

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