The Difference Between Stump Removal and Stump Grinding

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Just when you have a layout in mind for a backyard renovation or a garden overhaul, you realize you have an obstacle in your way: a tree stump. At first, it may seem like a small problem, something your yard maintenance staff could stump removal and stump grinding. In most cases, however, a tree stump is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed before you can move on with new plans for your yard. Very likely, you will need to manage the tree stump through either stump grinding or stump removal.

These specialized services are provided by professional arborists, who will help you create a blank slate where your tree stump currently exists. So, how do you know if you need stump removal services or if stump grinding would do the job?

Let’s dig into the details. First, we’ll take a closer look at why it’s important to deal with your tree stump, rather than just ignore it.

Is Stump Removal and Stump Grinding a Must?

This is a common question that many homeowners ask. If you’ve had a tree taken down in your yard and don’t mind the look of a stump, why not just leave it in place?

There are several reasons to use stump grinding or stump removal services, rather than allowing the stump to decay in your yard. Here are just a few:

  • Property value — Not everyone appreciates or can even overlook the site of a tree stump. As it decays, over time, it can ruin the overall appeal of your garden or yard. In a market that favors buyers, you want to make sure you remove any possible objections or aesthetic hurdles.
  • Pest hazard — When you leave a tree stump to decay, it naturally attracts bugs and pests, which are mother nature’s tools for composting the tree material back into the earth. The problem is, while the stump rots over time, it attracts critters such as carpenter ants and termites, which you do not want near your home.
  • New growth potential — An important reason to use stump grinding or stump removal in your yard is simply for the sake of new growth. A tree stump and its residual roots take up valuable space. Unless they are removed, it will be more difficult for future trees and plants to spread their own roots. Having room to grow is critical for a healthy yard, especially for trees, which need the most amount of room.

In short, even if you are okay with looking at a tree stump for the long term, there are many good reasons to take care of it through stump removal and stump grinding.

The space created will provide new potential for your yard and landscaping plans. Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these methods to see which might work best for you.

What is Stump Grinding?

Stump grinding is an efficient process of removing the stump from your line of sight. Arborists use this technique to shred a stump to ground level. When the stump grinding process is complete, the visible remains of the tree will be gone, leaving only a pile of wood chips in its place.

Although there is no visual evidence of a tree above ground, it’s important to remember that stump grinding leaves the roots of the tree in place. Naturally, over time, the roots will decay. Once you have removed as much of the sawdust and wood chips as possible, you can cover the area with soil and plant either smaller plants and bushes or cover the area with grass seed.

Keep in mind, with the roots left in place, it isn’t a good idea to plant a tree directly on top of a ground-out stump. The new tree will likely struggle to thrive as it lays roots of its own.

In essence, stump grinding removes the height of a tree stump, freeing the space visually and giving you some flexibility for repurposing the area. What it doesn’t do, however, is give you an entirely fresh start. For that, you’ll need to choose stump removal.

What is Stump Removal?

In cases where you need full root removal, you’ll need to choose stump removal over stump grinding. As you can imagine, the process of excavating a stump is a bigger job. Tree stumps are heavy and firmly held in place by strong roots.

Digging the stump and root ball from the ground takes heavy machinery and skilled labor. A large hole will be left in place of the tree stump, which will leave you with a blank slate for future landscaping plans, including plants, bushes, or new trees.

In other words, while stump removal requires greater effort and time, it provides you with a clean start and greater flexibility, once the job is done.

Which is Better: Stump Grinding or Stump Removal?

The answer comes down to personal preference and your longer-term plans for the space where the stump currently sits. If you know you want to plant a new tree in place of the old one, you’ll want to go with stump removal.

If your landscape plans involve grass coverage or small plants over the area where the stump currently sits, stump grinding is an excellent option, as it is less invasive and often less expensive.

If you’re still not sure which solution is best for your yard, ask for assistance from a professional arborist. They will review the unique structure of your yard, along with any plans you have for the immediate area. Then, they will advise you of the pros and cons of each choice.

Find the Right Team for Stump Grinding

Stump Demolition Truck 2

Like any service you find for your home, it is important to find the right team for your stump grinding or stump removal project. You want a local company with plenty of experience and a strong reputation. You want a team that will get the job done as quickly as possible. You also need excellent communication and clear expectations around timing, cost, and the job itself.

As you look for a professional arborist to perform a stump grinding or stump removal, be sure to ask for referrals or explore company reviews. The experience of others can be a good indication of what you can expect from your own job.

Ask plenty of questions – even the ones you might think are obvious – so you know exactly what to expect and how long the job will take. Both stump grinding and stump removal take several hours to complete. If you want to plan ahead, or even let your neighbors know what to expect, be sure to ask about the noise and clean-up protocol for each company.

At Stump Demolition, we stand by our commitment to you. We serve southeast Michigan with a high work ethic, clear communication, and the highest quality work standards. We ensure our jobs are done on schedule and budget. We aim to leave as little residual evidence of our stump grinding or stump removal services as possible.

To get started, simply contact us. We will arrange a time to assess your project. Let us help with your fresh start.


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