Stump grinding and other methods of stump removal.

How do you remove a stump.

There are a number of methods for removing a tree stump or just some surface root removal.

1/ Professional tree stump removal.

Images of small stump machine working
The Easiest method is to call me on 0423528988 and I will use a stump machine to get rid of your tree stumps or tree roots.
There is obviously a cost for me to do it but in most cases will be much cheaper in time and energy for you.

Call me to organise a quote.

2/ Let the tree stump rot.

You can have the stump cut to ground level or close to it and have some grooves cut in the stump that will fill up with water and dirt and start to cause the stump to decay.
There are also lots of ground cover plants that you can plant next to stumps, which will cover and hide the unsightly stump until it rots away.
It usually takes a couple of years for it to rot away, but if it is not in the way this may be the cheapest option.
The larger the stump the longer it will take to rot away. I did a 50 inch/ 1.2 metre stump just recently that had been dead for over 5 years. It was after all this time still very hard and had very little rot set in.

3/ Tree stump burning.

I have burned out stumps and tree roots in a farming environment. To do this the stump has to be dead and quite dry. You then build a fire on top of it and the stump will burn down into the ground and will usually move along the surface tree roots as well.
There are hazards in this as the fire will smoulder underground following big roots and should these roots be in contact with plastic or polythene pipes the coals may melt the pipes and cause leakage. There are stories of roots burning underground and coming to the surface and igniting piles of wood or paper near buildings.

These days this is not an option in a residential environment because of all sorts of regulations about lighting fires and burning stuff and the inherent risk to buildings and the negation of insurance policies as a result.

4/ Chemical tree stump removal.

There are chemical methods for stump removal but I have no information or experience with them.
I would imagine that they would be quite slow and carry with it a very high risk of poisoning yourself or other trees, shrubs, birds or animals.

5/ Digging out tree stumps or some surface root removal.

Not many tools required to get rid of tree stumps but you do need lots of energy and VERY sharp tools.
  • You will need an Axe
  • or a mattock.
  • a crowbar.
  • Spade or shovel.

With this method you dig away the dirt until you locate a root. You then have to cut out at least a12 inch length of the root with the axe or crowbar.
Then dig some more dirt to expose more roots. Cut them as mentioned until all the tree roots have been cut.
The stump will get looser in the ground and eventually come out.
It is best to leave at least 4 or 5 feet of tree trunk on the stump to allow you to wriggle the stump in the ground which will help to loosen & break the roots.

Surface root removal is usually quite simple as the surface roots cut quite easily unless they are getting quite large, then you may have to resort to a mechanical stump remover.

My tool of choice is a crowbar with the cutting edge sharpened. It can be a heavy tool to use but because of the weight it will cut quickly.
When you are cutting tree roots you find that cutting into dirt is very abrasive on tools and that they get blunt very quickly, so you should have a file or grinder with you to help keep them sharp.

If you are not used to using these tools you will get a lot of broken sore blisters. Its painful.
THis method works OK on smaller stumps but once you start doing bigger ones you will more than likely wish you hadn't started.

p.s. I've been there and done that.

A downside to digging out larger stumps!
When digging out larger stumps you have to sometimes dig a very large hole around the stump in order to cut the tap roots. This also gives you quite a big pile of dirt.

But once this is done the problem then becomes:
"how the hell do we get the stump out of the hole"?
There have been a couple of times when I have had to grind the stump in the hole because it was too large to get out.

6/ Hiring a stump grinder and cost of stump grinder.

Your local hire shop may have a stump grinder for hire.
Cost for these can range from $150/day up to $300/ day.

Usually the cheaper price is for a non- self propelled model. These type of machines will do a good job, but there is a lot of effort involved in moving them around the stump removal site once the ground starts to get churned up by the machine. Also getting them back onto the trailer can take an extra person to help.

If you are on any sort of hilly or undulating ground I would forget about hiring a non- self propelled model. The chances for accidents will be too great in inexperienced hands.

If you have a few stumps to do or you have a hilly block I would suggest a self propelled model because of ease of use, but of course the cost will be more expensive usually.