When a tree has fallen or been cut down, the end result is often an unsightly stump left in your yard. It’s always there to remind you of what once was. More often, the stump is a visual reminder that there is one more item on your seemingly endless to-do list. When it comes time to break out the stump grinder and get to work, these steps will walk you through the process of stump removal.
1. Trim Down Any New Growth
The first step is to make the stump accessible, and this means cutting away any new growth. Depending on how long the stump has been in place, this job can take anywhere from a few minutes to more than an hour. The goal is to cut away anything that blocks access to the portion of the tree that remains visible above ground.
2. Clear the Ground
A stump grinder is a powerful tool. It’s impressive how it grinds even a large tree stump down into tiny bits of wood. It is not, however, intended to grind stones or metal. Be sure to take the time to clear the ground near the stump of anything that can harm the blades of the stump grinder. It is also a good idea to use a shovel to turn over the soil at the base of the tree, just to make sure there are no large rocks under the surface.
3. Bare the Tree’s Roots
While you have the shovel handy, go ahead and dig out the top portion of the stump’s roots. Successfully removing all traces of the tree requires aggressively grinding away all root growth, as well as the stump itself. By clearing soil away from the tops of the roots, it will be easier to see where to move the equipment as the job progresses.
4. Safety First
Whenever using any type of landscaping equipment, it is important to use the proper safety devices. Using a stump grinder requires protective gear for your hands and eyes. Don’t forget your gloves and goggles.
5. Grind Away
Begin by positioning the disk of the stump grinder above the top of the stump. Turn on the power and lower the grinder’s wheel until it begins eating away at the wood. Allow the grinder to work its way into the tree about 10 inches. From this point forward it is simply a matter of allowing the grinder to do its job. Be patient, and never try to force the grinder into the wood. The job may take some time, but trying to rush creates a safety hazard and can cause damage to your equipment.
Once this landscaping project is complete, you will be left with a pile of chips that should be thrown into your compost pile, used as mulch or properly disposed of.
Handling an unsightly stump is an easier task than many homeowners realize once they have the time and proper equipment. The team at Ralph Helm, Inc. is always here to answer any questions that you may have about our product line, and can show you the tools that we offer to help you tackle any landscaping job.