Stump Grinders 101: Learning the Basics

Every time a tree is cut, a stump is likely to be left behind. Majority of tree-cutting efforts do not go as far as uprooting the entire thing. This is it how it usually goes, whether you’re doing the cutting yourself or if you hired a professional service. While some companies may offer removing stumps as a service, it might come at an expensive price. You won’t want to have a stump in your front or backyard because it can be an accident-prone area, and it just doesn’t look good aesthetically speaking.

It is common for homeowners to remove the stump themselves – and you can do it, too. However, be warned that manually removing a stump is relatively impossible, not to mention physically demanding and time-consuming. But don’t worry, because you can make the work easier by using a small stump grinder.

Stump Grinder: What Is It?

This is a power tool whose main purpose is to remove tree stumps and roots. It comes with a strong rotating disc that performs the majority of the task. The process of uprooting stumps using this machine is called stump grinding. The main benefit of doing this is freeing up extra space on your property for other uses.

Advantages of Using Stump Grinders

Here are some of the benefits of using stump grinders.

Freeing Up More Space And Improving Vegetation

Tree stumps occupy a lot of space, both below the land and above the surface. When the tree is old or dead, the roots can affect the growth of every other plant or vegetation in the area, competing with essential nutrients and space. By removing the stumps, you get more space to plant other trees or crops. You also ensure better nourishment for the other plants that you do want to keep around.

Increasing Your Property’s Value

Let’s face it – having a dead stump can downgrade the aesthetic of your yard. And that unsightly view is even worse if you have several tree stumps lying around. This is especially important if you have plans of putting your property on the market. Potential buyers and realtors will want everything to look pretty and clean. One dead stump can turn away possible buyers. Another possibility is that you can get offers, but lower than your asking price because they’ll claim that they need to spend money on fixing the yard.

Ensuring Safety

It just makes sense to remove tree stumps since they are obvious safety hazards. This is truer when having people over – say you are having a backyard barbecue or party – and those unfamiliar with the terrain may accidentally trip and fall, hurting themselves. It’s even more unsafe for children and the elderly.

Also, stumps can attract various insects as they start to rot and decay. Termites, beetles, ants, and wood borers can cause damage not only to your property, your home, but also to your other plants, crops, and even to your family.

Using Stump Grinders in 4 Steps

Follow these four steps if you plan on removing the stumps on your own. Be sure to prepare the right materials from a reputable stump grinder supplier before starting. •

1. Removing Debris and Litter

Start by shoveling rocks and all forms of debris near the area where the stump is. Be careful, because rocks and other hard materials might cause damage to the stump grinder’s teeth.

2. Trim the Stump Using a Chainsaw

This step is optional. You may start with step 3 right away, but this can greatly save you time by removing a big chunk of the chunk ahead.

3. Use the Stump Grinder

Using the hydraulic lever, lift the grinder wheel several inches above the stump. Position the machine so that the wheel is just above the front edge of the tree stump. Start spinning, gradually lowering the wheel to about 3 inches into the stump. To clear the stump, use the lever to slowly swing the wheel. After digging around 4 inches, elevate the wheel, move the tool forward a few inches, and repeat the process.

4. Distance Yourself from the Cutting Wheel

This is more of a reminder than a step. Always keep a safe distance, wear protective equipment and gear, and make sure you understand how the tool works before using it. It is a very efficient tool, and that is because it uses sharp blades, so safety precautions are a priority.

Stay a safe distance during the grinding and cutting. Be self-aware of where you are positioned versus where the tool and wheel are at all times. You should be at the control panel at all times.

Conclusion

Tree stumps are unsightly and space-consuming, but with the right tools for the job, you can take care of your property’s appearance on your own. Make sure to research how to use the stump grinder properly, and follow all safety precautions before embarking on the task.

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