Houston Stump Grinding
Stumps got you down?
Did you trip one too many times over a hidden stump while mowing the lawn? Maybe you hauled out the chainsaw and brought down a tree on your own and have now found yourself stuck with a stump. Or maybe the property you just bought is riddled with stumps from the previous owner’s half-finished landscaping project.
You could hack away at the stump with an ax, but a much easier solution would be to call us out to do the work for you.
We have specialized equipment that grinds stumps down (even below the soil line) and leaves you with nothing but mulch. Our smallest machine needs just 3 feet of room to maneuver up to a stump, and we can grind stumps that are close to walls, fences or established landscapes.
Our equipment is lightweight and will not leave marks on most lawns unless the ground is soggy after a recent rain. We’re here to help you clean up, not to make more of a mess. Trust our team to grind stumps away quickly and easily.
Benefits of Stump Grinding
A stump grinder is capable of grinding all sizes of stumps in a quick and efficient manner. Besides requiring little manual labor and little time, stump grinding is a superior stump removal method because it can remove stumps up to a foot below ground. This means that the stump truly poses little to no impediment for future yard work and that there is very little chance of any shoots coming up off the stump. It’s by far the best way to remove a large number of stumps due to its efficiency and is potentially cost-prohibitive if there are only a few stumps to remove.
Stump Removal How-To: Assessing the Stump
Before you can choose the best method for stump removal, it’s necessary to first briefly assess the situation, as different factors can influence your choice, such as:
1. Type of tree. For example, some trees, such as pines, have shallow, flat roots that are relatively easy to dig up by hand. Deciduous trees, on the other hand, tend to have deep roots.
2. Size of the stump. A large stump will be difficult to remove by hand, difficult to naturally decompose or to burn. In such cases, stump grinding or digging with a backhoe may be the only feasible options. On the other hand, it’s much more viable to remove a small stump by hand.
3. Age of the tree. Older trees will have larger stumps. But if the stump itself has sat for a long time, it should be easier to remove than if it were freshly hewn.
4. Number of stumps. If you have more than just one or two stumps to remove, it’s best to choose a quick method that requires little in the way of physical labor.
Stump Removal How-To: Other Methods
A stump grinder is a powerful and highly effective tool that can eliminate a stump of any size in a matter of minutes. But it’s not the only option to choose from. Here are some other stump removal methods for your consideration:
Natural decomposition. By far the most lengthy removal method, natural decomposition of a stump can take years. To accelerate the decomposition process, the stump should be cut low to the ground with a chainsaw and covered with a generous quantity of well-rotted compost and other natural materials. Once the wood has rotted quite a bit, you can take an ax or shovel and manually break it down further to speed up the process.
Chemicals. Rather than using compost to rot away the stump, you can use chemicals to break down the wood. Several different chemical concoctions are available on the market as “stump killers,” but the most common active ingredient is potassium nitrate.
First you need to use a chainsaw to cut the stump as close to the ground as possible, then drill holes into the top of the stump. The chemical, which comes as a powder or a liquid, is then added to the holes. Powders are typically preferred over liquids, as liquid stump killer can evaporate prematurely.
Within a month or two, the stump will have rotted away enough for it to be easily dug up by hand. It is a good method to use if you have several stumps to remove but don’t want to spend much money or energy removing it. The downside to this method, of course, is that it is not particularly good for the environment.
Dig by hand. This method is best when a quick, affordable and environmentally-friendly method is required, especially with a small stump. You’ll need a shovel, ax, root saw, loppers and sturdy rope. Rather than hacking into the stump itself, start by digging around the stump until the roots are exposed. Dig down as far as possible. Use the loppers, root saw or ax—whichever proves easiest—to cut the roots away from the stump. Pull the roots out of the ground if possible to prevent further growth.
Next, push the shovel under the stump and use it as a lever to expose more and more of the bottom, cutting additional roots as necessary. If the stump is too heavy to lever out with the shovel alone, carefully loop the rope around the stump (preferably from top to bottom rather than side to side) and pull the stump out while an assistant levers it with the shovel and pushes from the other side. Once the stump is out of the ground, extract additional roots.
The disadvantage of this method is that it is hard work, often requiring multiple people to lend some muscle. It’s reasonable only for small, shallow stumps, and only if you have one (maybe two) to remove.
Dig with a backhoe. If you have a backhoe or skidsteer, or are able to rent or borrow one, you can use it to quickly dig up a stump without breaking much of a sweat. It’s a good option if you have several stumps to remove, or if the stump in question is particularly large or deep.
Once the stump has been dug up, use a chainsaw to cut it into manageable pieces in order to haul the stump away from the site.
Burning. Another cheap method for stump removal is to burn the stump away. Before removing a stump in this way, you’ll need to check local regulations to make sure such burning is lawful. Burning may take some time, depending on the size of the stump. First, use some scrap wood and tinder to start a fire on top of the stump.
The fire should burn much of the wood, and when it has gone out, you can use an ax and a shovel to remove the charred bits until unburnt wood is exposed. Repeat until the stump has been burned down sufficiently. Always be prepared to put out the fire should it spread. This method is best for a few stumps, and although it requires little effort, it does take time to monitor the fire.
Stump Grinding Cost
Hiring a stump grinding team is most cost-effective when there are multiple stumps to remove, if there is one very large stump or if there is a particular reason why the stump must be removed far below ground. The size and number of stumps will largely determine the cost of stump grinding, but the location of the stump and the topography of the land may also factor in. Call us today for an estimate.