It can take hours to remove a tree stump manually. It's difficult, it's tedious and it's extremely hard work. The Guardian's Alys Fowler recommends using a tree stump grinder to remove a tree stump - so we are going to tell you all about how to do it!
Why remove a tree stump?
Leaving tree stumps in the ground after the tree has been felled can lead to problems with 'suckering' - where new shoots sprout from the trunk and roots.
So whilst you may have cut the tree down, it is still very much alive and still growing in your garden.
If a stump is dead, it won't form suckers, but the stump can look very unattractive and out of place; they can also play host to root diseases such as honey fungus, so it is not really worth taking the risk in leaving it.
What is a tree stump grinder?
Tree stump grinders are powerful machines with a hard-wearing chizel which rotates extremely quickly to grind away at the tree stump, turning it into a fine saw dust.
Tree stump grinders can make easy work of even extremely large, stubborn tree stumps, so it is a much more efficient and less laborious way of removing a tree stump than trying to do it manually.
How to use a tree stump grinder to remove a tree stump
When using a tree stump grinder to remove a stubborn tree stump, you should first tackle the roots.
Grind across the roots in a steady sweeping action. You should angle the machine so that it grinds 1” down from the top of the roots on each pass, sweeping back across the root at 1” lower than the previous pass.
Once the roots have been cleared, you should then tackle the trunk.
Approach the trunk the same way you approached the roots. Sweeping across the trunk, you should grind about 1.5” down on each pass.
What to do with the sawdust...
The tree stump grinder grinds the stump down into fine chips. Once you have finished grinding the tree stump you can use the chips to fill in the hole left by the tree stump, use them as mulch in other areas of the garden, clear them up using a vacuum/blower machine, or simply rake them up and collect them.
Our tree stump grinders are fitted with chip deflectors which prevent the ground down wood chips flying around and causing injury.
Whilst using a tree stump grinding machine, you must wear full safety equipment – including a hard hat and protective visor, heavy-duty gloves, work boots and ear defenders.
Tree stump grinders are powerful pieces of equipment, you must take in all advice given, read the instruction manual carefully and only use the stump grinder if you feel confident enough to do so.