How to remove a tree stump
Tree stumps in the garden can be left where they are, removed yourself or ground out by a professional. A number of factors will determine the best course of action.
Firstly, why move that stump?
- Stumps are ugly.
- They can be very inconveniently located, for example, it might stop you from easily cutting the lawn
- Stumps are hazardous: Stumps are dangerous to your children. When running and playing in your section, they may not see the stump and trip over it. And, stumps can damage your lawn mower if you accidentally hit one.
- Stumps allow new tree growth. Sometimes, leaving the stump behind contributes to new sprouts and new foliage growing from the stump. This is unsightly to your landscaping and a nuisance to control.
Whether you remove the stump yourself, or call in a professional my depend on a few factors.
Location of the stump
A stump close to a building or fence could be problematic if the tree has an extensive root system. Contact a professional for advice in these circumstances.
Size of Tree stump
120mm diameter or smaller:
If you’ve got a small tree stump, up to 120mm diameter, you can try digging it out. This is the best way to get rid of a small stump. If you remove most of the root system, it shouldn’t grow back and you’re left with an area you can replant straight away.
Greater than 120mm diameter:
Seriously consider calling a professional but you can dig around the stump and cut out the roots with an axe for a good upper body workout.
We often get called out to people who have had a go at a sump themselves and have been unable to do it. It might only be a stump 300mm wide, but under the ground the root system can be extensive, making it a tough job. A stump you might spend all weekend trying to remove can be easily removed in 10min by a professional.
The resulting woodchips are usually left behind and can be used as mulch around the garden. If preferred, the stump grinder can often take the wood chips away for an additional fee.
Hiring stump grinding equipment
It’s possible to hire a stump grinding machine for around $200 per day, but this is not always recommended.
Even though the machines you will find in a hire center are less powerful than those used by professionals, they’re dangerous. The wheel will slice through anything and the machines can throw up stone which could damage property or cause injury. Experience, good technique and specialist safety equipment is required to safely operate these machines.
Stump grinding equipment from a hire center may not be well maintained and is usually not supplied with full protective clothing or adequate training. In addition, extra charges could be incurred for delivery of the machine and if more fuel is needed or the teeth are damaged.
If you are thinking about hiring equipment, always get an estimate from a professional first – you will often find that the cost of them doing it is not significantly more that hiring equipment (or less than for small stumps), particularly when you take into account fuel and transport costs and your time.
A digger can be used to remove stumps by digging around the roots and plucking the stump out.
Diggers are expensive per hour to hire and leave a big hole that will need to be filled. You will also have a big stump to get rid of.