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Stump grinding vs. stump removal

Machine removing stumps

What do you do with the stump when you cut down a tree on your property? Leaving it to slowly decay on its own is certainly an option. However, if you want to get rid of it, you have two choices: stump grinding or stump removal. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method and the one you choose will depend on several factors.

  • Stump grinding involves using an industrial grinder to break the stump into small pieces of sawdust. This method is quick, easy and affordable since it doesn’t require any heavy machinery. Although stump grinding gets rid of the visible part of the stump, the tree’s roots remain under the ground.
  • Stump removal gets rid of not only the stump but also the roots of the tree. However, a full removal can be a difficult process. For instance, removing a stump requires a backhoe and other large machinery that can cause major damage to the surrounding area. Additionally, this method leaves a large hole where the stump and roots used to be.

Consequently, stump grinding is preferred by many homeowners. Stump removal may be worth the extra cost and effort if you plan on planting a new tree in the same spot or want to build a permanent structure over top.

What Happens to Roots After Stump Grinding?

Once a stump is ground away, the roots slowly decompose in the ground. Although this process can take decades, you don’t have to worry about filling in a large hole. Worms and microorganisms will eventually turn the underground roots into the new soil.

Can I Replant a Tree After Stump Grinding?

While it’s possible to plant a tree in the same spot after stump grinding, it isn’t recommended. Because the old tree’s roots remain underground, the new tree may find it difficult to send down its own roots, thereby limiting its growth. The remains of the old tree can affect the soil acidity and decrease the availability of plant nutrients. Therefore, if you’d like to plant a new tree, it’s best to find a fresh spot for it.

Western Canadian Stump Specialists

At ArborCare®, our team of professionals knows all about trees. We offer stump grinding and removal services, as well as tree cutting, pruning and shaping. We have years of tree and lawn care service experience. We operate in Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna, Winnipeg and their surroundings. Contact us today for more information or for an estimate.

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