Removing a Tree Stump & Stump Grinding
Once a tree has been cut to ground level a portion of the tree remains in the ground which is referred to as ‘the stump’. It is often deemed necessary to remove the stump; for instance if the tree was situated on a grassed lawn area, or if replanting was a requirement of the tree’s removal, stump removal would be necessary.
There are several ways to remove a stump from the ground, all of which have their relative merits:
Tree Stump Removal by Hand
Small tree stumps can be removed easily by hand tools is a process referred to as ‘grubbing out’. The trunk of the tree is deliberately left high so that it can be used to lever the roots from the ground. A mattock and spade are used to sever the roots around the stump for stump removal until it can be removed by manipulation. Whilst this is a relatively quick and inexpensive method of removing a stump, it is greatly limited by the size of the stump. It simply is not practical to remove very large stumps by hand.
Tree Stump Removal by Winch
Stump removal by hand can be greatly assisted with the addition of stump removal by winch. This can be a simple hand winch, a vehicle mounted winch, or in some cases can be substitued by a tow rope attached to a vehicle. The roots are severed as best as possible with a spade and mattock, usually with a small trench on the side of the stump face the winch. The winch cable is then attached to the top of the remaining trunk and winch over from some distance away. Further roots may need to be severed as they are exposed.
Tree Stump Removal by Mechanical Excavating Plant
Mechanical diggers can be used very effectively to remove even large stumps and may cut down on many hours of hard manual labour caused by other stump removal techniques. Access is a great limiting factor with mechanical diggers however, and it is often not possible to employ diggers on residential properties. Waste removal can also be an issue when removing large stumps by digger, as frequently they can be very large and difficult to dispose of.
Tree Stump removal by Stump Grinder
A very popular method of stump removal is the Stump Grinder. Essentially a cutting head driven by a petrol or diesel engine; stump grinders come in a variety of sizes, the smallest of which can be fitted into most gardens. The stump grinder carves the stump up into woodchips which are used to backfill the resulting hole, and left to rot down. Chips from ground stumps forms a very good mulch.