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  • Writer's pictureAlec W

Stump grinding vs pulling vs digging

I've been asked many times what method I use to remove stumps - pulling/digging or grinding. It seems that a common misconception is that stump grinding (the use of a dedicated "Stump Grinder," that uses a wheel with carbide teeth to literally "grind out" the stump and roots) is less thorough than digging stumps out or pulling them. This could not be further from the truth.

Pulling stumps out with a truck or tractor is not very thorough - it almost always leaves plenty of roots after the main stump is gone, and usually only removes the top part of a stump - not the largest portion that is underground. It is also INCREDIBLY (and I cannot stress this enough) dangerous - just look up "stump pulling compilation" on YouTube - it usually ends in disaster for either the vehicle or person doing the pulling. Pulling stumps out is also detrimental to your yard - trucks and tractors must back up and drive forward, tires spinning, over and over again to rip the stump out. The bottom line is that no legitimate stump removal contractor pulls out stumps.

Stump Pulling
How NOT to remove a stump!

The other way, digging, may be safer than pulling stumps out, but it is significantly more messy. Using a backhoe or other digging machine means that a large area around the stump (usually at least 3-4 feet for a stump of 24" inches) must be excavated as well, ruining any grass or landscaping in the surrounding area. It also requires the use of a large, heavy machine, typically with steel tracks, that will tear up grass the whole way from the street to the stump and back.

Stump Digging
A large mess leftover from a small stump removal via digging.

Stump grinding is the use of a purpose built stump grinder, that "grinds" the stump out, bit by bit, allowing for more control than either of the previously mentioned removal methods. It is also less damaging to a lawn or landscape - our stump grinder uses soft rubber tracks and exerts only 4 PSI on the ground (the average adult male's foot step is around 8 PSI!). It is also relatively small when compared to a tractor, truck, or excavator - measuring only 35" wide, it can fit through most standard backyard gates, and maneuver through dense landscapes or other lawn fixtures with ease. Furthermore, our stump grinder reaches 16" below ground, removing nearly every trace of most stumps and root systems.

Stump Grinding, Stump Removal
A proper stump removal, with little mess leftover.

The bottom line is that stump grinding is, and probably always will be, the safest and most effective method of stump removal available. Give us a call or submit an online request today for a free quote on your stump removal project!

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