4 Best Options For Tree Stump Removal

large old tree stump

Whether you attempt to remove a tree stump on your own or decide to hire a pro, your yard will look better and be easier to mow. No one wants to mow around a tree stump. You inevitably hit the edge with the mower and send wood chips flying, ding up your cutting blade, and in severe cases you can even break your crankshaft. Aptera's tree stump removal services can help you find the best options for getting rid of tree stumps.

DIY Tree Stump Removal

If you don't mind rolling up your sleeves and doing a little hard labor, there are a few effective ways to remove a tree stump on your own. Or if you have some patience you can even remove a stump without breaking a sweat (almost). If you choose to attempt DIY stump removal, be sure to wear personal protective gear for your hands and eyes and proceed with caution.

Hand Digging Out a Tree Stump

dug up tree stump and holeIn some cases, tree stump removal can be done with a shovel and some grit. This is not a bad option for smaller stumps or if you need to keep a teenager busy. Simply dig out the area around the stump until you hit roots that are small enough to cut away with an ax. Once the root system is cut away you can use a chain hooked to a truck or tractor to slowly pull the stump from the ground. This will not work as well for stumps larger than 5" in diameter. There is no cost involved with hand digging if you already own the tools.

Get a Stump Grinder

Tree stump machine grinding an old stumpYou can get a stump grinder from any local equipment rental company. Smaller stump grinders go for around $90 for a four hour period, or $150 if you want to keep the grinder for the day. This is the most effective DIY option if you feel confident in using the equipment safely, and if you have multiple tree stumps you need to remove.

Chemical Stump Remover

Chemical stump removal Just head down to the hardware store or garden center and describe the size of the stump and its diameter. They will be able to tell you how much chemical stump remover you will need. Stump removal chemicals cost about $15. These chemicals usually work to remove the top portion of the stump, but some of the lower tree stump may remain. This method of stump removal still requires some work, you need to drill numerous holes in the stump, pour in the chemical granules, and then pour in water to help the chemicals permeate the stump.

The chemical process will cause the stump to swell and become soft over time. Expect this method to take six or more weeks for dead tree stumps and from 3 to 24 months for live tree stumps. As the wood begins to soften you can manually break the stump away in pieces. You may need to repeat the procedure several times until the stump reaches ground level. Keep animals and children away from the stump during this entire process, as the chemicals used are very dangerous if handled or ingested. Though chemical stump removal costs next to nothing and requires relatively little physical effort, it requires some serious patience that many customers cannot handle.

Warning: Never attempt to burn a stump out of the ground. This can lead to underground smoldering that can extend throughout the root system, sometimes causing the earth 20 feet away to cave in. Burning a stump can also spark fires in underground gas lines or buried oil tanks.

If the DIY options above seem too time-consuming, or if you are not comfortable running a stump grinder, consider hiring a professional to remove your tree stump.

Professional Stump Grinding

tree stump remains after tree chopped downWhen the less handy among us need to grind a stump a professional stump grinding service can have the job done in a short amount of time at a very affordable price. A stump removal expert brings in a high-powered stump grinder with carbide tipped teeth that will chew through a large amount of wood with great precision.

Stumps of any size are quickly ground into fine mulch that can be used:

A stump grinding professional can remove stumps even when they are close to your home, shed, or utilities. The stump is first cut to a manageable size, usually within a few inches of the ground. The operator moves the grinder from side to side against the stump. As the stump is ground away the operator advances the equipment forward until the stump is gone. A professionally ground stump can be removed to 8 or more inches below the surface of the yard. Professional stump removal can cost as little as $95 for small diameter stumps. Prices can go up to $300 or more for very large stumps.

Expert, Large Diameter Stump Removal

A stump and its root ball can be fully removed from your yard with the help of a backhoe, track loader, or bobcat. Excavation of a tree stump is completed in several steps.

  1. First, a large square of soil is dug from around the stump - typically four feet from the stump in each direction and down to a depth of three feet.
  2. Next, the roots are cut or shaved down.
  3. Finally, a chain is anchored to the stump and the equipment pulls the stump and remaining root ball from the ground.

Complete stump removal is the most expensive method, but is sometimes necessary. If you have a large plot of land that needs clearing, this can actually be a very cost effective option. Complete removal will cost several hundred dollars or more, depending on the number of stumps in your yard.

If you are looking for an expert to get the job done within your budget, Aptera can help. We partner with professional tree stump removers who provide quick, competitive quotes on tree stump grinding and removal. Request a quote now to be on your way to a stump-free lawn.