The operator guides the blade over the entire stump as the blade reduces the wood to chips and lowers the stump well below ground level. Burke says he has seen people use chemicals to remove stumps and others who tried to burn the stumps, but he says he personally has never seen that the best results come from these methods. The main way Burke says that someone can be injured by grinding a stump is not knowing what is under the ground. Another good thing to consider before choosing a stump extraction method is to consider the total number of stumps that need to be removed.
After the barricades are up and the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is turned on, he recommends taking a pick and go around the stump area to see if anything can be pulled before the grinding begins. It's not always necessary to remove a surplus stump, but ask yourself if you want to look at a tree stump for years to come or deal with its sucking growth. Often, this is the best argument for grinding stumps; leaving a stump in place can mean repeatedly pruning with suction cup, a garden task that offers little satisfaction, since it is never finished. A tree stump can be removed at any time after cutting it down, but manual removal is sometimes easier if the stump has aged and dried out a little.
Professional arborists and tree removal companies also have insurance against accidental property damage from tree removal and stump grinding. If you're not sure if it's best for you to remove or grind stumps, a professional arborist can help. Todd Burke, owner of Dave's Tree Services in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, is one of the most used services in his area. Many companies transport old tree stumps for an additional fee or include them in the cost of service, so be sure to ask before hiring a stump removal company.
Stump grinders that are available for rent by homeowners will be smaller and less powerful than those used by professionals and you are unlikely to find a range of stump grinder models to choose from. This is because professionals use hydraulic equipment that grinds large stumps much faster than a rental shredder.