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Updated: Nov 12, 2021

What is stump grinding? | Accomplished Tree Management

What is Stump Grinding?

What happens after you cut down a tree? You are left with a tree stump, which depending on its location, could either look romantic like a little table all ready for a fairy ring gathering under the moonlight or you may well find it an eyesore you would like to Photoshop away.

Unfortunately, removing a tree stump is not like extracting a bad tooth with a firm twist and pull. They are difficult to remove from the ground without causing traumatic damage to the vegetation and structures around it.

Stump grinding is the recommended solution.

The stump can be chipped away with a power tool called a stump grinder. This heavy-duty tool uses a rotating slicing disk with sharp teeth to grind the tree stump into small chips. The stump is chipped away to the ground until the stump is level with the rest of the landscape or about 4-12 inches below the surface. This causes little or no impact on the area around the stump. In spite of the tool's chunky appearance, it is actually very maneuverable, which means hard-to-reach locations do not pose a problem.

What are the reasons to call in the professionals to perform stump grinding?

If you leave a tree stump as it is, the root system may cause problems for any future construction plans for your house or the building in the area.

A lonely tree stump in the middle of an area is likely to become an obstacle at some point e.g. when mowing. Its protruding root system (which has not been moved) may also become a hazard, causing people to trip over them.

A tree stump is home sweet home to unwelcome creatures such as termites, mice and snakes. These are not the most popular neighbours to have around.

For Stump Grinding services in the Mid North Coast call Accomplished Tree Management on Tel 0411 443 535.

How far do you grind the tree stump? Level with the land or below?

It depends on the construction and development plans of the area. Natural lawn areas can be ground to around 100mm and 150mm. If the surrounding area is full of concrete slabs, they have to be ground deeper and it would also depend on each individual situation.

What is the biggest tree stump that has been ground?

There is no limit to the size, just the amount of time the professionals need to spend to get the job done.

How can stump grinding be good for your wallet?

It prevents an expensive damage control situation should termites from a tree stump start an infestation that spreads to your home.

You can use the wood chips from the grinding process to make mulch thereby creating a natural insulation, retaining moisture and reducing weed growth.

Removing a tree stump that could potentially be hazardous means you will avoid getting into an exorbitantly distasteful lawsuit if someone trips over, gets badly hurt and takes you to court for it.

What can one do with the part when the stump has been ground down?

Some people request for a replanting, so the professionals know to grind it deep enough for home owners to fill it with dirt later and reuse the area to replant. You can also request the grinding to be done even deeper to allow space to plant a new tree in.

Are there other options to stump grinding?

If you prefer to go au naturel, a tree stump will rot and disappear in anything from seven to 1000 years depending on the size and type of tree. It is a rather long wait if you have plans to landscape your garden in the next couple of years.

Some professionals may recommend chemical decomposition. More often than not it is considered too slow to be efficient.

The more feisty amongst us may decide to torch the tree stump and go out with a bang. This is not feasible as the ground moisture around the stump makes burning difficult. The fact that the stump is so deep in the ground that oxygen basically runs out and starves the fire even before it could go very deep.

The most extreme measure would be excavation and this is an extremely expensive procedure. This is a massive surgery where the entire stump and root contents are forcibly gouged out. This can run up to the thousands in terms of fees because of the costly machines required to perform this operation. This is not possible and sometimes even prohibited in small and confined areas.

Ultimately, stump grinding is still the most efficient and economical way to solve the problem and the gentlest solution for the surrounding landscape.

How long does it take to grind a tree stump?

It could be anything from a 15-minute walk in the park to a laborious two-hour process.

Do dead tree stumps attract termites?

Unfortunately, yes, they do. You want to take note of specifically two types of termites who may well decide to set up home in your innocuous leftover tree stump.

Dampwood termites:

These little creatures usually only eat rotted or decayed wood. They are not an immediate risk to your home.

Subterranean termites:

These greedy buggers are the most common and they will eat any type of wood or cellulose substance they can get their little teeth on. These are the ones you want to ban from your home.

So how can you tell if a stump has been infested by termites?

Check for hollowed wood. Termites are sly little creatures that scuttle quietly to the interior and munch their way out. So if you notice that a stump appears or feels hollow (use a screwdriver a sharp object to poke the stump if you are not sure), beware.

Next, if you see bits of wings that have dropped off, you will know termites have been partying on your tree stump.

If you have an affirmative for these two signs, speed dial a professional arborist to eradicate the problem.

Termites are tiny but the damage they cause can be massive. They are out on a free-flow buffet rampage. Once they are happily fed on your tree stump, they will not hesitate to move on to anything that is made of wood nearby. Termites will let themselves into your home and all that is missing is laying out the red carpet to welcome them.

Getting a trusted arborist to remove a tree stump even before the termites come is good practice. The professionals can manage the entire process efficiently and cleanly and you go to bed free from worry about termite infestation. This is the more pressing reason why you would want to get the professionals to perform stump grinding. Aethestically a dead tree stump is nothing more than an eyesore but letting it play host to several generations of termites is not something you would want to risk.

What can you do with the stump after it has been ground?

Accomplished Tree Management is all for recycling. Try our mulch recipe.

For all stump grinding services in Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Kempsey, Laurieton through to Taree, call Accomplished Tree Management

A Grinding Halt…or Not…

Stump grinding is actually not the end. One must not forget how powerful Mother Nature is – her life force is so strong that sometimes trees can regenerate even after being ground to bits. Some trees like the willow, poplar and some varieties of cherry trees can regenerate after several years. You can use herbicide in the area of the removed stump to stop regeneration.

As arborists we respect and understand the workings of nature and make it part of our principles to protect it. Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with, and she will fight back regardless of our feeble human attempts to stifle growth. Just see the humble weed growing through the cracks in broken bits of pavement in the city and one cannot help but admire the subliminal power of nature to thrive in spite of adversity.

For Stump Grinding services in the Mid North Coast call Accomplished Tree Management on Tel 0411 443 535.

About Accomplished Tree Management: Tel 0411 443 535

Accomplished Tree Management is based in Port Macquarie and services the Mid North Coast. With over 16 years experience, we employ safe work methods and are certified with Australian AS 4373-2007-Pruning of Amenity Trees standards. We're fully insured with $20 million Public Liability and $5 million Professional Indemnity Insurance.

We provide the following tree services -

  • Tree management - tree removals, palm tree services, council permits

  • Tree and garden maintenance - hedging, pruning, deadwooding, stump grinding

  • Tree consultation - arboricultural reports, hazard assessment

Stumped by Questions is written by Vermilion Pinstripes, a sales marketing and communications agency based in Port Macquarie, Australia and Singapore helping businesses engage with customers so they can sell without selling.


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