Stump Removal – The Quick and Easy Solution
Stump removal comes in many forms. Most are natural methods that are environmentally safe such as the use of Potassium Nitrate, which works by rapidly increasing the decay of the stump. Though this is perfectly safe for wildlife and humans, the time it takes for a stump to rot enough to be removed via pick and shovel could be 1-2 months. This time frame limits how quickly you can replant another tree or grass, it’s also not very aesthetically pleasing. This method would be best used when the intention is to cover the stump with some form of bush. The decaying matter from the stump can provide a great source of nutrition for the new plant.
Some less popular methods of stump removal have been to burn the stump or putting on your working gloves, eating your Wheaties and digging the stump out. Both of these are effective, but again, rely on a lot of time to get the desired end result. Burning isn’t an option most residents have either, depending on where they live.
FUN FACT: Historically, an explosive called stumping powder was used to blast the stumps to pieces. I don’t recommend this form of stump removal, especially if you live in town.
This bring us to the much more popular and the quickest safe method of stump removal, the stump grinder. Most stump grinders used on residential properties remove tree stumps by means of a rotating cutting disc affixed with teeth that chip away the wood. The disc and teeth are attached to a hydraulically controlled arm that sways left to right, up and down. These machines come in a variety of sizes to meet the demand of the size of stump to be removed. Homeowners can rent stump grinders from various local equipment rental companies, though the size of the machine available to them may be restricted depending on local laws. Not getting the proper size grinder could result in many hours of grinding costing the homeowner more than if they had called a professional stump removal company.
HISTORICAL FACT: In 1956, the Vermeer Manufacturing Co. founder Gary Vermeer invented the first modern stump grinder.
Before The Grind
It’s extremely important to keep in mind that before stump grinding can occur the property MUST first have underground utility locations done. State law dictates that neither I, nor anyone else, can do any grinding or digging within 3 feet of a marked utility. These locates will be setup either by the tree service that removes the tree or by Stump & Grind, if the stump removal wasn’t apart of the tree service’s quoted work. Locates can take up 2 weeks to complete, and involve all utility companies associated with your address. Utility companies will use colored flags or biodegradable paint or a combination to mark their respective service(i.e. Water, Power, Gas, Cable/Phone). Be cautious of those companies that claim they can do the work the same day you request a stump removal.
Two Grinds, Two Results
What a person wants to do with the newly available space after the stump has been removed will determine what type of stump grinding takes place. In both instances, a small portion of the wood chips will remain to avoid leaving a big hole in your yard, unless other arrangements are made for the removal of all debris. It’s common place for homeowners to keep all or most of the resulting grindings to use as mulch or composting material. Often times the remaining root system that still exists will sprout new “little trees”. Keeping those sprouts in-check will ensure the root system eventually completely dies out and they will stop growing.
Full Stump Removal
A full grind should be your path if your looking to replant another tree or other plant in the same spot as the stump being removed. A new tree can be planted the same day as a result of this type of grind. The removal of the stump is much more thorough and extends 12-18 inches below the grass line (grade). “Chasing” of roots is also part of this grind if requested. Chasing the roots occurs if you have roots that are exposed at the surface. The roots are either dug out by hand or, if large enough, will be removed with the stump grinder. Keep in mind that chasing roots has the potential of damaging a lawn pretty bad depending on the extent of the surface roots. Full stump removals will produce a large amount of debris that can either be kept by the homeowner for use as mulch or hauled away by Stump & Grind.
Partial Stump Grinding
This option is the route to go if you have no intention of replanting a tree in the same spot. With a partial grind, the stump will be ground to only about 6 inches below grade and make it much simpler to plant grass in it’s place or cover up the spot with landscaping rock. Partial grinds, based on my experience, are the option most people choose in the Fort Collins, Loveland & Longmont area, as the reason for the tree removal is mostly due to bad placement on the property or the tree has become a danger to a fence or the house. Root chasing is also an option with this type of stump removal. This type of grind typically costs less than a full grind.
1437 Denver Ave
Loveland, CO 80538