Stump Grinding

Stump Removal – The Quick and Easy Solution

Stump grinding comes in many forms. Most are environmentally friendly, such as the use of Potassium Nitrate, which works by rapidly increasing the decay of the stumps. But the time it takes for stumps to rot enough to be removed via pick and shovel could be 1-2 months. This time frame limits how quickly you can replant trees or grass, it’s also not very aesthetically pleasing.

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Some less popular methods of stump removal have been to burn the stumps or putting on your working gloves, eating your Wheaties and digging the stumps out. Both of these are effective, but again, rely on a lot of time and are not the best ways for removing stumps from your yard. 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 tree stump removal.

This brings 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 quality machines come in a variety of sizes to handle the size of the tree stump to be removed.

HISTORICAL FACT: In 1956, the Vermeer Manufacturing Co. founder Gary Vermeer invented the first modern stump grinder.

Before The Stump Grinding

It’s extremely important to keep in mind that before stump grinding can occur in Northern Colorado, the property MUST first have underground utility locations done. State law dictates that a stump grinding business, nor anyone else, can do any tree stump grinding or digging within 3 feet of a marked utility. We are required to contact the utility companies and receive clearance before proceeding. The locates will be set up by the business that removes the tree if the stump grinding wasn’t apart of the quoted work. Weirwood will contact the utility owners if need be.

Utility locates can take up 2 weeks to complete, and involve all utility services 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). Removing these markings from your yard should only be done after the stump grinding job has been completed.

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Example of utility locates

Two Levels of Stump Grinding, Two Results

What a property owner wants to do with the newly available space after the tree stump has been removed will determine what type of stump grinding takes place. With both services, a small portion of the wood chips will remain to avoid leaving a big hole in your yard unless one of our full clean-up services is requested.

Full  Stump Removal

A full stump grinding should be your path if you’re looking to replant another tree in the same spot as the tree stump being removed. New trees can be planted the same day as a result of this type of grind. Removing the tree stump at this level 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 tearing up a lawn pretty bad depending on the extent of the surface roots.

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Surface roots, candidate for root chasing
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Surface root after being “chased”
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 stump grinding, the tree stump will be ground to only about 6 inches below grade and make it much simpler to plant grass or cover up the spot with landscaping rock. Partial stump grinding, based on my experience, is the option that a property owner will often choose in the Northern Colorado area, as the reason for the tree removal is mostly due to bad placement in the yard. Root chasing is also an option with this type of stump removal. This type of stump grinding will cost less than a full grinding.

Contact us today to get rid of those unsightly stumps and join our family of satisfied clients.