Do you have a pesky tree stump in your garden? Pulling it out of the ground or trying to remove it might seem impossible, but with a stump grinder it can be easy. A stump grinder is a piece of equipment that cuts a tree stump down, removes it and turns it into a mulch-like substance.
Why You Should Remove Tree Stumps
You might be wondering why you should even bother removing a tree stump? There are a few reasons why getting rid of the old wood is beneficial for your yard and garden. The most obvious reason is aesthetics. An ugly stump can detract from the beauty of your garden, so getting rid of it will enhance your landscaping.
Secondly, if the stump is in the middle of your garden or is in the way of installing a walkway, driveway or patio, or otherwise making a space unusable, getting rid of it is usually the only option.
Old tree stumps that have been in your garden for years can rot and start to attract mould and fungi, which can contaminate the rest of your garden, harming or even killing other plant life. Of course, removing a tree stump will also prevent an unwanted tree from growing back.
For a more detailed look at how you fully remove a tree stump, check out How To Remove a Tree Stump in our How To section, or just follow the link.
How a Stump Grinder Works
Small stump grinders are very mobile so they are easy to hire and move around your garden. Smaller stump grinders are also easier to manoeuvre and work with, so they are a good fit for homeowners and do-it-yourself projects.
Most stump grinders are moderate-sized machines that are mounted on heavy-duty wheels and have a long handle for pushing and pulling it. The handle can usually be adjusted so you can set the machine up for your height and so it’s easy to use. The best models also have broken wheels so that you can more easily control the grinder and grind a stump in side-to-side movements.
They have a very sharp blade underneath the machine, which is powered by an engine. Most are labelled with a cutting capacity number for both above and below ground. If you aren’t sure what kind of stump grinder you need, talk to a professional before you hire one. You may also want to consider other garden clearance tools.
In essence, the stump grinder removes a stump by cutting the wood down until the stump is gone. As it cuts, the stump is turned into sawdust or mulch material that is easy to remove from your garden or yard. Some people even use the mulch in their garden.
How to Use a Stump Grinder
If you want to free up some space in your garden, or even just make it look neat and tidy, removing tree stumps is a great way to do it. The best way to remove these pesky stumps is using a stump grinder. Different kinds of stump grinders are used differently, so be sure to refer to the instructions that came with your model for specific directions. However, there are some general steps you’ll follow as you remove a tree stump:
First, stump grinders can be extremely dangerous so take proper safety precautions. Wear sturdy work boots, long pants, gloves and goggles. These are all available from HSS when hiring online or in branch. When the stump grinder is on, do not go near the base or blades.
Before you start working, make sure the area is clear of yard decorations, toys and other tools. It can be helpful to trim the grass or plants around the stump so it’s easier to see and remove. Carefully inspect the area around the stump and remove rocks and sticks that could fly up from under the blades or even damage the machine.
Use a Chainsaw First
First, use a chainsaw to cut the stump as low as you can while staying safe. This will make less work for the stump grinder and make the rest of the removal process much easier. Do not attempt to cut the stump level with the ground with the chainsaw, as this can be dangerous. When ordering a chainsaw from HSS you will be taking through safety training in branch. Only certain branches can offer this service so please check when making your booking.
Use the Stump Grinder
Now, follow the instructions that came with your model to raise the grinder wheel just above the top of the stump and begin to cut into the stump. Move the cutter from side to side to cut through the wood. Then, reposition the wheel and grind through the next section of the stump. You will need to repeat this process several times until you have cut all the way through the stump.
Then, move the grinder away from the stump and turn it off. Examine the area where the stump was and check to make sure you have cut at least 10 centimetres below the surface of the ground and that you have cut away the entire stump.
Once you are sure you have removed the entire stump, you can use a rake and shovel to remove all the wood chips. You can use this as mulch in your garden or add it to your compost pile.
Cover up what’s left behind
Now, you are probably left with an ugly hole in the middle of your garden, but don’t worry! You can easily fill the hole and make it blend in with the rest of your yard. If it is in the lawn, fill the hole with sod or soil and grass seeds. If it is in your garden, you can simply add some good soil and plant flowers or vegetables in it as you normally would.
After the stump is removed, it won’t distract from the beauty of your garden and won’t get in the way when you try to mow your lawn, host a party or install new features.
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