Tree Stump Removal, commonly known as Stump Grinding, is the act of grinding down the stump that is left after a tree removal.
In this article, we’ll discuss the tree removal process and then we’ll explain the various stump removal methods and why they’re recommended.
Reasons For Tree Removal
Trees are some of the oldest living things on Earth. Most can live for over 100 years, with certain species living several thousand. Except for small shrubs and larger “superlative” trees like redwoods and sequoias, most trees grow to between 60 and 100 feet in height.
At RTEC, our mission is to do the right thing for people and nature, with a priority to protect and conserve trees. However, we understand at times we have to say goodbye.
Reasons for tree removal include:
- Large trees interfering with utility lines or other infrastructure.
- The trees are dead or dying, which can be a particular danger to your home or other nearby buildings, as well as the people who occupy them.
- The tree is a safety hazard. If they are, you should remove them as quickly as possible to avoid such threats.
First, we’ll discuss the tree removal process and the importance of hiring a professional tree service. Then explain stump removal methods and why they’re recommended.
Tree Removal Processes
Tree-removal laws vary by state, and some municipalities have special regulations. Most states have little or no stipulations for removing a tree on private property, but it is a good idea to check.
Some places prohibit removing trees for aesthetic reasons, but allow it for dead trees, ones that are too close to power lines, or those in danger of falling on a building. Using a reputable tree-removal service will ensure that your project is operating within the bounds of the law.
There are a few things you can do before any cutting takes place. The first thing is to assess the tree.
If a tree has many large limbs without leaves, it is a good sign that something is wrong with it. Diseased or dead trees can have unique problems, including crumbling that can make them dangerous to climb or stand in. They also can crumble and fall in unexpected directions.
Examine the tree to see which way it is leaning. This is the most likely way it will fall if it does so naturally.
Also, note any areas of decay. These could crumble during the removal process and allow large limbs or sections of the tree to fall separate from the main trunk.
Next, clear the surrounding area of any items that limbs or the tree itself could fall on. You also will want plenty of workspace for proper tree removal.
If there are nearby permanent structures that the tree may fall on, you may not be able to chop the tree down from the base but should hire a tree service to remove it piece by piece.
Professional Tree Removal
Proper tree removal might seem like a very straightforward process, but you need to know what you are doing or you can risk putting yourself in danger. Safely and efficiently removing a tree or tree stump requires special equipment without which the process can be difficult or even dangerous.
Because of this, it’s best to turn to your trusted Certified Arborist.
For example, if a tree is too close to any structures or power lines, you will need to use methods other than chopping it down from the base. It may be necessary to have a professional tree removal service take it down in pieces.
Note that you should not attempt these methods on your own. Besides having removal tools, trained Certified Arborists will know the safety gear necessary for a particular job.
The tree service expert will start by putting up rigging cable in the middle section of the tree. Then, they will climb the tree and cut down individual branches.
The technician will either let the limbs fall to the ground (if it is safe to do so) or lower them using a rope and pulley system. The latter requires help from workers on the ground to guide the branches safely down.
In some rare circumstances, a crane may be needed to remove the tree. This requires space around the tree to accommodate the equipment.
The crane lifts workers to the top of the tree. Then they use it to help lower large branches to the ground.
Once the tree is on the ground, you then have to decide what to do with it. you can cut up larger sections for firewood. Run branches and splintered pieces through a wood chipper to make mulch.
Most tree service companies will remove all the debris for you. If you have not hired a service, you can always transport the remnants to an organic waste dump.
At RTEC, we can take care of this step for you; one of our promises is to always leave a place better than we found it. We know you care about your property, and we do too.
Stump Removal Methods
As mentioned, many homeowners are focused on the tree removal and don’t think about removing the tree stump. However, tree stump removal is an important service that keeps tripping hazards, insects & diseases, and re-sprouting at bay while keeping your curb appeal and property value.
Removing a tree stump is a lot more involved than people think. The right techniques and equipment need to be used in order to successfully remove the stump and not cause damage to the rest of the property. Because of this, tree stump removal is not typically included in the price of the tree removal.
Stumps are eyesores, and they take up space. If they are low enough to the ground, grass might conceal them, and they become something to trip over.
Stump removal is an altogether separate process that requires its own equipment and expertise. Larger, older trees will have root systems that run deep into the ground and make stump removal more difficult.
For larger, more stubborn trees, stump grinding may be necessary. This requires renting machinery that can cost several hundred dollars for a day’s use. Most grinders are large, heavy, and may need special vehicles for transporting.
For these reasons, you may consider going with a stump removal service or hiring a company that can take out the stump along with the tree. Another advantage of hiring a tree stump removal service is that they will be able to identify the most effective method for completing the job. For instance, some companies have small backhoes that can pull up surface root tree stumps.
Reasons For Stump Removal
Tripping Hazards & Mowing: When you leave a stump in your yard, you create a tripping hazard. Tree stumps can also make it hard to mow your yard and could damage your lawn equipment.
Curb Appeal & Property Value: Tree stumps can make your yard look run down and unkept. These eyesores can even lower your property values. If you must keep your tree stump try turning it into a planter or outdoor table.
Insects & Diseases: Rotting tree stumps attract insects and fungi. The insects and fungi the stump attracts will often find their way to your other healthy trees and plants. By performing tree stump removal you remove this risk and keep your other trees and shrubs safe.
Re-Sprouting: Stumps are sometimes able to re-sprout and grow quickly. If you just paid for to remove your tree the last thing you want to do is repeat the whole process over again. By having the tree stump removed you are ensuring that the tree doesn’t have the ability to re-sprout.
DIY Tree Stump Removal:
You may want to think twice about trying DIY tree stump removals or trying to manually remove a stump by hand. The common suggestions for tree stump removal include: removal by fire, drenching it in chemicals, renting a stump grinder, and hand digging tend to be dangerous and time-consuming.
Fire: Removing a tree stump by lighting it on fire is not only dangerous but also illegal in Fairfax County and the surrounding areas without a permit. Lighting your stump on fire can easily lead to the fire spreading throughout your yard and even your house especially if you do it on a dry, hot summer day.
Chemicals: Chemical stump removers (potassium nitrate, water and nitrogen) promote rotting; however, they can make the ground infertile for months or years and could contaminate local storm water runoff. The process takes 4-6 weeks, so it’s it’s not quick, efficient, or eco-friendly.
Renting A Stump Grinder: Renting may seem like a good DIY strategy, but it’s not time- or cost-effective. The price to rent a stump grinder isn’t going to be much less than if you hire a tree company to remove the stump. Stump grinders can easily cause damage to the surrounding property if precautions aren’t taken to stop the debris from flying into and breaking windows and doors. They are also easily broken by untrained individuals; this could lead to additional prices for repair from the rental company.
Hand Digging: Hand digging out a stump is time-consuming and labor intensive. You could be digging strenuously for hours and hours before successfully removing most of the stump. You also may think you’ve removed most of the stump but really there are roots still intact that could make growing in the stop difficult in the future, or lead to fungi and insect infestations.
Find Professional Tree Stump Removal Services
Now that you have an idea of what proper tree removal entails, you can decide if it is necessary you’re your property. Never jeopardize your safety when attempting to remove a tree. If you are uncertain about your abilities, it is best to leave it up to trained arborists who understand the processes and have the right equipment to get the job done.
Why Hire RTEC For Tree Stump Removal?
RTEC Treecare is a licensed, insured, and accredited tree-removal service.
Our stump grinding machines are different than many others in our industry. Unlike DIY tactics that encourage drilling holes at the top of the stump, our tree service experts drill holes into the ground. They then grind the stumps inches deep below ground level.
Resulting chips from the process fill the holes that are created from the process. Our machines also come equipped with a protection screen so no debris or rocks are thrown into the surrounding property. We also offer services to remove and replace the stump hole with new soil and seeding.
At RTEC, there are a variety of factors that play into the cost of tree stump removal (for example, it may depend on the size). Generally, however, the minimum tree stump removal cost is $375.
County Regulations: Before performing a stump removal, utility companies must be contracted to mark surrounding gas, water, or electric lines. This keeps tree companies and homeowners from accidentally ruining any of your utility infrastructures.
If you live in Northern VA, MD, DC or the surrounding areas, we can help with any tree-related issue you might have. Our staff can assess the health of your trees and offer quotes on tree-care and tree-removal services, including stump grinding and removal.
We work directly with municipalities to get these utilities marked according to regulations so you don’t have to worry. With us, your tree stump removal will be taken care of properly.
Call 703-573-3029 or reserve an appointment online to meet with one of our Certified Arborists.