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Is It Better to Grind a Stump or Remove It?

Is It Better to Grind a Stump or Remove It?

After you have removed a tree, you will need to deal with the stump. There are a few different methods available to help with the stump. Many people choose to completely remove the stump and then fill in that area with dirt and grass. But there may be times when it is better to grind the stump down. Out of these two options, which one is the best for your yard?

According to one expert tree removal company (, grinding is a more efficient method to use than stump removal and it will not leave the roots of the tree behind. If you have a stump that is large, the chip pile that is produced can also be quite large, but the chips can be used as mulch for other plants that you have in the landscape.

Let’s take a closer look at the difference between grinding the stump and removing it and why grinding is often seen to be the better option.

Is It Better to Grind a Stump or Remove It?

Stump grinding and stump removal will both have benefits and negatives to work with. Choosing which one is the right one for your needs will sometimes depend on what you would like to do with the landscape around the house.

The stump removal process will be more intrusive in the yard compared to grinding down the stump. When you remove the stump, it involves heaving up the stump and then digging out the roots of the tree. Depending on how big the tree is, the roots can be extensive and you may need to spend a good deal of time on this to get it done.

There is a benefit to stump removal though. You will be left with a clean slate and lots of options when it is time to handle the landscape. What’s not so great with this is that you will end up with a large hole in the yard where the tree stump used to be and that can be a big eyesore until you get it all fit in.

If you would like an option that is less intensive and will not leave a big hole in the yard, then stump grinding is a better option. With this method, the arborist is going to use a machine to help shred the stump down so you end up with small wood chips.

Grinding is going to be more efficient compared to stump removal. But you will have the roots behind. And if you have a large tree that has a large stump, the chip pile that is produced will be large. You can use these as mulch and other items for the plants in the landscape, but it is a big mess to keep track of too.

What Happens to the Roots of the Tree After Grinding?

While stump grinding is able to take care of all the visible parts of the tree, grinding it down to the ground, the roots of the tree are going to still be there underneath the ground. Depending on the size of the tree, they could be 4, 8, or 12 feet beyond where the stump stood. After grinding, these roots are going to decay at some point. It just is a lengthy process and in some cases, it could take up to 10 years for the roots to break all the way down.

Which Method is the Best?

Grinding is usually thought to be the best option. You will not have to remove all the roots and disrupt the landscape in your backyard. This can make it an easier process to work with, though you may need an arborist to take over and help you succeed. You will find that this causes minimal disruption to the yard though you will find that there is still part of the stump when you go over to that part of the yard.

Unless you have a certain plan in place for what to do with the landscape when the tree is gone, it is usually best to go with the grinding option. This will not disrupt the dirt as bad and will not put a huge hole in your yard that you need to take care of. The roots will naturally decay over time and you will be able to enjoy your yard without a tree.

Taking Care of Your Yard

While removing the stump in your yard or grinding it down can be personal decisions based on the yard, you will find that both of them will have their benefits and negatives that you will need to consider. Take the time to weigh both of the options to see which one is right for your needs and will provide you with the best work for your yard and the landscape that you need.