Removing a problem tree is only half the battle, the other half is taking out the stump before it attracts pests or becomes a nuisance in the yard. Stump grinding is usually the best option, but there are some things to know about the process.
How Deeply Should You Grind?
You have options when it comes to how deeply the stump is ground down. For example, if you plan to install sod over the site, you only need to have the stump ground down to 6 to 8 inches below the soil surface. On the other hand, if your goal is to plant a new tree in the site. you will need to grind down nearly 3 feet. Usually, the deeper the removal, the more the process will cost, so your budget will also help determine how deeply you should have the stump ground down.
What Method Of Cleanup Is Preferred?
There are three main cleanup options -- leave the sawdust and debris around the hole, use the debris as back-fill for the stump hole, or have the debris completely removed from your property. The do-nothing method is the most cost effective, but you will need to rake and remove the debris yourself so it doesn't smother the lawn. If you don't plan to landscape the area right away, then using the debris as back-fill can help level the lawn. If you do plan to landscape immediately, it is best to have all debris removed.
How Will the Void Be Addressed?
Unless you plan to ignore the area for some time, you will need to address the site. There will be a low spot where the stump was located, even if you opt to fill the hole with sawdust from grinding. The grinding service may be able to apply additional back-fill, such as from wood chips from the tree removal, that will help level the area. Otherwise you will need to use topsoil or compost to fill in the void left from the stump removal.
Are There Nuisance Surface Roots?
Stump grinding handles the big part of the tree remains, but often there are annoyingly large surface roots that are also present and radiating out from the stump. Many stump grinding services can help remove these as well. The larger surface roots may also be ground away, but smaller ones will typically need to be cut out and removed by hand after grinding is complete. Make sure to discuss your options with the service before stump removal begins.
Contact a stump grinding service if you have further questions about the process.