The Dos & Don’ts of Stump Grinding for Your Red Deer Lawn

Reading time: 7 minutes

Does your Red Deer home have an ugly tree stump in the yard? Getting rid of this eyesore (and giant magnet for pests) is fast and easy with stump grinding. This process cuts your stump into small wood chips, removing the visible portion above the ground and leaving you with a pile of useful mulch.

We go over some important dos and don’ts of stump grinding and how tree removal services by our ISA-certified arborists can help you maintain a beautiful and healthy landscape.

Tree stump in the grass
Photo credits

Stump Grinding Dos

Stump grinding equipment reaches a few inches below your lawn to ensure a smooth lawn surface. It leaves the tree roots intact, so you can avoid dealing with a big hole in your yard where your tree’s root system used to be.

Here are 3 tips you can use to help make sure your stump grinding goes without a hitch:

1. Schedule Stump Grinding Soon After Tree Removal

It’s a good idea to book your stump grinding service as soon as possible after your tree is removed. As your stump decays, it can attract all kinds of unwanted pests and diseases that could spread to other plants or trees and cause damage. You also run the risk of shoots continuing to grow, which can make your stump look even more unsightly.

2. Follow Local Tree Removal Laws

When removing a tree or its stump, it’s crucial to understand local laws and whether they apply to you. If you cut down a tree that you shouldn’t, you could be fined and may even be on the hook for covering the cost of restoration. This could amount to thousands of dollars.

This is why it’s so important to work with a professional arborist. They have knowledge of laws in the areas they serve and can apply for any necessary permits on your behalf.

3. Prepare Your Yard for the Equipment and Workers

It's important that there's enough space in your yard for the grinder to move around. Be sure to clear the area around the stump, and anywhere the grinder will need to go to reach it. Move decor, toys, plants, and other items out of these spaces before the day of your service to protect both the equipment and your property.

Stump Grinding Don’ts

It’s also super important to think about things not to do when grinding a tree stump. You can avoid potential problems with your stump when you don’t:

1. Allow People in the Area Where the Stump Is

Tree stumps might seem like a nice place to sit, but they’re actually kind of dangerous. They’re easy to trip over, especially for children. If someone falls on the stump, they could get seriously hurt and may even be able to bring legal action against you.

While waiting for your service, avoid letting people around the stump or even in the general area. Consider posting signage that warns visitors of potential danger and instructs them to stay away. This helps protect you from liability and others from getting hurt.

2. Try to Grind a Stump Yourself Without the Right Tools or Knowledge

Unless you’re a professional arborist, it’s never a good idea to try to use a stump grinder yourself. Removing a tree stump is best left to someone with extensive knowledge of what works and what doesn’t and how to troubleshoot potential issues that may arise during the service.

A professional has the right tools for the job and knows how to operate them to get the best results. A DIY job likely won’t look as refined when it’s finished, and you may have a more difficult time restoring your lawn afterward.

The Difference Between Stump Grinding and Stump Removal

Green Drop workers using tools and machinery to remove a tree stump

Stump grinding and stump removal are both ways to get rid of tree stumps from the ground, but they involve different processes and outcomes:

Stump Grinding

Stump grinding involves using a stump grinder to mechanically grind the stump into small wood chips and sawdust. The outcome? After grinding, the stump is reduced to ground level or slightly below. The remaining wood chips and sawdust can be left to decompose naturally, used as mulch, or completely removed.

Stump grinding is generally much quicker (and less messy) than stump removal since it primarily focuses on grinding the visible part of the stump. While stump grinding effectively removes the visible portion of the stump, the roots underground may still remain intact. This can sometimes lead to tree regrowth, especially with certain tree species.

Stump grinding typically causes less disruption to the surrounding landscape since it doesn't involve extensive digging or excavation.

Stump Removal

Stump removal involves removing the entire stump, including its root system. By the end of the process, there will be no remaining stump or roots in the ground. The area will be levelled and filled with soil, leaving no trace of the tree's presence.

The process is more time-consuming, labour-intensive, and requires specialized equipment compared to stump grinding because it often involves digging, cutting, and pulling out the stump and its roots. After that, we fill in the hole left by the removed stump.

Because of all that’s involved, stump removal can be more disruptive than stump grinding. However, because the entire root system is excavated in this case, it effectively prevents the tree from regrowing in the same spot. So you are free to replant something else in the exact same location.

Tree stumps can be a real eyesore. Get in touch with our tree experts for professional stump grinding and removal.

Let Green Drop Take Care of Your Leftover Stump for a Beautiful Lawn

Green Drop workers after tree stump removal with shovels and a buldozer

At Green Drop, we treat your trees and yard like our own. As leading tree care experts in Western Canada, we offer comprehensive tree health care services designed to keep your property looking great. Schedule your free tree care assessment with our ISA Certified Arborists to keep your trees healthy and beautiful all year long!

All services also include a complete landscape review, antibacterial and fungicide treatments, and deep root fertilization with RootBoost™️ to maintain your trees’ healthy growth. We also offer prepayment discounts for each tier!

In Alberta, we serve major cities like Red Deer, Calgary, Edmonton, and surrounding areas. We also provide services to home and business owners in Winnipeg, Regina, and Saskatoon.

Frequently Asked Questions About Stump Grinding in Red Deer

What are the benefits of grinding over removal?

Unlike stump grinding, which leaves a relatively level surface behind, stump removal results in a large depression that needs to be filled. Instead of just having to top it off with a few inches of mulch, you may have a hole that’s a few feet deep by several feet wide. However large your tree’s root system is, it will be the size of the hole left, so if you have a large tree, grinding is almost always preferable to complete removal.

How do I know if I should have my stump grinded or removed?

You may need to have a stump removed if you want to build on top of the land. For example, if you want to put a patio down or have a pool installed in the area where your tree was located, the stump will need to be pulled out. This is also true if you want to plant a new tree in the exact same place since the old roots can interfere with the young tree’s growth.

How far does a stump grinder reach below ground?

A stump grinder can reach about 4 to 6 inches below the ground to remove all of the visible portions of a tree stump. You only need to cover the area with a few inches of mulch or topsoil and seed the area with grass to integrate it with the rest of your lawn.

In some cases, it may be necessary to go deeper than that to ensure the stump can’t be seen. Most grinders can be set to as low as 16 inches below grade when it’s called for.

What do I do after my stump grinding service?

When your service is complete, you’ll have minimal work left to do to restore your beautiful yard. Once our arborists’ job is complete, our team of lawn care experts can help you plant new grass and maintain the quality of your soil so your space looks its best and offers the performance you need.

With Green Drop, you can trust that your whole yard is in capable and qualified hands.

Schedule Your Free Tree Care Assessment