When paying for stump removal services, it can be beneficial to learn about how the techniques work and what their applications are. Here are four ways stumps are commonly removed and why you might choose a particular approach.
Dig It Out
Using some combination of shovels and excavation equipment, it may be possible to dig a stump out of the ground. This method is best when dealing with types of trees that put down shallow roots, as digging up a deep root system can get very involved. Once the stump is removed, the hole is filled in with dirt.
One major reason to avoid this approach is if a stump is infested with bugs that you don't want to transfer elsewhere. It may be ideal, however, when dealing with a tree species that's notorious for putting up new sprouts from any remains.
You may also want to consider a more aggressive dig to get all the roots out of the surrounding soil if you're dealing with a species like black walnut that poisons the surrounding ground. This method is preferable if you're going to want to plant in the area right away.
Grind the Stump Down
If all you need is for the stump to be out of sight, grinding it down with a machine may be the best approach. This approach can be noisy and messy, but it tends to be the fastest. The hole left behind is relatively small.
On the downside, grinding carries with it a high risk that the tree will sprout again. You'll want to avoid this method if you're dealing with tree roots that are threatening a foundation or underground lines.
Burn the Stump
Burning out a stump is another approach. The main downside is that it won't be legal in all areas. On the upside, fire tends to address infestations from bugs very well. One surprise that catches some people off guard, though, is that embers can burn down in the roots for a while. This creates a collapse risk when the roots can't support the ground anymore.
Professionals have access to powders designed to break down stumps. Holes are drilled into the stump, and then a powder is poured into each hole. These chemicals are dangerous if ingested so you don't want to use them in areas where there's even a remote chance that children or pets might come along. This approach is slow, and it may still call for digging or burning to clear out the remnant of the stump.