The issue of stump grinding came up recently when I attended an Atlanta Georgia logger’s meeting. I’ve done a lot of stump removal and hauling over the years, both in the southeastern U.S. and on other states in the northeast. After some prodding from the crowd, I finally learned the proper way to remove a stump. In fact, it was one of the best “strump grinding” experiences of my life!
Stump grinding, sometimes referred to as tree stump grinding, is an old-fashioned method of log removal that involves a sharp metal tool, such as a claw hammer, or a rock hammer, that grinds away at the tough outer bark of a tree stump until it flakes away. This provides a ready supply of organic materials that can be used for landscaping or other purposes. Grinding a stump can also provide the handy convenience of not having to haul the stump away, which can be a big time and labor saving benefit. It is recommended to have a few tools available for your grinding needs, so that you can get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Before you grind the stump, you need to find out if the wood actually has any usable wood in it. Many stump wood is simply old dry wood that may have sunken a bit due to weather conditions, or it may have been damaged by a road surface. Look carefully at the wood, especially at the top of the log. You may just see a small piece of debris clinging to the exposed inner bark.
Once you have assessed the condition of the stump, remove it from the log or stump mound (the exposed, unprotected root ball) with a pair of sharp digging claws or a rotary cutting tool. If the stump is rotten, you will likely need to grind the surface as well. If you do not want to chip off the surface, use pressure against the stump with the digging claw to force it out. Be sure to wear heavy gloves so that you don’t accidentally hurt yourself while digging.
Use the rotary tool to grind the side of the log that extends upward from the stump. Do this carefully, and be sure to wear protective gear so that you don’t get scratched. Once the grinding is done, remove the stump from the log or stump mound with another pair of digging claws. This should reveal the roots that remain and may need to be pulled up with strong hand straps or other removal tools.
Grinding the stump may sound like a daunting task, but with the proper tools, and a little practice, it really isn’t that difficult. Start off with the smallest blade that you have handy and work your way up as you become more comfortable. You can also purchase a power grinder at some hardware stores that has a grinding stone with the power to grind at a finer and more consistent level. You may be able to find one that is made specifically for the removal of tree stumps. Whatever you do, take your time and enjoy yourself at your job. For professional help, contact Atlanta Stumps.