Once a tree has been removed a decision needs to be made as to what to do with the remaining stump.
If the stump isn’t an issue as it’s tucked away in a border or out of sight then the best course of action can sometimes be to treat the stump to prevent regrowth, this can be done by drilling holes just inside the cambium layer and hammering in plugs that release glyphosates in to the root system.
A better and more comprehensive solution can often be to grind the stump using a stump grinder. This is a powerful machine with carbide tipped teeth attached to a rotating cutting disc that chips away at the wood in a side to side motion, getting progressively further below ground level.
We use the FSI ST20b which is considered to be the best pedestrian stump grinder on the market. It’s narrow enough to fit through a back gate, light enough so as not to cause damage to lawned areas and manoeuvrable enough to be lifted up and down steps and on to ledges.
As a result, we’re yet to encounter a stump we’ve been unable to grind.
Stump grinding lends itself to better garden design by leaving the site of the tree unrestricted for further use.
If the tree in question is in a lawned area then the stump can be ground to a depth of 8-10 inches, causing minimum disturbance to the lawn, and then top soiled and re-seeded or re-turfed as if the tree were never there.
When we remove a tree that has outgrown its location this can sometimes open a property up in terms of privacy. More extensive stump grinding in these instances, to a depth of 12-14 inches, and over a slightly wider area to incorporate some primary roots will in most cases completely remove the stump. This will then allow for the re-planting of a smaller, more manageable species or hedge line to reinstate the screening between houses. We frequently re-plant with locally grown 4-year-old, root ball laurels at a height of 2-2.5m to give an instant hedge effect.
Even if the intention isn’t to re-plant, most clients choose to grind the stump just to avoid being left with an unsightly stump especially as it starts to rot and grow fungal brackets. Skimming the stump to a couple of inches below ground level is a relatively quick and affordable procedure.
It is usually more cost effective for us to deal with the stump as part of the overall tree removal, so we usually discuss the different options and costs involved with our clients.
For trees that have already been taken down we can usually provide a quote for grinding the stump over the phone. Given the rough diameter of the trunk, the depth to which the stump is required to be ground down and the intended use for the area we can give you a pretty accurate quotation. If the type of tree is unknown (softwoods such as conifer grind out much more quickly than hardwoods like oak) and an image of the stump can be sent over then this is even better.