Stump grinding, or stump shaving as it is sometimes called, is a big part of the tree service industry. It’s one thing to have tree trimming done, or tree removal after a tree has fallen over, but tree stump removal is a whole different job. You can’t just take a saw to a stump and make it go away, because there are roots that go underground almost as far as the tree would have extended above ground.
Anybody who has had a tree removed at their home and was left with a stump in their yard knows what a pain it is to get rid of a stump. That’s why it’s not uncommon for homeowners to simply leave them there or turn the stumps to some ornamental or functional purpose rather than go through with the whole stump removal. That’s because stump removal, properly, requires a lot of digging and sawing which requires a lot of labor. That’s hours and hours the homeowner either has to perform or pay a tree service to perform, which is why stump removal is a bigger deal. To remove a tree trunk, an arborist often has to dig down at least six feet, maneuvering around the roots which are thick and often oddly shaped. Roots can also be difficult to cut. Also, all that digging makes stump removal a pretty dirty job that nobody wants to do.
Stump grinding, or stump shaving if you please, is a different approach to tree removal in the tree care business. There is an actual machine that is designed for stump grinding or stump shaving which is about the size of a large push lawnmower and works much the same way, only instead of a horizontal blade that slices grass it has a more vertically-aligned sawblade that cuts into the wood of the stump. While performing this “stump removal”, the operator of the stump grinder can tilt the blade as needed to make cuts into the wood which kind of hack away at the stump. The arborist using the stump grinder would keep gnawing away at the stump until it has been shaved down below the surface.
Stump grinding, or stump shaving, is not complete stump removal because most of the tree’s root system remains intact after the job. However, the effect of the stump grinding is much the same because a stump shaver will dig down and remove enough of the wood so that there will be a hole in the ground where the tree once stood at least a few inches deep. After this small depression is made, soil and or sod can be placed over this area so when the tree care job is done there will be no visible evidence that a tree once stood there or a tree removal took place.
A homeowner looking to do this particular tree service job on their own could probably be able to rent a stump grinder, or stump shaver, from a hardware store or lawn equipment shop. Tool rental is a handy way for homeowners to perform their own tree care work, it is a much more cost effective way to do tree service or any other landscaping as a person who is not a professional arborist is not going to use these tools and equipment often enough to justify buying them.
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