Tree Stump Removal – Do-it-yourself Tips


Tree stump removal is the last part of removing a tree.  Many people don’t take the time or money to remove them.  Stumps are unattractive and can mar the appearance of your property.  If you have ever considered having them removed, I caution you it can be a challenge to do it yourself.

Using a stump grinder is not as difficult as you might think.  It also is not as easy as it seems when done by a professional.  If do-it-yourself projects are not for you, talk to your tree care provider to find out how much extra it will cost to remove your tree stumps.  If you have more than one stump to remove, you can probably get a nice price for the whole job.

Tree Stump Removal with a Stump Grinder

A stump grinder not only removes the roots but can grind the tree stump below ground level, making it invisible to the naked eye. Imagine the pride you will have, when you tell your friends, you did the job yourself and saved money!

Another option is to purchase stump removal products that can be used to dissolve the tree stump. It will still take a year or more for them to break down.  There are some who do not enjoy doing this type of work, but if you are a man or woman who loves a challenge consider, removing the stump yourself.

Dealing with Tree Stumps

Removing a stump is a nuisance, and many people don’t want to pay the extra money to have them removed.  Once the tree is down, the stump is an unsightly reminder you did not want to pay to get rid of it.  I have seen homeowners try to camouflage a stump, by making it a plant holder, a chair, and other creative ways.  However, you are not fooling anyone.  It is still and ugly stump!

If you are hiring a tree care professional, to remove a tree on your property, ask your tree care professional, to cut down the tree as low to the ground as possible. This will make it easier for you when removing the stump with a grinder.

 Renting a Stump Grinder

You can rent tree stump grinder from many major hardware chains or heavy equipment rental companies.  Sunbelt Rentals is a well- known company and located nationwide.

Before you rent a stump grinder, you will need to do a little research on the types of stump removal equipment available.  Stump grinders come in different sizes, weight and have different features. Google, “stump grinders” and choose the one you can handle and one that fits your budget.

Choosing the Right Stump Grinder

Renting a stump grinder will cost you from $125 or more a day. It will be more cost effective, if you have several tree stumps you need to remove. You can also share the project and the cost with a neighbor.

What do you need?

• Measure the height and the diameter of the stump or stumps you plan to remove
• Make sure you rent a stump grinder large enough to handle the job
• Consider a grinder that has a protective skirt, which will protect you from flying wood chips
• Self-propelled stump grinders are quicker and easier to use
• For added convenience, rent a stump grinder that can be towed behind your truck

Getting Instructions

Talk to the heavy equipment rental professional, for instructions on how to safely use the stump grinder. They will give you complete instructions on how to safely use the equipment. It is important to know how to stop the stump grinder in the case of an emergency.

Safety Precautions

When using a stump grinder, safety is very important. You will need:

  • Ear plugs
  • Eye protection
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Steel-toe footwear

Do a visual sweep of the area around the stump and remove any large stones or rocks.

Removing the Tree Stump

Before you turn on the stump grinder, make sure the break is set. Lower the blades of the stump grinder in front of the stump and then turn it on.

Make sure you have a steady grip on the stump grinder and begin to move the stump grinder from side to side in a sweeping motion to grind the stump to the level you want.

It is also a good idea to have someone present with you, in the case of an emergency.  Whenever dealing with heavy equipment, you must be as safe as possible.  Good Luck!

40 thoughts on “Tree Stump Removal – Do-it-yourself Tips

  1. I didn’t realize that stump removal is the last part of removing a tree. I also like what you said about the role of a stump grinder in the tree removal process. I’ve always wondered how to get rid of the most difficult part of a tree! I’ve heard that tree removal companies charge different prices depending on whether or not the stump has to be removed, I’ll have to do some research though!

    1. Baxter, try calling Baxter Tree Care, in North Huntington. They can give you some good advice.

  2. My wife and I were thinking about getting rid of a stump that we have in our backyard, and we were curious about how we could do it ourselves. I really like that you say to rent a stump grinder and do a little bit of research on it. It would be nice to know that we are getting one that we can actually operate.

  3. I agree that you need to be sure to rent the right stump grinder if you are going to get rid of a stump in this way. You would also need to be sure to read up on the safe handling of a grinder as well. If you are uncomfortable with this, you could probably hire a professional service to come take care of it.

  4. We recently had a tree fall in our yard and we were able to get it removed correctly but now we just have this large stump in our yard that just doesn’t look good. I liked that you had mentioned that if you can grind it correctly you can make it invisible to the naked eye and have the roots removed. I don’t have a stump grinder but it seems reliable, I might have to look into having a professional come out and handle that.

  5. I didn’t realize that stump grinding can grind a tree stump below ground level. There’s a really old tree in my backyard that is decaying and I’ve been thinking of bringing it down. If I do remove the tree, I’ll be sure to get a stump grinder to be able to remove it completely.

  6. I had no idea that a stump grinder could grind the stump below ground level. It is important to remember that taking the time to do some research and to compare several providers can help you find the best tools to get rid of stumps in your yard. We are moving to a new house and there are a lot of stumps around, so I’m glad I found your post.

  7. I appreciate you talking more about dealing with tree stumps. Just like you explained, removing a stump can be difficult so it is often times better to call a tree care professional. My wife and I just moved into a home with a stump in the backyard, so I think that we will be calling a professional pretty soon here. Thanks!

  8. It sure grabbed my attention when you said that grinding the tree stump can actually something that a person can say proudly to their friends. But for me, I think it’s best to leave the job in the hands of the professionals. You did great in explaining the various ways to do it though, especially the part where you mention buying removal products that will dissolve the tree to the stump. The only problem was the fact that I tried DIY once, and the result was not pretty. Anyway, thank you for sharing. I think I will hire a professional this time around.

  9. It’s great that you talked about how it’s best to get help from someone who knows what they’re doing. My neighbor is looking to get some stump grinding done on the left side of his home. I’ll be sure to talk to him about hiring a professional who really knows what they’re doing.

  10. Thanks for the great advice; after all, considering how dangerous a tree stump can potentially be for your yard, you really want to know how to remove it. I particularly like that you emphasize the importance of safety when it comes to removing the stump. Of course, if you do not feel that you can remove the stump safely then it is probably best to leave it in the hands of the professionals.

  11. Thanks for explaining how you can remove the roots and make the stump invisible to the naked eye with tree grinding. Since this si the case, it would probably be a good idea to hire a professional that has experience with this. Choosing one with experience could ensure they know what equipment and methods to use in order to make sure you can’t see the stump.

  12. There are a few stumps from some old trees in our yard that we would like to get rid of. Thanks for the explanation of how to rent a stump grinder and the warning to wear steel-toe footwear. I didn’t realize you could rent equipment like that. I’m kind of a chicken when it comes to using any sort of power tools, so I would need to hire someone to do the work as well.

  13. I have a few tree stumps in my back yard. It is great to know that you should measure the height of the stumps really well. I wouldn’t have thought about how that would be something to do.

  14. I like what you said about stump grinding and how it’s not as difficult as you may think. I still think it’s best to leave stump grinding in the hands of trained professionals. My best friend wants to remove some stumps from his property, so I’ll help him find a tree service to take care of his needs.

  15. You mentioned we can get rid of trees with a stump grinder. There is a stump in my yard. It’s dangerous because I have kids that play on it. I’ll look for a place that can grind it for me.

  16. I had a photinia red tip fully grown planted less than a foot from my house. I decided to remove it cause of the concern of the foundation issue but I never realize how tough the root was! I spent hours trying to remove it with a shovel and an axe. So I called the tree service company and that remove the root with a stump grinding machine less than 30 minutes. He also pointed out there was a main water line that could’ve got damage but luckily didn’t. I learn from my past experience and reading your article is always helpful as a reminder. Thanks!

  17. Thanks for the stump removal tips. I have a large tree in my backyard that is dying. I’ll be sure to hire a professional service to help me remove this dying tree.

  18. I like what you said about not being able to disguise ugly tree stumps well after the tree has been cut down. I have been thinking of cutting my own tree down but I’m not sure what to do with the stump. I think I will just make sure to pay for the tree service company to take it away as well.

  19. I have never heard of using a stump grinder to get rid of stumps before. I had a couple of dead trees removed last summer but I didn’t have the money to afford for the arborist to remove the stumps as well. However, I can afford it now and I think I will stick with using a professional.

  20. I found it interesting how cutting a tree stump needs special instruction when using heavy equipment for the job to avoid accidents. My friend wants to get rid of his tree that’s growing to much into the neighbor’s house and he wants to avoid accidents. I’m going to let him know about hiring a professional to avoid an expensive accident.

  21. I totally agree with you when you said that stumps are unattractive and can mar the appearance of your property. My neighbor told me that he would like to remodel his backyard and add a deck as well, but he has tree stumps all over his backyard. I will definitely recommend him to call a tree removal company to help him remove those stumps.

  22. I liked your tip to hire a tree care professional to help with removing the stump. There are a few trees that I had to cut down on my property and the stumps remain. I think hiring someone to come pull them out would be much easier than doing it myself.

  23. I love your tip about making sure you have someone present with you in case of an emergency. There is a stump in my front yard that I dislike and want to get rid of. Your tips, while helpful, made me realize I should hire a professional.

  24. We have some tree stumps that we need to get rid of. I might try to do it myself but I’m not fully sure I should attempt it. As you said here, there are a lot of things to look for when choosing a stump grinder so I might just get a professional to do this for me.

  25. I have never used a stump grinder before, but that sounds super effective. We have a tree that we recently cut down and the stump is all that we couldn’t get out. Since I am not much of a tree care professional, I will be sure to reach out to a specialist to make sure that the stump is properly and safely removed.

  26. I agree that tree stumps are often unattractive and can ruin the appearance of your lawn. That’s why I want to get the tree and its stump removed from my front yard. I think I might hire a professional to handle the job for me, this time around.

  27. I moved to a new home about a month ago. I love the house; however, in the middle of the backyard, there is this annoying stump. I appreciate your tip to measure the height and width of a stump so that you can get a grinder to remove it. However, I do not have this kind of equipment, so I think I will just look for professional assistance.

  28. I like how you said that using a stump grinder is not as difficult as you might think. My dad told me that he would like to get rid of a tree that is already dead before it falls down. Thanks for sharing this article, but I will suggest to him to contact a professional company so that they can remove the tree and the stump.

  29. Thank you for your advice that there are products that could help break down the stump or you could try using a stump grinder. I have a large stump that is right behind the trampoline, and I am afraid someone is going to trip on it and get hurt. I am a single mom trying to take care of three kids. I love your suggestions on how to do it yourself; however, I do not think that I have time. I think I will look for professionals in the area that could help me.

  30. That’s interesting that some people have tried to cover up their stump. My sister just cut down a tree last week in her backyard. We’ll have to look into renting a stump grinder.

  31. My aunt is thinking about getting rid of the oak trees in her backyard because they have a disease that she doesn’t want to spread. It could be really nice for her to get a professional to remove and make sure that the roots are taken care of. I’ll be sure to tell her that she can get a stump grinder that can grind out the stump or she can get something that can dissolve the stump over time.

  32. I did not know that there are chemicals that can be purchased to remove tree stumps. My dad told me that he would like to get rid of some of the tree stumps that are located in his backyard. I will recommend him to hire a tree removal company so they can properly do the job for him.

  33. You made a great point about dealing with tree stumps by hiring a professional that can help you remove it with a grinder. My husband and I are looking for a tree removal service that can help us with the stumps in our front yard. We will keep these tips in mind as we search for a professional that can help us best.

  34. I found it interesting when you aid that a stump grinder will not only be able to remove the superficial tree but the root as well. My dad told me that he would like to clean his backyard so that he can plant a new grade but there are a couple of stumps that are on the way. I will recommend him to hire a tree removal company so that they can quickly get rid of them.

  35. My dad has been thinking about getting his old tree stump out of his yard and he wants to make sure that is can be flat and level. Getting some help from a professional could be really useful and allow him to relax and let someone else take the brunt work. I liked what you said about how he can try and dissolve it with products but it will take a year to break down or camouflage it but I think he really wants to get rid of it fast.

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