Tips on using a Stump Grinder

Do you have a stubborn tree stump stuck in your yard? Not sure how to get rid of it? Problem solved with a stump grinder!

Some people wonder “why do I need to remove a tree stump if it is mostly buried underground?” There are several reasons you should remove that old stump:

  • Prevent injuries from tripping or falling
  • Clear up your area. With a clear area, you have more options for landscaping plus you don’t have to remember it’s there when mowing your lawn. It also improves the curb appeal (and value) of the property.
  • Eliminate potential health hazards for other trees. If the tree was removed, or died, because of an insect infestation or other disease it could spread to other trees nearby.
First pass over a stump with a stump grinder.

Items needed:


Before you start any project that involves cutting or digging into the ground, especially in a new home, call 811. This will allow utility companies to come out to your home or business and mark their lines so you do not cut into them. You also want to check the area for any drainage pipes or invisible dog fences.

Stump grinder mid-pass over stump.

Clear the area around the tree, especially any rocks which could damage the stump grinder.

Using the chainsaw trim down the stump close to the ground, and make a V-shaped notch in the stump to help the grinder move more easily.

Next, position the wheel of the stump grinder right above the stump and turn it on. Then lower the wheel of the grinder until it touches the stump and let the machine do its work. Move the wheel from side to side to slowly eat away the stump. Always operate the machine from the control panel so that you are protected from the wheel at all times. Do not force the stump grinder into the wood, let the blade skim across the top of the stump to gradually grind it down.

Stump grinder after removing all of old stump.

Once you’ve dug down about four inches, raise the wheel and move the machine forward along the stump. Repeat until finished. You can also use the grinder to grind up any exposed roots of the tree, surface roots can run up to several feet away.

Once finished you can rake up all the wood chips created and use them as mulch. Fill the area where the stump was with topsoil.