Photo of a stump before being removed
Stump Grinding vs Stump Removal

A question we get asked quite often is the difference between stump grinding and stump removal, and what the pros and cons of either option are. 

Now obviously we’re a stump grinding company, so clearly we have a preference here. Regardless of that, we do still have our opinions, and our reasoning for having those opinions. 

Now, just for the basics, stump grinding is the process of using a stump grinder to grind up the tree trunk into little wood chips, and grinding down to below the base of the stump. Stump removal involves pulling up the trunk using force, and then digging up the root system, to leave no trace of the trunk. With stump grinding, the roots are left in the ground, where they’ll eventually disintegrate. With stump removal the roots are pulled up, and a hole is left where the stump and the roots were. 

On face value, grinding is more efficient, and a smoother process. Removal is more extensive, and more involved, which means more expensive. However, with grinding the root system still remains in the ground, which can make growing something new on top of where the stump was very difficult. With stump removal the root system is gone, so you could grow something new on top of it immediately. Should you go with stump removal, It will be necessary to grow something new on top of it, because of the expansive hole that will be left in its place. 

As far as cost goes, stump removal can be up to 3-5x more expensive than stump grinding, given the heavy machinery often needed to pull the stump from the ground, the time required to do so, and the disposal of the stump and roots post- removal. Factoring in what it would cost to cover up the large space left over after the stump is removed, that’s a lot more money than a stump grinding company would charge. 

Stump grinding is more efficient, more environmentally friendly, and a far simpler process, not to mention way easier on the wallet. However.  If you are looking to plan extensive landscaping directly on top of where the stump resides, stump removal may be the way to go.