Removing a tree requires more than just cutting it down, there is also the stump to contend with. Fortunately, stump grinding provides a simple solution for this problem.

What Is Stump Grinding?

There are many ways to deal with tree stumps in the yard, such as digging it out, but stump grinding is one of the quickest and least invasive. Full removal upends an entire yard, as heavy equipment is needed to dig out the roots -- which could travel for multiple feet in all directions. With grinding, your tree service will use a special piece of equipment that has large toothed grinding wheels. They lower the wheels onto the remaining stump and grind it down. The process causes no damage to the yard surrounding the stump.

Is the Entire Stump Removed?

Unlike full removal, stump grinding doesn't remove the entire stump and its roots. The depth of grinding depends on the size of the tree, but generally grinding only goes about 18 inches into the ground. This is typically a sufficient depth to remove the actual trunk of the tree, although the roots will remain. If the tree is young and still relatively small, your tree service may not even grind down this deeply.

Can the Roots Sprout Again?

If you leave the stump in place, you may have to contend with suckers coming up from the roots or the stump. The good news is that with the trunk ground out, the roots can no longer send up sprouts in an attempt to regrow in other parts of your yard. Instead, the roots will slowly decompose in the soil. The decomposition releases nutrients into the soil as well, which is good for your yard. If there are large roots, you may notice some sinkage forming in the lawn as they decompose, but the addition of some compost over the lawn will help level it out.

Are There Planting Options Following Grinding?

It's not recommended to plant another tree immediately following stump grinding, since the remaining roots can impede root development for a new tree. Further, if the old tree was removed due to disease, the disease causing organisms may still be present in the soil. Instead, use compost and topsoil to level out the hole and plant grass or a flower bed. If you want to add a new shrub or tree down the road, after the roots decompose, then opt for a temporary annual flower bed.

Contact a stump grinding service for answers to any remaining questions you have about this process.