Tree stumps-grinding?

Old 02-18-06, 07:53 AM
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Tree stumps-grinding?

I just bought a fixer upper that the former owner had cut down 11 trees but left the stumps. Most of these are about "24" diameter and I need to get them out and put some grass seed down for the spring season.

Checking around I found that two of the local outlets no longer rent stump grinders, the one that does gets $135/day. The other two said they quit due to excessive damage. I've never ground stumps, but watched it done on "This Old House" once.

I was wondering if anyone had an idea of about how long it took to do a tree of this size?

Since I've got time to think about this, I was also considering doing it the way our grandparents did it when clearing land moving west. That is, use wire fencing around and build a good, long burning fire to burn it out. Being basically a cheapskate, although my time is worth something, I thought it might beat renting a grinder for a full 24 hours.

Any thoughts or ideas.

Old 02-18-06, 12:44 PM
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I don't know how long it would take, but you could check with someone who does it professionally and extrapolate from their estimate. Also, there are chemicals you can apply that speed up the decay process and making burning them easier.
Old 02-23-06, 08:54 AM
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grinding is all about speed. if time is not a priority, go with the burn idea. someone once posted here about using an old 55 gal drum with the bottom cut out to contain and concentrate the burn.
i have access to grinder but i'm going to try the drum idea myself on some larger stumps. the small 8" and under i'll just grind. as far as grinding speed goes, if the tree was a hardwood it should grind down pretty fast. 24" wide x 2 or 3" high should take about 15 or 20 minutes max with a decent 18 or 20 hp grinder. fresh pine is the most diffucult to grind.
Old 02-26-06, 09:24 AM
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I've rented a grinder on a couple of occasions several years ago. The ones I rented had about a 12inch wheel with carbide teeth on the end of an arm that turned about 1000 rpm and ground down the stump. One was fairly old, but had a new 13 hp honda engine and was self propelled. The newer one had a 20hp Kohler on it, but was not self propelled. I will never again rent one that isn't self propelled - what a job it was horsing that thing around.

I found it took only about 10 minutes to actually grind out a medium stump if the teeth are sharp. 24 inch diameter stumps are bigger than that, so figure 20-30 minutes per stump, and of course hardwood takes longer. Even with the self propelled machine it's a lot of work - so you have to take lots of breaks.

I might consider doing a couple of 2 hour rentals rather than one all-day rental - which would wear you out - of course that might not be practical, depending on how far you are from the rental yard.

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