How hard is it to use a stump grinder?


Old 04-07-09, 08:33 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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How hard is it to use a stump grinder?

By the end of this weekend my lawn will have eleven (11) tree stumps in it, which is about 11 more than I'd like to have. The stumps range from just a couple inches across to about the size of a dinner plate.

I've been quoted prices in the four-digit range to remove the stumps. Alternately I can rent a stump grinder for $250 for the day, so the latter is looking like a better deal.

My question is, how difficult will this be? About half the stumps are in open areas of the yard but the other half are near fences or (in one case) about a foot from the foundation of the house. Will this pose any problems?

And how difficult is it to use the grinder itself? The process seems to be little more than clearing out the area around the stump (to avoid rocks and such), set the blade down on the stump, then rock it side to side so that it grinds it down, lowering the blade as you go. Is that really all there is to it? And how far down should I go?
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Old 04-07-09, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: new england
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Stump stuff

I rented a stump grinder myself years ago and found that after 30 or 40 stumps it turned into a real work out. The unit I used looked like a large rear tine roto-tiller with a single rotating cutter. The cutter had carbide teeth mounted to it. To use it, wheel it into place with the cutter centered over the stump. One of the wheels has a brake to hold that side of the machine stationary while the other wheel and cutter head can be pivoted side to side. It worked very well on pine stumps ranging in size from 6" to 24" diameter. Cutter chewed through them like butter. Hardwood stumps obviously are a little tougher but quite manageable. Small rocks are not an issue. Large ones will be. If the stump is real close to the foundation it'll be difficult to position the machine so you can pivot it enough. I'd estimate you'd need 2' or so each side of stump center to pivot. I took my stumps down to a couple of inches below soil level and that was sufficient in most cases. The "smaller" pines rotted off under ground but some of the 18-24 inch ones have either worked back to the surface or the soil has washed away from them and they're exposed. This could be a problem if they're on your lawn. Mine aren't.

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