Hot Topics: Stumped by Your Stumps?

tree stump

Here on we enjoy providing a place where home improvement novices and experts can come together to share ideas and advice. Inside our Forums, users can browse threads to see what exchanges are taking place on a topic of interest or start their own dialogue by posting something for the community to take part in. With over 250,000 members and counting, this resource is quite active so each week we highlight one of the conversations that may just help you with that next DIY project.

When you've had to cut down a dead or diseased bush or tree, the leftover stump can be unsightly and definitely unwanted. Unfortunately, methods for removal depend on the size and type of stump you've got, as well as future plans for the land. Here are what these DIY landscapers have to say based on experience of their own.

Original Post: Bush Stump Removal

Any idea how to best get rid of stumps? I have about three just like this that I need to somehow rip up. We tried pulling it out with a tractor, but no luck. They are all about 8-10" wide.

Highlights from the Thread

Pulpo Member

You need a stump grinder. You can rent them, but they are very heavy, and you'll need two other guys. There is something called a mini stump grinder, but that may not be big enough.

Pilot Dane Group Moderator

I've tried with a tractor and front end loader, eventually ending up with a monstrous sized hole and still the stump wouldn't come out. It did expose the roots so that I could cut them. Then, a chain around the stump so that the tractor could pull it to the side to cut the roots underneath. It worked, but it was slow and made a massive hole and tore up a lot of lawn.

An excavator or backhoe can dig them up. Even a small trackhoe can expose the roots and use the teeth on the bucket to pick at and tear the roots. You still end up with a big hole, but much smaller than a front end loader.

Then there is the easy way: a stump grinder.

joecaption Member

Stump grinder — about an hour and all three would be done, and no massive hole in the ground.

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

Before you rent a stump grinder, price having it done. Often it doesn't cost any more to have two or three stumps ground than it does to rent the equipment.

cwbuff Member

What Mark said. Call some local landscapers and see what they charge. Landscape guys will grind the stumps and be in and out in an hour.

Bud9051 Member

Your choice of method depends upon what you want to do with that space after they are removed. If it will be covered with a lawn and you will never be digging in those spots to plant replacements, then the grinder is the way to go. However, if you want to plant a garden or build something over those spots, the remaining stump base will either be in the way or will rot and sink over time.

I use a backhoe, but as stated, the hole will be huge and when filled with dirt it will sink over time. When the area sinks you just add more fill on top, not a big issue.

But a backhoe or excavator will do a number on your lawn, especially if the ground is soft.

Read more or provide advice here: //